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The Diviners by [Bray, Libba]
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The Diviners Kindle Edition

4.3 out of 5 stars 331 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From School Library Journal

Gr 10 Up-Set in 1920s New York City, this literary tour-de-force from Printz Award-winner Bray offers grand themes, complex characters, and suspense. After her secret gift for divining information from objects lands her in trouble, 17-year-old Evangeline O'Neill is sent from Ohio to live with her uncle, who runs a museum specializing in folklore and the occult in Manhattan. Evie is a quintessential flapper: not really bad, but rebellious and yearning to fly free of her Babbitt-like existence. Although she starts out her new life like the party girl she was back home, her pursuits become more serious when her uncle is asked to help solve a series of strange murders. She crosses paths with Memphis Campbell, a black numbers runner in Harlem, whose power to heal by laying on hands failed him when he tried to save his mother. Other characters include a homosexual composer who meets people in dreams, a Ziegfeld girl with a past, a pickpocket searching for his family, and a young research assistant with his own secrets. Bray develops each of these characters and their gifts, gradually bringing them together in a chilling and thrilling battle with Naughty John, a paranormal serial killer. Over the course of the novel, people (mainly good) smoke, drink, and use other illegal substances. These peccadilloes are contrasted with the values of the hellfire-and-brimstone cult that spawned Naughty John. The compelling and dramatic supernatural plot explores self-actualization, predestination, the secrets everyone hides, and, of course, good versus evil. An absolutely terrific read and, thankfully, the first in a planned series.-Nina Sachs, Walker Memorial Library, Westbrook, MEα(c) Copyright 2011. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.


A Publishers Weekly Best YA Book of the Year
A School Library Journal Editor's Choice
A Kirkus Best YA Book of the Year
A Top Ten Amazon Best Book of the Year for Teens
A Library Journal Best YA Book for Adults
An Andre Norton Award for Young Adult Science Fiction and Fantasy Finalist

"The Diviners delivers an addictive and terrifying story of young New Yorkers investigating a rash of occult-based murders. Bray sustains a breathless energy throughout this ambitious series-starter, deftly evoking the exuberance of 1920s city life and the evil lurking beneath it."―Entertainment Weekly

* "1920s New York thrums with giddy life in this gripping first in a new [series] from Printz winner Bray...The intricate plot and magnificently imagined details of character, dialogue and setting take hold and don't let go. Not to be missed."
Kirkus Reviews (starred review)

* "The compelling and dramatic supernatural plot explores self-actualization, predestination, the secrets everyone hides, and, of course, good versus evil. An absolutely terrific read and, thankfully, the first in a planned series."
School Library Journal (starred review)

* "The book is big and wants to be the kind of thing you can lose yourself in. Does it succeed? It's jake, baby."―Booklist (starred review)

*Everyday moments and a romance or two help lighten the mood of this creepy, dark, twisted tale of things that go bump in the night."―VOYA (starred review)

* "The book is engrossing, spooky, and thought-provoking."―Library Media Connection (starred review)

" [A] lavish supernatural thriller...Wisecracking Evie is a likable heroine, and all signs point to intriguing complications and more malevolent spirits on the rise in succeeding books."
The Horn Book

Product Details

  • File Size: 1930 KB
  • Print Length: 603 pages
  • Publisher: Little, Brown Books for Young Readers; 1 edition (September 18, 2012)
  • Publication Date: September 18, 2012
  • Sold by: Hachette Book Group
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B0076DF978
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Lending: Not Enabled
  • Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #105,731 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Evie Seo TOP 1000 REVIEWER on October 23, 2012
Format: Hardcover
Intelligent, complex and historically accurate, The Diviners in a riveting tale that plumbs the depths of human wickedness brought about by religious fanaticism and fascination with the occult. The blend of tension, charm, creepiness, atmosphere and characterization come together to ensure this to be an absorbing and intellectually stimulating experience. This is an absolutely phenomenal book and one of the best of the year thus far. An indisputable must-read for anyone who enjoys a thoroughly bone-chilling story set against well researched historical backdrop.

Set in the Roaring Twenties in New York City, The Diviners tells the story of a group of young people investigating a series of gruesome occult-based murders. Something dark and powerful has been unleashed in New York, an evil force determined to bring about an apocalypse. People are being murdered - their body parts missing - and it all seems to follow a very disturbing pattern suggesting that the murderer is trying to finish a dark ritual started many years ago. A ritual that will unleash hell on earth and destroy everything. When Evie is shipped off to New York to live with her Uncle Will, the last thing she expects is to find herself right in the middle of a terrifying murder case. Instead of attending glamorous parties and enjoying vibrant New York life, she now has to deal with a psycho-ghost intent on carrying out his evil plan. Will her special powers help catch the killer? Or will the killer get to her first?

Evie (or as Theta calls her, Evil) is a fascinating character. Bold, attention-loving, dauntless, unpredictable, loud-mouthed and quick-witted, she's an unstoppable force, a real tornado of a girl. She's a troublemaker.
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Format: 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!
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
There are books I sprint through, books I plod though, and books I put down and only read more of when I have nothing else to do. This book was sadly the third kind.

I adored the Gemma Doyle trilogy by Libba Bray so I was excited to read something new from her. The premise is intriguing - who doesn't love murder mysteries and people with supernatural powers?

The tie between the mystery and the supernatural is loose, though, with most Diviner characters not impacting the main plot line or mystery at all. Characters like Memphis and Theta were interesting, but ended up being distractions from the main story. They were also better characters and easier to root for than Evie, the main character, which is never ideal. Despite the premise, I never felt the suspense I expect from mystery stories. I think the book would have been stronger if Bray had focused on either the mystery or the increasing prevalence of Diviners in the world and what that means. Trying to combine them makes the story disjointed and overly long, both of which contributed to this book taking me forever to finish reading.

I know Libba Bray can write. I know she can write good historical fiction without saturating it with slang and unnecessary details. I know she can make characters I can relate to (like Gemma Doyle). I just think this attempt fell flat.
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Format: Hardcover
First Sentence: In a town house at a fashionable address on Manhattan's Upper East Side, every lamp blazes.

A Quick Synopsis: Evangeline O'Neill has been exiled from her idyllic hometown of Zenith, Ohio and shipped off to New York City. The time is 1926, a time filled with new theater breakthroughs and secret speakeasies, set against a hustling and bustling background. Living with her Uncle Will, who has an obsession with the occult, Evie worries he'll discover her secret power that got her banished from Ohio in the first place. But it just so happens that her power could help catch a serial killer that's just begun terrorizing New York City recently. As Evie takes on the challenge of defeating the killer, can her New York friends help her complete the task?

The Review: I've always known Libba Bray as an extremely original and adaptable author. What other author can you name that follows up a Victorian historical trilogy with a book about mad cow disease with a trashy role model? And then, don't even mention the fact that she followed THAT up with a satirical novel about "beauty queens"...Unfortunately, though, I've also always known Ms. Bray as an author who takes a relatively long time to release novels. So as I combed through the pages of Amazon, not expecting another Libba Bray book until 2013, The Diviners smacked me in the face, and I could not have been more delighted to know that I would not have to wait so long.

Libba Bray returns to the genre she debuted in, historical fiction with a flair of the supernatural, with The Diviners.
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