The Diviners is simultaneously creepy and glamorous, a strange combination that wouldn't work for any other writer except for Libba Bray. The jazz and excitement and fun of the Roaring Twenties shine through radiantly and Bray really brings New York City to life, but there is an ominous undertone of evil and darkness throughout the entire novel. Bray's narrative, though focused on Evie and her uncle, is constantly rotating from character to character. Evie is a smart and fun-loving protagonist with guts, and her interactions with stoic and mysterious Jericho and shadowy and sly Sam are a lot of fun. Similarly, her friends Theta and Henry all have some interesting secrets that eventually come to light, and Memphis, who is protective of his family, finds himself in over his head when it comes to the supernatural forces at work around him. There are a handful of many smaller characters who all play into the unfolding drama in surprising ways, and Bray does a very good job at keeping track of the many characters and subplots, The book is busy enough that the six hundred pages fly by, but at times it doesn't seem like the multiple perspectives come together as fluidly as they could. However, The Diviners is completely absorbing and an impressive and spine-tingling read. The ending is also very good—mostly neat and tidy, with a few loose ends that will nag at readers' minds and leave them wondering where Bray will take Evie and the cast of characters in book two.
Cover Comments: I like the simplicity of the cover, with the dark city skyline in the background, and the keyhole shape with the eye in the center. It speaks to the ritualistic undertones of the book and is eye-catching without resorting to a bunch of pretty dresses or party scenes, which I think would potentially turn readers off of the book.
ARC picked up at the Little, Brown speakeasy.