So I finished book #77 and it was, strategically, a dumb one for me to read right now. It’s annoying that I’m thinking of my reading for pleasure in terms of strategy lately, but this is maybe the longest I’ve ever stuck with a goal so I plan to see it through.
Anyway, I read the 600-page first-in-a-series that is followed by another 600+ page sequel called The Diviners by one of my all-time favorites (as you probably know and are tired of hearing about), Libba Bray. This was a very long and tangential way to introduce this book I just finished, which I loved and would recommend.
Bray is queen of writing historical, based-on-actual-legends, magic-centric young adult novels, in my opinion. The Diviners is told from several different perspectives, but focuses on Evie O’Neill, a spunky, flippant, and witty girl who harbors deep pain at the untimely loss of her brother.
Evie is from Ohio, but is shipped off to New York City so the dust can settle around a scandal that she stirred up drunkenly at a party in her home town. Evie goes to live with her uncle who is the curator of a museum focused on all things supernatural and spectral.
Evie learns from her uncle, who seems to be hiding a lot of his own past from everyone (including the reader which was frustrating but suspenseful), that she is part of a group called the Diviners who are capable of various superhuman powers. Evie’s power is that she can read objects and discern the owners past experiences from them.
A gruesome and related string of murders start taking place throughout New York City. The victims are always left branded with symbols and biblical passages that end up getting Evie’s Uncle Will involved in solving the murders. Will’s participation eventually extends to Evie when he realizes that he’s helpless to stop her and that her power can end up helping with the case.
So it’s suspenseful and mysterious, but after finishing, I have more questions than answers. This book was completely built for a sequel (which I also purchased and had signed by Bray at the Brooklyn Book Festival (I spent way too much money at that event)), and I’m really excited to read it as well. It’s a blessing and a curse that it’s as long as it is, I suppose.
I’ll probably take a break from the series and try to fit in a few shorter books before coming back to Lair of Dreams, the sequel. I have it on good authority (aka Libba Bray told me… that feels so cool to say) that Gemma Doyle of the Great and Terrible Beauty series makes an appearance in the sequel, so that’s something else to look forward to.
Twenty three more to go! ◊
‘There is no greater power on this earth than story.’ Will paced the length of the room. ‘People think boundaries and borders build nations. Nonsense—words do. Beliefs, declarations, constitutions—words. Stories. Myths. Lies. Promises. History.'”
– page 407