Book Review: The Diviners by Libba Bray

[simpleazon-image align=”left” asin=”B00BXU3HIS” locale=”us” height=”500″ src=”” width=”333″] [simpleazon-link asin=”0316126101″ locale=”us”]The Diviners[/simpleazon-link] by Libba Bray

My review: 4.5 of 5 stars

Ain’t we got fun?! The Diviners immediately captures the vibrancy and optimism of the 1920’s by opening on a party in full swing. At that same party, something dark and disturbing is unknowingly unleashed and so the conflict between good and evil, spirit and flesh begins. Adding authenticity to the tale are numerous references to 1920’s figures and fads, including the slang. The slang terms dominated the dialogue and sometimes were a bit annoying, but there is no denying the fun in the lingo. My new favorite phrase has become “everything’s jake!” The heroine, Evie O’Neill, is undeniably spunky and spoiled with a snappy wit. Part of the intelligence of creating her this way is that her spunk later becomes bravery, and her spoiled upbringing gives her room to grow in this four book series. By the end of the first book, she’s already grown considerably. All of the young characters are charming, possess secret, emerging powers and have endured pain and loss. Such characteristics make them especially suited to fighting the evil that has been unleashed in the city.

The violent and creepy imagery and the horrifying serial killer stand in perfect contrast to the life and hum of 1920’s New York City. The story is complex, engaging, enriching, disturbing and above all, entertaining. The second book in the Diviners series, [simpleazon-link asin=”0316126047″ locale=”us”]Lair of Dreams: A Diviners Novel (The Diviners)[/simpleazon-link], was just released. I picked up my copy at the Decatur Book Festival where I met Libba Bray who is also engaging and entertaining. I highly recommend this book for fans of historical fiction and paranormal. Written as a young adult novel, readers of all ages should enjoy it.

Note: Contains material (i.e. violent images, domestic violence) that may be inappropriate or offensive to some readers.


“Idealism is just an escape from reality. There is no utopia” (p. 219).

“There is no greater power on this earth than story” (p. 407).

“When the world moves forward too fast for some people, they try to pull us all back with their fear” (p. 483).

“There are truths in this world people don’t really want to know” (p. 564).

“Tomorrow, the crank would be turned anew, and the gears of the world would lurch into motion” (p. 578).

Author: Allie

I was a Children's Librarian for 8 years and worked in Administration for several more. I love blogging about books, information, and other library related topics. Most of my blogs are book reviews.