Monday 3 August 2015

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.

1920's New York, home of speakeasies, flappers and all-night dancing. And also the home of secrets, ghosts and dangerous zealots. We follow Evie as she is sent to New York to try and learn some responsibility. Instead (obviously) she has more fun than she could ever have in a tiny town in the middle of nowhere. But then an angry spirit is awakened and Evie gets swept up in the hunt for the murderer and to get her uncles quiet museum some press.

There was so much going on! The murders, both past and present, the magical abilities, religion, as well as multiple characters with their own histories and secrets. Full of possibility, New York City was a great setting and the 20's, with its illegal drinking, dance clubs open all night and dark alleys where men lurk, was a great time for the past and present to blend together and the veils between worlds to clash.

Evie was a great character. She was spunky and sassy, determined to live life at its fullest and a little thing like murder wasn't going to stop her. And the people she meet in the city, from dance star Theta to dark poet Memphis, made everything come alive, including the secrets they all held dear. Turns out it is a secret they all share and something is coming. It was all very dramatic and secretive and very dark, but so fascinating to learn about something that no one could really explain. As I said, setting it in the 20's was great, it not only made the normal feel different - as it is compared to now - the occult and the spiritualism made everything feel fantastical and strange and sometimes deadly. 

Luckily, book two is due out at the end of the month, so I don't have to wait long to find out what happens next. Which is great, because Bray set up some amazing cliffhangers and some teasing questions that I desperately need answers for!

Published 2013 by Atom.

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