The Diviners

Bray, Libba

Book - 2012
Average Rating: 4 stars out of 5.
The Diviners
Seventeen-year-old Evie O'Neill is thrilled when she is exiled from small-town Ohio to New York City in 1926, even when a rash of occult-based murders thrusts Evie and her uncle, curator of The Museum of American Folklore, Superstition, and the Occult, into the thick of the investigation.

Publisher: New York : Little, Brown, 2012
Edition: 1st ed
ISBN: 031612611X
Characteristics: 578 p. ;,24 cm


From Library Staff

578p. (Gr. 10+) Seventeen-year-old Evie O'Neill is thrilled when she is exiled from small-town Ohio to New York City in 1926, even when a rash of occult-based murders thrusts Evie and her uncle, curator of The Museum of American Folklore, Superstition, and the Occult, into the thick of the invest... Read More »

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Dec 16, 2014
  • KindianaJones rated this: 4 stars out of 5.

Really enjoyed this one -- NYC, the 1920s, the occult -- what's not to like? The main character was really memorable and I look forward to reading more about her in the sequel. I found the last 50 pages or so were a bit too much setting up for the sequel for my liking; the denouement was just that bit too long. I look forward to seeing how the Memphis storyline fits in with the big picture -- can't wait for Book #2.

Dec 07, 2014

“The Diviners” is about Evie O’Neill, a young woman who lives in 1920s Ohio. After a party stunt she pulls goes wrong, Evie’s family sends her off to live with her Uncle Will (the curator of an Occult Museum) in New York City. For Evie, this is the opposite of a problem. When she arrives in New York she is delighted, and intends to spend her time partying away with her friend Mabel. Her plans are ruined though when a series of ritual murders begin to occur, and it appears as though a monstrous beast is going to rise and devour the Earth. With the help of her Uncle and her friends, Evie must try to stop the creature from awakening.

“The Diviners” is a phenomenal read. Libba Bray has once again delivered an outstanding novel full of fantasy, sass, and historical accuracy. The characters are phenomenally well written, and each one is unique and lovable. Evie is one of the sassiest characters ever written, but she has been so meticulously crafted that her sass does not make her unlikeable, but rather intelligent, humorous, and heroic. The plot is brilliant, as it is intricate, fantastical, and chock-full of historical facts (the amount of research that went into this novel must have been gargantuan). The setting and time period are cleverly used to add a sense of waywardness and fantasy to “The Diviners”. By placing the novel in a well-known city but in a long-gone time period, the events seem all too real yet completely fictional at the same time.

The author of this review highly recommends “The Diviners”. It is such a well written book that nearly everyone will find something they like about it. This novel unfortunately is best used as a pleasure read, as it does not have any real deeper meanings that would make it suitable as an ‘essay novel’ or ‘book talk’ book. The author of this review believes that “The Diviners” is suitable for ages thirteen and up.

Oct 17, 2014
  • GhostWriterAt221B rated this: 5 stars out of 5.

'The Diviners' is definitely a thrilling must-read. I couldn't put it down, and the characters enthralled me. Overall, the novel was riveting and I can't wait for 'Lair of Dreams'!

Oct 13, 2014
  • callen03 rated this: 2 stars out of 5.

I love the idea of this book, and parts of it work very well. However, the book spends 500 pages building to a climax that is ultimately beyond dull in its conclusion and quickly solved. And don't even get me started on the incredibly shallow characters whom all just happen to have odd ESP abilities and happen to run in to each other in a place as packed as Manhattan (even in the 20s). It is a young adult novel at heart and is written with quality akin to that of novels for this age group, if you will, in terms of character depth and plot conveniences. That being said, Bray obviously did plenty of research and I commend her for her wondrous ability to spin a palpably creepy atmosphere. Some of the characters are interesting when considered as ideas or a framework for a developed character, but I truly did not care for any of them because they all seemed so hollow to me and somewhat formulaic (excluding Memphis, who was written rather well). I really love the mystery overall and I know this is just an introductory novel to what will be a (4 part?) series. However, many authors juggle this well and I feel as though Bray spent her time trying to "pos-i-tut-ly" shove every facet of flapper culture down my throat for the entirety of the novel (the overuse of slang is a bit much with Evie, but you get used to it...). That along with the tedious descriptions of setting and incredibly forced romantic elements for our main character completely overshadowed an intriguing plot. At least she writes really well and I got through it? I'm looking forward to the next installment, hopefully the plethora of kinks will be worked out by then.

Oct 06, 2014
  • mezensml rated this: 0.5 stars out of 5.

A page turner that did not dissappoint. I can hardly wait to read what's next.

Oct 06, 2014

After her wild behaviour lands her in hot water, privileged young Evie O'Neill is sent to live with her eccentric uncle in New York City -- a "punishment" that delights Evie, who can't wait to mix with Ziegfield girls and sneak into some big-city speakeasies (it's the Roaring Twenties). But when her Uncle Will, curator of the Museum of American Folklore, Superstition, and the Occult, is called on to help solve a rash of otherworldly murders, Evie is drawn in to the investigation because of a special ability she's tried to keep secret. Full of vivid period detail and intriguing characters and laced with shiver-inducing menace, this sprawling 1st in a series will thrill readers of supernatural mysteries and historical novels alike." Teen Scene October 2014 newsletter

Dec 02, 2013
  • JCLChrisK rated this: 5 stars out of 5.

An amazingly addictive story, considering its breadth and depth. I wanted to be annoyed when I realized at the end of the book that easily half the characters and plot elements were introduced simply to lay the foundation for the bigger series that will follow, but I enjoyed this episode too much to complain. A storm is coming, and in some ways this was merely a 600 page prelude to what will follow. But what a prelude. Vibrant, energetic history of the party culture of the Roaring Twenties in New York City woven into a creepy-crawly mystery of ritualistic murder and the supernatural, experienced through the perspectives of an appealing cast of complex characters. I'm ready for more.
And January LaVoy does an amazing job with the audiobook reading.

Oct 16, 2013
  • artemishi rated this: 5 stars out of 5.

The Diviners is awesome.
How can it not be? It's written by one of my favorite (versatile, funny, etc) authors, the fabulous Libba Bray.

The book is an action/adventure, with some mystery, some very creeptastic elements, and a lot of supernatural. Plus, 1920's slang, history, culture, and attitudes, which was both enchanting and frightening.

Evie has an attitude I applaud, but like every single character in this book, she's very grey. Even the bad guy(s) aren't purely evil- every character believes THEY are doing the right thing. Just like real life.

This is the first in a series, and the sole frustration I had with it was that the ending stretched on 3 chapters too many. The result was that the threat of impending doom on the world was softened, which seemed out of step with the rest of the book.

But I really enjoy most of the characters in this one, and am eagerly awaiting the sequel. Most of this book kept me on my toes (and laughing at the wit), and I'm very appreciative of the mounds of research that was put into it.

I recommend it for fans of supernatural historic fiction YA mysteries, or any of those individual pieces. Plus, folks who like ensemble stories, like The X-Men.

Aug 06, 2013
  • JewelMcLatchy rated this: 4 stars out of 5.

Spooky, creepy and utterly fantastic opening to a new series. Promises to be interesting and entertaining, with serious mysteries to unravel, but with just the right touch of lighthearted fun and banter between characters.

Jun 22, 2013
  • Yahong_Chi rated this: 2.5 stars out of 5.

This was not my type of book. The first thing to note is the multitude of characters, and while Libba Bray carries them off successfully (in other words, it's not overwhelming), none of them truly caused me to care about or like them. Admittedly, Evie, as the protagonist, does have a more detailed character, but it feels as though we're supposed to like the other characters based on their sad sob stories of the past alone, and not based on their actual personalities. Religion is the driving force behind the antagonist, and it works: Naughty John's and his father's fanaticism is portrayed clearly with the omniscient POV scenes. However, this results in a complete loss of mystery; we're no longer held in suspense over who the murderer is. So the reader ends up simply waiting for the next few murders to be discovered and for a solution to be found. Tension still exists in some action scenes, though (particularly one where Evie, Sam Lloyd and Jericho investigate a church by pretending to be a cuckolded husband and wife and cousin). The best aspects of the book are the setting -- Bray incorporates Roaring Twenties' slang and describes the street scene with skill -- and the romance(s), which are all a little wobbly on their feet and therefore extremely authentic. But the final pages are frustrating: the conclusion seems too quick and neat, and yet a dozen more pages afterward are used to foreshadow future books' conflicts heavy-handedly. ("The storm is coming", intone two crazy cat ladies.) Finally, the reader knows that the Diviners are this group of people with special powers, but none of the characters realize this fact. Thus, what's the point of the title?

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Dec 10, 2014
  • SusanOP rated this: 5 stars out of 5.

“She was tired of being told how it was by this generation, who’d botched things so badly. They’d sold their children a pack of lies: God and country. Love your parents. All is fair. And then they’d sent those boys, her brother, off to fight a great monster of a war that maimed and killed and destroyed whatever was inside them. Still they lied, expecting her to mouth the words and play along. Well, she wouldn’t. She knew now that the world was a long way from fair. She knew the monsters were real.”
― Libba Bray, The Diviners

Dec 04, 2013
  • JCLChrisK rated this: 5 stars out of 5.

“How do you invent a religion?” Evie asked.

Will looked over the top of his spectacles. “You say, ‘God told me the following,’ and then wait for people to sign up.”

Dec 04, 2013
  • JCLChrisK rated this: 5 stars out of 5.

“There is no greater power on this earth than story.” Will paced the length of the room. “People think boundaries and borders build nations. Nonsense—words do. Beliefs, declarations, constitutions—words. Stories. Myths. Lies. Promises. History.” Will grabbed the sheaf of newspaper clippings he kept in a stack on his desk. “This, and these”—he gestured to the library’s teeming shelves—“they’re a testament to the country’s rich supernatural history.”

Dec 04, 2013
  • JCLChrisK rated this: 5 stars out of 5.

There is nothing more terrifying than the absoluteness of one who believes he's right.

Dec 04, 2013
  • JCLChrisK rated this: 5 stars out of 5.

People will believe anything if it means they can go on with their lives and not have to think too hard about it.

Dec 04, 2013
  • JCLChrisK rated this: 5 stars out of 5.

People always fear what they don't understand, Evangeline. History proves that.

Dec 04, 2013
  • JCLChrisK rated this: 5 stars out of 5.

Often, the monsters we create in our imagination are not nearly as frightening as the monstrous acts perpetrated by ordinary human beings in the aim of one cause or another.

Apr 30, 2013
  • JCLJennyM rated this: 5 stars out of 5.

“There is a hideous invention called the Dewey Decimal System. And you have to look up your topic in books and newspapers. Pages upon pages upon pages…”
Uncle Will frowned. “Didn’t they teach you how to go about research in that school of yours?”
“No. But I can recite ‘The Battle Hymn of the Republic’ while making martinis.”
“I weep for the future.”
“There’s where the martinis come in.”


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Dec 08, 2012

decarabas thinks this title is suitable for 15 years and over


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