The Diviners by Libba Bray

The Diviners, Libba Bray

Holy crap ya’ll – this book was so much more awesome than I was expecting. I finished it 2 days – it was really hard to put down. I literally have NO complaints about it.

Evie is a 17-year old flapper girl who is being sent to live with her Uncle Will in Manhattan, where she plans to live it up- dancing the night away in speakeasies, shopping, and seeing pictures with her friend Mabel. But when her uncle (the curator at the so-called Museum of the Creepy Crawlies) becomes a consultant to help solve a rash of new mysterious and gruesome murders, Evie is right there ready to help however she can. Evie has a mysterious gift no one knows about, and it may just be the key to catching the madman behind the murders.

SO MUCH TO LOVE ABOUT THIS BOOK. First off, if you’re looking for something to read in the next week to put you in the Halloween spirit, look no further. The spooky factor was definitely there – a terrifying serial killer, horrible ritual murders happening in the dark streets of Manhattan in the 1920’s, special powers, awesome scenery – anything you could want.

Evie is a fun character – at first I thought she was a bit of a brat, but she definitely matures throughout the book. I loved her flapper ways, even the pos-i-tute-ly silly flapper lingo. Her gift is pretty cool, and I like that she doesn’t shy away from it. She has a much more reserved friend, Mabel, who already lives in NYC. She also makes some new friends instantly – a pickpocket, her uncle’s quiet assistant, and a Ziegfield girl. We’re also introduced to a couple more really interesting characters, including the handsome young poet named Memphis. Overall, it was a FANTASTIC group of characters who I ended up loving and can’t wait to see again. Everyone was brimming with personality, even the secondary characters who only turned up once or twice.

I wasn’t sure I’d like the 1920’s setting, but it was a lot of fun and felt very real. You could practically feel the hustle and bustle of the city, the daring nature of the flapper girls, the racial tension, the excitement for industry… I did have to look up some of the slang used, and it was a little distracting at first, but I got used to it. And there was just so much happening – dances, parties, chases, visions, tricks, flirtations, interrogations… never a dull moment, really.

The mystery of the murders was really engrossing, and for real, it creeped me out a bit. Like when it was dark out I got just a little bit paranoid that the serial killer was out there somewhere coming to get me, before I reminded myself that duh – it’s fiction. And even though I’m not sure what the plot of the next book will be (this is supposed to be a 4-book series, I believe), there is plenty that has me already eagerly awaiting it. I can’t wait to see where the characters’ storylines go, and what the whole mystery is behind the “gifts” that some of these characters possess, and… yeah. It’s hard to talk about without me giving away any spoilers, so just trust me on this.

The Diviners is only the second Libba Bray book I’ve read – I knew I really liked her just from reading Beauty Queens, but I hadn’t tried anything else by her yet, so I was slightly hesitant going into this. But it totally wow-ed me, and while I’m waiting for the next book in this series, I think I may have to try out her Gemma Doyle series.

If you’re thinking of waiting for the paperback to come out, I don’t recommend it. The hardcover (underneath the dust jacket) is decorative and pretty, AND there’s a bonus little “newspaper” included in the back. It’s definitely worth the money, and once you read this, you’ll want to buy the next book as soon as it comes out. If you’re picky like me, you like all of your books in a series to be in the same format, so you should just plan on getting them all in hardcover now*…


Seriously, you guys need to read this so I have someone I can talk to about it!

Sarah Says: 5 stars


* I just realized this makes me sound a little pushy and I promise, I read this book because I wanted to and am recommending it so highly because I loved it. I bought my own copy, and I don’t receive any sort of compensation for this review.



  1. OH EM SQUEE. So epic, right? A really phenomenal book, all around. Libba is a master at characterization and world-building. This setting rocked my face off AND I loved how creeptastic it was! WIN!


  2. YAY! I’m so glad you liked it! Now I’m even more excited about reading it! 😀 I love when even the secondary characters are well fleshed out 🙂
    And YES! You HAVE to read the Gemma Doyle series, I absolutely loved them! I’ll try and read this soon so we can discuss 🙂


  3. This sounds really great and I love the 20’s (the jazz, the speakeasies, flappers etc.). I hadn’t really looked into this one, but the cover is absolutely gorgeous. I may have to give this one a short once it’s free at the library.


  4. I can’t wait to read this book!! I bought the hardcover because it was just so beautiful! You’re right — people should get the hardcover, rather than the paperback. It’s so worth the money!

    And I love a good creepy book! I might have to bump this up in my list!


  5. YES.

    I had never read a Libba Bray book, but I know everyone worships her. As soon as I heard about this book I knew I wanted to read it. The Jazz Age, the magic, the mystery, it practically screamed my name.

    Needless to say, I devoured this book in no time (& would have loved for it to be another 500 pages). I normally don’t scare easily from books, but this one definitely made me keep the light on and more than once I had that feeling there was someone else in the room with me.


    1. Right?!?! Like if I looked out the window, I just knew I’d see a creepy guy in a bowler hat walking down the street and whistling. It was so creepy, but I loved it. Can’t wait for the next book!


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