Review: The Diviners by Libba Bray

Publisher: Little, Brown Books for Young Readers
Release Date: September 18th, 2012
Pages: 583
Format: eBook
Source: Bought
Series: The Diviners, #1
Genre(s): Paranormal, Historical Fiction, Horror
Synopsis from Goodreads:

Do you believe there are ghosts and demons and Diviners among us?
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 unfurled 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….
Printz Award-winning and New York Times bestselling author Libba Bray opens a brand-new historical series with The Diviners, where the glittering surface of the Roaring Twenties hides a mystical horror creeping across the country. 

my ramblesWhat do you get when you add a group of wild, paranormal teens and a psycho-ghost killer in the roaring 20s? That would be The Diviners! The perfect twist of history, paranormal, and horror, The Diviners delivers a thrillingly creepy story that will haunt you long after the final page is read.

I must admit that both the size and the content of the story was very intimidating to me before I started. A 500+ page horror book? Not normally something I would be jumping out of my seat to read. But, this Halloween, I decided to go for it because I have yet to read a negative review for this one, and I’m so glad I did!

Due to the length, the story isn’t extremely fast-paced. In fact, things are pretty slow moving straight up until the very end. BUT, the way that this book is written doesn’t leave us wanting anything more than what we’re given from the story at the time. Told from multiple perspectives, we get to see the story come together from all angles. Reading from Naughty John’s POV was quite disturbing, and creepy in all senses of the word, but extremely fascinating nonetheless. And all of the other characters were so unique to each other, with such detailed and developed backstories! When there are so many characters in a book some of them tend to get left out, but not in The Diviners, which I really loved.

Not only did the format of the book offset it’s length, but also the writing style. This is the first book that I’ve read of Libba Bray’s, but I absolutely loved her rich style and how well it portrayed the time period. I learned lots of new 20s slang, which I was pos-i-tutely jake with!

All in all, The Diviners was everything that I was hoping for and definitely lived up to all of the marvellous reviews that made me want to read it in the first place! The ending was satisfying, but left me eager to know what is next for these characters in book #2, Lair of Dreams!


If you want more… PARANORMAL & HORROR: The Name of the Star by Maureen Johnson
If you want more… ROARING 20S: Bright Young Things by Anna Godbersen


8 thoughts on “Review: The Diviners by Libba Bray

  1. Great review!!
    First off, I highly recommend reading A Great and Terrible Beauty by Libba Bray, it’s part of a triliogy and I honestly loved it! It’s a little slow as well, but not anywhere close to as long as The Diviners! I’ve been meaning to buy this book since I really enjoy her writing style and how descriptive she is but haven’t gotten around to it yet. I’m glad to hear you enjoyed it!!

    Patty @ Bookish Wanderlove

  2. same here, been hearing all kinds of amazing things for the diviners but 1. HUGE 2. HORROR so haven’t picked it up yet!! read the first chapter in a bookstore and damnnnn those chills from the ghost summoning… i’m curious and scared at the same time ahh 🙂 wonder what the cover means in relation to the story? also, pos-i-tutely jake? LOLOL

    alicia @ noverly things

  3. It took me such a long time to really get into this book! I wasn’t even sure if i wanted to read the sequel until right up to the end! But the ending really did sell me and I am looking forward to it coming out! Great review, Emily!

  4. I tried to read this one when it first came out but yikes, it was a little too slow for me. Also Naughty John creeped the heck out of me. I really do recommend her A Great and Terrible Beauty books. They grow in length as the series progresses but they are amazing.

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