Review: The Diviners by Libba Bray

The Diviners (The Diviners, #1)
This cover LOOKS kind of ugly, but believe me, it is stunning in its real life hardcover form.

The Diviners by Libba Bray

Rating: 4 Stars

Evie O’Neill has been exiled from her boring old hometown and shipped off to the bustling streets of New York City—and she is pos-i-tute-ly ecstatic. It’s 1926, and New York is filled with speakeasies, Ziegfeld girls, and rakish pickpockets. The only catch is that she has to live with her uncle Will and his unhealthy obsession with the occult.

Evie worries he’ll discover her darkest secret: a supernatural power that has only brought her trouble so far. But when the police find a murdered girl branded with a cryptic symbol and Will is called to the scene, Evie realizes her gift could help catch a serial killer.

As Evie jumps headlong into a dance with a murderer, other stories unfold in the city that never sleeps. A young man named Memphis is caught between two worlds. A chorus girl named Theta is running from her past. A student named Jericho hides a shocking secret. And unknown to all, something dark and evil has awakened.

Well, I thought this book was pos-i-tute-ly swell-ski!

I’ve been meaning to read this for FOREVER. I even had a few false starts and finally after checking it out from the library three times (why does that happen so often?!?) I forced myself to read it and I LOVED it!!

The Diviners is a mystery set in New York in the roaring twenties – that magical moment after the war and before the Depression, with flappers and theater and short hair, and or the first time really, a new generation of teenagers.
I think my favorite aspect of the book was this wonderful atmosphere that Libba Bray captured sooo well. I felt like I was in New York with Evie and her friends because the period slang (I can see how it would be annoying to some but I thought it was jake) and all the details, like how they rebelled against Prohibition, as well as their clothes and hair, and really everything was so well incorporated and created one of the most wonderful atmospheres I’ve ever read.

The characters’ personalities really added to the atmosphere, but they were also so developed and so much fun! Evie had the most endearing personality, and the character development she goes through is really fantastic. I also loved her cute friend Mabel, and I hope she will be more prominent in the next books! Really, though, I absolutely adored all the characters. I loved the dynamics within this friend group, as well as between Evie and her Uncle Will. And even though there are numerous POVs, it never feels disjointed or choppy. Everything flows so well.

One thing I didn’t care for was the love triangle, even though it was a lot less obnoxious than some. (But then, I’m super biased and haven’t ever met a love triangle I like) But I absolutely adore Sam Lloyd, the charming thief, and I totally ship him and Evie.

And then, of course, there is the actual story. In the book, Evie and her friends have to solve a mystery and identify a serial killer in order to stop him. What’s unique about this is that from the beginning, we know who the killer is and are there for each of his murders. And we watch as he slowly catches up to Evie’s group. And he is sooo wonderfully creeepy.

Naughty John, Naughty John
Does his work with his apron on.
Cuts your throat and takes your bones
Sells ’em off for a coupl’a stones.

Not only is he a scary murderer, the killer also infuses his work with elements of the occult, which makes everything so much scarier. And I thought it was absolutely wonderfully creepy.

So you should read this too!! Just make sure you don’t read by yourself…or in the dark… and whatever you do, don’t let anyone whistle near you while you are reading.

(Seriously though, it’s REALLY scary. So if you’re sensitive to scary things, maybe this wouldn’t be the best thing to read. Don’t hurt yourself, please.)


The Diviners has some light swearing. Also, while I wouldn’t call this book anti – religion, be aware that the killer is motivated by twisted religious doctrine, and as a result, religion isn’t exactly presented in a positive light in this book.

8 thoughts on “Review: The Diviners by Libba Bray

    1. I read it and I liked it, but I didn’t love it. I felt like it was too long and I was frustrated by the ending. Yeah, I get that it was building up intrigue for novel two, but it left too many unanswered questions. If I planned to read the next book it would have worked, but as I have no interest in the next book, I WANT ANSWERS NOW.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I KNOW!! I kept waiting for the answers and got NONE. And the sequel is sooo long and full of stuff I don’t want to read, so I will NEVER know.

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