Monday, 24 August 2015

The Diviners by Libba Bray Review

The Diviners by Libba Bray

How do you invent a religion? You say, ‘God told me the following,’ and then wait for people to sign up”

After Evie reveals a secret at a party and scandalises the town people her parents send her to live with her Uncle Will. Desperate to escape and for a new change Evie grasps the opportunity to stay in New York City. The story focuses on many main and minor characters; the ensemble characters all have linking stories which involve their own powers and the link to solving the mystery.

The book is close to 600 pages so it’s not a surprise that the book is action packed. The good thing about the book is that at times it’s told from different perspectives which I liked because it brought in more information about Diviners and the villain. The mystery was built up well with the right amount of information given – there wasn’t an overload or too little and the creepy atmosphere that was created was spot on. The multi-perspectives showed different events happening around NYC, background/contextual information about characters and events, the murders and individual powers.

Evie’s a lot of things – she’s ambitious, selfish, brave and makes risky choices. She’s the typical MC who’s pretty, funny and conceited but her past and her actions don’t make her dull and do set her apart from the stereotype.  

Mabel is Evie’s old friend and she’s shy and helpful but she wasn’t seen much. She sort of helped and got told what was happening but didn’t really get involved – she didn’t help at the end. Her background story is told and it’s quite sad with her parents neglecting her and then also having a friend like Evie who isn’t interested in what she’s in. At the end of the book a mystery man is seen who earlier on saved her from the police and I guess with that plotline we’ll probably see more of her in next book which is good because she’s a really grounded character which is a drastic change from the other characters.

Theta is a show girl and from what we’ve seen her past is really sad and heartbreaking. She comes off quite relaxed and cool but inside there’s a lot of pent up emotions. We catch a glimpse of powers and it’s interesting to see a physical power which is dangerous as oppose to the other which is more mind and mental. Also her friendship with Henry and their past is just so cute.

Memphis is an interesting character because there’s a lot of mystery surrounding him. His background story is revealed which links to healing and a crow which follows him around but aside from that we don’t know much about him aside from that he protects his brother and his mother kept a secret from him. 

Romance – Jericho was off limits to Evie because Mabel had a crush on him and she emphasised this point a lot and then all of sudden feelings developed between them two and that point went out of the window!  Jericho is seen as the brooding but sweet character who has a very mysterious past which is revealed in the book. I would have preferred if it wasn’t revealed as the mysterious air is gone and it’s as if Evie’s pity for him will lead to other things.  Though I did like the ending as it was quite open and nothing was truly confirmed.

Uncle Will has his fair amount of secrets and it’s hidden by Evie’s view of him as a nerdy lonely professor so when his link to Project Buffalo the others involved in it is revealed it’s interesting.

I love the atmosphere and the writing style in this book especially in the murder and Naughty John chapters as it added to tension and creepiness of the book. I also liked how the subplots in the book added more to the story because we got to know characters and their stories and it wasn’t all mystery solving. I liked how the aspect of religion and belief was included as it was an important theme in the book and how strong faith and idolising led to the evil rising and staying that way.


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