Sunday, December 30, 2012
The Diviners by Libba Bray
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-toot-ly thrilled. New York is the city of speakeasies, shopping, and movie palaces! Soon enough, Evie is running with glamorous Ziegfield girls and rakish pickpockets. The only catch is Evie has to live with her Uncle Will, curator of The Museum of American Folklore, Superstition, and the Occult--also known as "The Museum of the Creepy Crawlies."
When a rash of occult-based murders comes to light, Evie and her uncle are right in the thick of the investigation. And through it all, Evie has a secret: a mysterious power that could help catch the killer--if he doesn't catch her first.
I'd heard a lot of positive talk about this book right before the pub date of it and I was really curious to read what it was all about. Being that I love any historical fiction novel, it was already something that I wanted to read soon, but for some odd reason, I wasn't all that excited about it. I've never read anything by Libba Bray, for one, and after reading the synopsis, I still wasn't sold on the idea for the book. And people kept on saying in their reviews about how 'dark' The Diviners was and I was wondering how a book, set in the Roaring Twenties, could be dark. I don't know. Things didn't connect in my mind, I guess.
First off, I'll start off with the main character like I always do in my reviews. Evie, I felt, was Iron Man. She should not be a character that many would love, but yet, there is something about her that you can't help but relate to and empathize with. She was smart-mouthed and witty, impulsive and sarcastic, feisty and bold, sassy and defiant. She was the epitome of a true flapper of the time! She surprised me because, in the beginning, I thought she was just going to annoy me with her troublemaker ways, but she had so much depth and dimension that would reach out to any audience member. She surprised me in the most positive way and I'm happy to say that she proved me wrong.
The book in all its entirety was something almost unfathomable for me. Being that it is in omnipotent third person, the point of view would change frequently, and yet it did not confuse me in the least. The city is busy with people and energy and the way that Bray somehow included that into the story is amazing! And somehow, by the end of the book, all these thoughts and actions from early on by all the characters start to tie together and my head just kind of went ". . . Whoa . . .". It was incredible! Ingenious!
And back to how I wasn't convinced in the least that this book was 'dark'. I was wrong. Like, seriously, how? I'm not sure if I can really elaborate on the creepiness of the book without spoiling the story in one way or another. It just was. Also, if you haven't heard about it, this book is 592 pages or so. That's a lot on any reader's heftiness scale. And somehow, while it took me a little longer to read than the usual book, I didn't become bored at all during any of the parts throughout the book. It was very engaging with all its surprising creepiness and darkness and overall amazing-ness. (that's a lot of -ness's there, might I add)
The Diviners is unlike anything I have ever read and wasn't anything I expected it to be. It was not predictable and kept me on my toes all throughout its plot. Not only was Evie such a different and dimensional character, but so were all the others. There was a certain mystery that clung to all of them that made me want to learn more about them and see them interact with others. I will say that The Diviners has made a huge impact on my--not life, per say--but reading experience, which so happens to be a large part of my life. Fans of murder/mysteries, historical fiction, and of things that go bump in the night, I think, will absolutely enjoy and love this book like I do.