Updated: Jul 12, 2021
Rating - ⭐⭐⭐1/2
"SOMETHING DARK AND EVIL HAS AWAKENED… Evie O’Neill has been exiled from her boring old hometown and shipped off to the bustling streets of New York City—and she is pos-i-tute-ly ecstatic. It’s 1926, and New York is filled with speakeasies, Ziegfeld girls, and rakish pickpockets. The only catch is that she has to live with her uncle Will and his unhealthy obsession with the occult. Evie worries her uncle will discover her darkest secret: a supernatural power that has only brought her trouble so far.
But when the police find a murdered girl branded with a cryptic symbol and Will is called to the scene, Evie realizes her gift could help catch a serial killer. As Evie jumps headlong into a dance with a murderer, other stories unfold in the city that never sleeps. A young man named Memphis is caught between two worlds. A chorus girl named Theta is running from her past. A student named Jericho is hiding a shocking secret. And unknown to all, something dark and evil has awakened."
The Diviners by Libba Bray is a YA fantasy novel from the series of the same name.
My feelings for this book are very complicated. I went into this with extremely high expectation because this seemed right up my alley. But one word can be used to describe what I hated about this book - Evie.
I wanted to love this, I really did, but sometimes things just don't turn out the way you want them. As I said, the premise seemed like it would really work for me, and to an extent it did, but this was bogged down by a truly insufferable MC and a plot that lost its direction. Prepare yourself for the upcoming rant.
I cannot stress enough how much Evie bothered me; like I absolutely despised her character. This was made worse because I listened to this on audio and the narrator did her character so well that I felt like throwing my phone across the room, multiple times. In the harshest way, I thought she was a manipulative, self-centered child. The entire plot kicked off because she was desperate for attention, which was an occurring theme in the book.
She is so desperate for attention that when she gets even the slightest hint that she could gain something out of a situation, she jumps on it. I just can't find myself liking a character who tries to benefit from an actual murder. And when things don't go her way, she either throws a hissy fit or tries to manipulate the situation. Heaven forbid though that someone makes a blow to her ego because she will not hesitate to throw more hissy fits. I cannot blame her uncle for not taking any of it by the end of the book.
Now, let's talk about Evie and Mabel who are made out to be the best of friends, but Mabel 100% deserved better. Evie was a horrible friend to her. Evie constantly criticized Mabel's style and tried to make her change it in order to impress Jericho (changing yourself to impress someone is never the right way to go). Mabel said that she wanted to win him over by being herself, bless her. She's also tried to force Jericho in Mabel's direction. Like I get that you might want your friend to be happy, but don't force Jericho if he doesn't want to. These weren't isolated situations as there were other instances in the book that proved she was a horrible friend.
Now that my hate rant about Evie is over, let's talk about the plot. The core plot itself I was fine with because I'm always down for the supernatural and when you add in a museum it makes things even better. My problem with the plot was that it got away from itself and often-times was slow-moving. In my eyes, there were two elements to the plot: the murder mystery and the mystery of the diviners. The murder mystery was fine because it was consistent but the aspect of the diviners just died off. It was barely mentioned at all which was rather baffling for a book called The Diviners. I was also caught off guard with the added sci-fi elements but won't get into that because, you know, spoilers.
I was just so excited to read this and to have the experience more or less ruined because of the MC kind of sucks. This also pretty much killed off all my motivation to continue the series because I really can't read any more about Evie. Give me more Theta and Henry and I would be content, but no more Evie.
Would I recommend this still though? Yes, because I can see why a lot of people loved this, and you may too.