33 of 36 people found the following review helpful
Excellent Paranormal Historical Fiction,
This review is from: The Diviners (Hardcover)
So, I never read Libba Bray's Gemma Doyle trilogy (there's many a friend, book blogger and book addict who would tell me that I'm missing out), but I did read her book Beauty Queens, which sent me rolling on the floor with laughter. I just could not get over the sheer wit and utter ridiculous satirical nature of that book. From that moment on I was hooked. I had to devour every future Bray title. Now, I was a little surprised when I saw that her new series, The Diviners, was more of a historical fiction novel mixed with the supernatural -but it sounded like so much fun, so I couldn't say no.
In The Diviners, readers are introduced to young Evie O'Neill, a recent transplant from small-town Ohio to the glamorous world of 1920s New York, who has come to live with her uncle at a rather strange museum known as The Museum of American Folklore, Superstition, and the Occult. Soon after settling into her new life, Evie falls in with a rather...unorthodox crowd -an ambitious Ziegfried Follies girl named Theta who is hiding a dark past, a mysterious student known as Jericho, and a young African-American man named Memphis who is battling the prejudices of the time. After a string of occult-based murders sets off a city-wide panic (and media frenzy) Evie and her uncle are brought in to help solve the case, and it is only with the help of Evie's new friends (and her strange abilities) that the mystery can be solved.
Wow. Just wow -I think that's the first thing that comes to mind when I think back on this book. It was freaking amazing. Just completely engrossing, incredibly well-written and offered an elaborate maze of twists and turns that kept me glued to every single page! I thoroughly enjoyed the 1920s backdrop, and Bray did an excellent job of bringing that period to life while expertly weaving in this fascinating exploration of the occult and some of the strange societal obsessions at the time with seances, superstition and other supernatural things. I even thought her depiction of religion and occultism offered a unique parallel description of a time and society caught between the two (though it may offend some more conservative readers).
Probably the best way to describe this rather genre-bending book is as something of a 1920s police procedural/mystery with a heavy dose of occultism, crazy serial killers, a dash of the supernatural, a hint of romance and some thriller elements. Not that Diviners really needs a explanation -this book truly is in a genre of its own. It completely stands alone from the pack (in my humble opinion) and was truly remarkable. The only tiny, tiny bit of criticism I have for this book is that it just seems a little long -maybe it could have used a little more editing, but it wasn't a significant enough issue that it really bothered me.
If you're looking for a fantastic read, look no further. Diviners is one of the most compelling books I've read all year. Do yourself a favor and pick it up -trust me, it's worth it.