Title : The Diviners
Author : Libba Bray
Stand Alone or Series : 1st in the Diviners Series
Three Words : occult, historical fiction, different perspectives
Summary : This book is dense with characters so it might be hard to keep track. The “main” characters could be considered Evie. So Evie O’Neill is this totally swinging flapper girl who is being completely bored in her small hometown. She drinks, smokes and in general fools around. But Evie also has a secret ability to know what a person’s deepest, darkest secret is just by holding one of their objects. When she reveals a little too much about one of the town scions, she is carted off to New York to live with her Uncle Will who is the curator of the Museum of American Folklore, Superstition, and the Occult (or as she calls it the Museum of the Creepy Crawlies).
Then there is Memphis Campbell, a numbers hustler, who used to have the ability to heal people but couldn’t save his mother. Now he just has creepy prophetic dreams…
Next, we’ve got Sam Lloyd. A con man who hits on Evie. He follows her to the Museum but he has a secret ability of his own.
Then there is Jericho who works for Uncle Will at the museum. He is a giant and somewhat dull and dry. He’s got a secret past though, as well as some strange medicinal issues.
Or there is Theta Knight, real-life Ziegfeld girl. She is running from a bad marriage (and even worse circumstances of her leaving). Although she likes the money, she doesn’t love her life. One night she meets Memphis and he changes her life forever.
These are just a few of the cast in this book. All of this is set against the backdrop of a murder mystery, murders which have occult overtones. Uncle Will, Evie and Jericho think they can solve the murders but at what cost? Will their secrets be learned?
My Take : I really enjoyed this book but I definitely had some reservations. I loved the historical aspects of this novel. I loved all the little Roaring 20’s sayings and vernacular that peppered the book. It made me want to go to a speak-easy! The book was long but things in general moved along at a quick pace. The mystery was an interesting mystery and I was invested in learning if they caught the killer and how. My problem with this book was the intense amount of characters in the book whose stories didn’t always seem to go somewhere. At times the narrative seemed to wander a bit. I think that maybe much of this book is setting up future books in the series but because of this it felt at times like it didn’t know where it was going at that moment. All in all, I enjoyed the book but I think it could’ve used some direction. I give it seven shoes : cute menswear-inspired mary janes like they would wear in the 20s.
Have you read this book? What did you think?