Friday, July 18, 2014

Flashback Fridays: The Roaring Twenties

We're starting our trip back in time with teen reviewer Libby's look at Libba Bray's The Diviners.

The Diviners by Libba Bray is an odd but compelling combination of 1920's thriller and supernatural powers. Its a mystery with all sorts of secrets, drama, murder, jazz, and intrigue. Evie O’Neal is moving to New York City from her hometown in Ohio. Its 1926, and she couldn’t be more excited for her big city adventure. Except that once she arrives, she finds that things may not be as great as they seem. First she finds herself living with her Uncle Will, the curator of the Museum of American Folklore, Superstition, and the Occult, also known as the Museum of Creepy Crawlies. The city is being rocked by a sensational series of strange and ritualistic killings, and Uncle Will is called in to consult. Evie might be able to help, but only if she reveals a secret supernatural power she doesn't entirely understand. As the hunt for the killer escalates, Evie discovers that Uncle Will and her new friends may also have secrets of their own. Can they stop the killer from creating anymore chaos? Is the killer even human?

The Diviners is mostly Evie's story, but there are chapters of the book that are from the perspectives of other New Yorkers who are dealing with their own supernatural experiences. Memphis has dreams he can't explain. Jerecho has a mysterious medical condition. Their pieces of the story add more layers to the overall plot and serve as a great setup for the sequel, "Lair of Dreams," which is set to come out in 2015.

This book was the creepiest thing I'd read in a long time. I started it in the middle of the afternoon, and couldn't put it down. By the time I finished, it was two in the morning and I was the only one awake in a dark and silent house and I didn't think I'd ever sleep properly again. The writing is vivid, which makes all the little details pop out, even when they're terrifying. Its clear Libba Bray did her research, and the mythology is consistent and blends into the reality of Evie's world. While I did find some of the 1920's expressions offputting, the details and the mystery were more than enough to make up for it. The characters are relatable, the killer is the definition of evil, and the adventure is exciting. I recommend reading The Diviners with the lights on.

Read More:

Up and Coming: The Diviners by Libba Bray

You Oughta Be In Pictures: The Diviners by Libba Bray

A Very YA Halloween






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