Book Review: The DivinersPosted: April 25, 2013
I’ve read the first two books in Libba Bray’s Gemma Doyle trilogy, and although I’m not interested enough to read the final book, I like her writing enough to want to check out her latest book “The Diviners”. For those of you who’ve read the Gemma Doyle books, the fantasy element here definitely has some similarities, but “The Diviners” wins in terms of setting: 1920’s New York City (which I tried to recreate in my outfit.) The heroine, 17-year-old flapper Evie, has a supernatural talent of reading secrets from everyday objects, so when the city is plagued with a series of occult murders, she uses this gift to help her uncle solve the case.
The setting is definitely one of the best parts of the story. It puts you right in the middle of NY in the 1920’s, with all the speakeasies and jazz clubs and flappers. The slang I find quite irritating (if I have to read the word “po-si-tutely” – as in positively and absolutely – one more time, I’d bellow like a bull) but it does add authenticity to the setting. The main plot is great as well; I always enjoy a good serial killer story, and this one definitely puts the shivers in my spine… well, the fact that I always read it late at night probably didn’t help. Evie is kind of obnoxious, but as a protagonist she’s fantastic, with interesting flaws to keep her from being a cardboard cutout.
The thing is, the author obviously plans a series around this book, so it’s filled with subplots and characters to set up a more complex mythology, but they’re only tangentially connected to the main plot at best. The main plot is a great standalone story all on its own, adding all the stuff on top of it doesn’t make it feel like a part of a bigger mystery like in, say, the first Harry Potter or the first Percy Jackson book. So it takes a while for the main plot to gain traction, and once it’s resolved we are left with a “Really, that’s it?” ending. Still, I enjoyed it enough to look forward to the sequel (sequels?)
Dress & Heels: thrifted, Cardigan: Wet Seal (refashioned by me), Necklace: self-made, Hat: borrowed from my mom