The Diviners by Libba Bray


The Diviners
Libba Bray
Read by January LaVoy
Little, Brown Books for Young Readers, 2012
ISBN: 9780316126113
FORMAT: Audio, Horror, Thriller, Mystery, Fantasy, Historical (and probably a few more)
AGES: Young Adult
4 Stars

I read this book as part of the 2013 YALSA The Hub Reading Challenge. So far for the challenge I have read:

24. The Pregnancy Project by Gaby Rodriguez
23. The White Bicycle by Beverley Brenna
22. Dodger by Terry Pratchett
21. Drama by Raina Telgemeier
20. Stargazing Dog by Takashi Murakami
19. Enchanted by Alethea Kontis
18. Code Name Verity by Elizabeth Wein
17. My Friend Dahmer by Derf Backderf
16. Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe by Benjamin Alire Saenz
15. In Darkness by Nick Lake
14. Crusher by Niall Leonard
13. Friends with Boys by Faith Erin Hicks
12. The Silence of Our Friends by Mark Long, Jim Demonakos, and Nate Powell
11. Monstrous Beauty by Elizabeth Fama
10. Annie Sullivan and the Trials of Helen Keller by Joseph Lambert
9. Trinity: A Graphic History of the First Atomic Bomb by Jonathan Fetter-Vorm
8. Seraphina by Rachel Hartman
7. Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Cabin Fever by Jeff Kinney
6. Prom and Prejudice by Elizabeth Eulberg
5. We’ve Got a Job: The 1963 Birmingham Children’s March by Cynthia Levinson
4. Titanic: Voices from the Disaster by Deborah Hopkinson
3. Steve Jobs: The Man Who Thought Different by Karen Blumenthal
2. Bomb: The Race to Build–and Steal–the World’s Most Dangerous Weapon by Steve Sheinkin
1. Moonbird: A Year on the Wind with the Great Survivor B95 by Phillip Hoose

Well…this was quite the lengthy book. And it was very good. But I listened to it in my car. And it took a while for me to read it mostly because the ghost story was a little too scary for me to listen to all the time. But it was so good that I couldn’t help but keep coming back to it. I just couldn’t listen to it if I knew that I was headed home where I would go straight to bed or if I was going somewhere I needed my mind to really focus on other things and not this scary-action-thriller-ghost-story. But like I said this was good.

So basically it is about a few different characters. But one of the main characters is Evie O’Neill. Because of a special power she has (she can hold an object and discover the secrets of the object’s owner) she has be sent from her home in Ohio to live with her uncle in New York City. The crazy bit is that this really isn’t a punishment for her. She longs to be there–she is a modern girl after all. That is modern for the 1920s. Although she does tend to enjoy the illegal activity of drinking in a speak-easy or two. So, with Evie and some other random diviners (those who have a special gift like Evie’s) around New York is sure to be interesting. The only thing is that most people don’t know about diviners. And those who do are very secretive and usually seem like they are either out to get the diviners or want something (sometimes at a very high cost) from the diviners. Evie and her chums won’t know what is coming.

One of the things that is coming is Naughty John. He is a ghost that has come to finish something he started over 50 years before. There are 11 steps and each one requires a murder (or more). Because of the strange symbols on the victims, Evie’s Uncle Will is called on to help the police with the investigation. And the only thing they know for certain is that the serial killer will most continue killing until a certain comet passes overhead. And if Naughty John succeeds in his dark quest he just might unleash a power so dark that the world would wish they were dead.

This was a great story. Which was good since there was a lot of it (15 discs is quite a bit and the book itself is quite the brick). And January LaVoy did a great job narrating it. In fact there were multiple times that I was surprised when I remembered that it was all one person doing all the different voices and songs and whatnot. I liked all the 1920s references that were sprinkled throughout the story. Some of the terms “I’m Jake” were just fun to hear. Sometimes one simple flapper reference or historical idiosyncrasy was all that made me laugh amidst my pulse racing at the story…which meant I survived to tell about how I did not get killed by Naughty John. I will say though, like the rest of the book, the ending was a bit long. I know it was setting up for more in the diviners series (that I’m sure are coming), but once I knew certain characters would be safe from the horrid ghost…I just wanted to finish the book and wanted to race to the ending. But because I was listening to it…that was not an option. Good story. It will be interesting to see where Libba Bray might take Evie and the others next.

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