Tuesday, 29 May 2018

Series Review: The Diviners by Libba Bray

Series: The Diviners 

Publication of book 1, The Diviners:September 18th 2012 by Little, Brown Books for Young Readers

Goodreads Description of book 1, The Diviners:
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-tute-ly ecstatic. It’s 1926, and New York is filled with speakeasies, Ziegfeld girls, and rakish pickpockets. The only catch is that she has to live with her uncle Will and his unhealthy obsession with the occult.

Evie worries he’ll discover her darkest secret: a supernatural power that has only brought her trouble so far. But when the police find a murdered girl branded with a cryptic symbol and Will is called to the scene, Evie realizes her gift could help catch a serial killer.

As Evie jumps headlong into a dance with a murderer, other stories unfold in the city that never sleeps. A young man named Memphis is caught between two worlds. A chorus girl named Theta is running from her past. A student named Jericho hides a shocking secret. And unknown to all, something dark and evil has awakened.

My Thoughts:
The Diviners is a new all time favourite series of mine (that's right it is not a trilogy! There are more books to come out so don't do what I did and read the three thinking it is a completed story!) I marathoner the first three books back to back and had the best time. I loved every minute of it and as soon as I finished one book I jumped right into the next!

This review is broken down into three sections and I have warnings before spoilers so don't worry!

The Diviners 
The Diviners was not at all what I was expecting and I loved it! It was such a unique read that was complete different to anything else I've ever read!

The atmosphere and setting were so good. Libba Bray did an excellent job making me feel like I was in New York in the 1920s. She just captured the vibe so well. I was even reading in a Gatsby-esque accent. All the parties and glitz and glam really made the it feel real. 

The Diviners has a huge cast of characters which I loved! I haven't read a book with loads of characters in ages (last one I can think of is Lord of Shadows). I really grew to love a lot of them, especially Evie, Sam, Theta and Memphis. Because the book is so long we really get to spend a lot of time getting to know the characters and connecting with them. I also loved how all the storylines crossed paths at some stage and all the friendships that started developing between the characters.

The plot was very engaging for the most part. It is a mystery thriller but the reader knows who did it so it took a little bit away from the story because I was getting annoyed they were taking so long to figure it out! It wasn't too bad though I was still very invested in the story and couldn't stop reading. 

Speaking of the mystery thriller aspect Libba Bray nailed it at creating such a creepy haunting eerie atmosphere in some scenes. I was genuinely freaked out at points.

I was surprised at how emotionally invested I was, I was getting freaked out and stressed for the characters it was so intense at parts and I loved it! 

I was hesitant to pick up The Diviners because I wasn't the biggest fan of Libba Bray's other series, Gemma Doyle, and I didn't want to commit to a series with such long books but I was so glad I did! It was such a unique read and as soon as I finished book 1 I started book 2, Lair of Dreams!

*Spoilers for book 1, The Diviners ahead!*
Lair of Dreams
I absolutely adored reading Lair of Dreams! There was so much going on and I loved it!

We get to see a good bit of Sam in Lair of Dreams and I loved it! Sam quickly became one of my all time favourite characters, he is just so funny and enjoyable to read about! I wheels anticipated getting a chapter from his POV. 

Speaking of POV, both Jericho and Mabel had POVs in this book too. They were pretty prevalent at the start but then they disappeared for what felt like ages and when they popped up I was surprised- I'd forgotten about them. I wasn't the biggest fan of their stories but I was still engaged while reading from them.

We get introduced to a new character- Ling. Ling is very different from the other character and I loved it! She is half Chinese and has a physical disability. It was great getting that kind of rep in a historical fiction book! Usually it's all the contemporary books that have diverse cast of character but The Diviners has so many different types of people and it's great!

The plot was excellent I never felt like it dragged even though it was a long book. There were a good few storylines going on at once and while I definitely had my favourites (Sam and Evie and Memphis and Theta) I enjoyed all of them. I will say this book is not as big on the thriller mystery stuff as book 1 though. We do get more into the government side of things and I had lots of questions and was constantly theorising what things meant as I was reading.

The ships were sailing in this one and it was so much fun to read about! I had so much fun reading about one in particular, won't say who because spoilers!

I had just as an amazing and surprise reading experience reading Lair of Dreams as I did The Diviners! It was a fantastic sequel and just like with book 1 I had to jump into the next one immediately!

*Spoilers for book 2, Lair of Dreams ahead!*
Before the Devil Breaks You

Before the Devil Breaks You is probably my least favourite of the three books out but it was still great! 

I was frustrated at Evie a good bit in this one which hindered my enjoyment. She was just making stupid decisions I didn't agree with which was annoying. I still love her but she got on my nerves at times.

There was a lot of Jericho in this book which I wasn't that happy about. I wasn't a fan of him going in but then he kind of grew on me and then he did something and I didn't like him again. I was all over the place with him.

There was a good bit of Mabel too which also effected my reading experience. I was never a fan of her, she just wasn't as interesting as the others but in this book she was just stupid I couldn't stand her! She was constantly doing stupid things that had me rolling my eyes and I felt no sympathy or empathy towards her. 

We do get some lovely character development for Theta though which I lived for. She is such a strong young woman and I could read about her all day every day!

I also really liked Ling in this book. I felt like she had a bigger role than she did in Lair of Dreams and it was interesting getting to know her better it is also confirmed that she is ace so yay!

We do get a good few answers about things from previous books about Diviners but I still had questions when I finished reading.

There was a good bit of relationship drama in this one- won't say who but some couples need to learn to communicate!

There was definitely some very emotional parts in Before the Devil Breaks You compared to book 1 and 2. I was surprised at how emotional my response was to some stuff going down.

The ending of this one is absolutely mad so I'd recommend waiting until book 4 is out or closer to its release date before picking up Before the Devil Breaks You because the ending will leave you wanting more!

Beyond excited for the next book! I need it asap! Really hoping we don't have to wait years for it! I had so much fun reading these first three books and can't wait to jump back into this world soon!

Thanks for reading,

A :)

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