I am often drawn to stories that take place during the Roaring 20s. The glamorous years of the American dream have always fascinated and inspired me. Libba Bray’s The Diviners is what happens when you mix these golden years with a gripping paranormal mystery.
Main character Evie is sent to live with her uncle in New York City after a scandal involving her occurs in her hometown. However, Evie sees this as an awesome opportunity to find stardom and escape her boring life. Throughout her misadventures Evie meets a diverse cast of characters that are brought together through one common trend - their secret powers. When a dangerous supernatural killer emerges, Evie and her newfound friends must use their special abilities to solve the crime.
This plot description does not do the story justice, for it is so much more than your average mystery. I was immediately immersed in the world that The Diviners so beautifully portrays. The city was so booming with culture it felt as though Bray had lived in the 20s herself. There were many details that really made me feel invested in the story and its characters. For example, the use of 1920’s lingo created quirky dialogue and memorable scenes.
It is also worth noting that Evie is not the typical Y.A. archetype heroine. She is wild, vain, and makes many mistakes. I found myself in a love-hate relationship with her, which made her all the more realistic. Bray tackles a variety of social topics from interracial and gay relationships to the prohibition. This makes The Diviners as informative as it is spooky. And seriously - the imagery in this story has quite the eerie mood! The serial killer depicted has a disturbing style that certainly made me afraid. But this only made me more interested in knowing how everything would turn out.
It is not a fast read at 600 pages, but the plot kept me turning page after page. This is only the first of a four book series, with the 3rd book making its debut in Spring of 2017. I am eager to pick up the second book and find out what happens next. Overall The Diviners was a very well-rounded story. I would also recommend the audiobook version, as it only adds to the immersion.
Staff of Wellington Square Book Shop