Thursday, September 27, 2012
The Diviners (The Diviners, #1) by Libba Bray
The Diviners by Libba Bray
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-toot-ly thrilled. New York is the city of speakeasies, shopping, and movie palaces! Soon enough, Evie is running with glamorous Ziegfield girls and rakish pickpockets. The only catch is Evie has to live with her Uncle Will, curator of The Museum of American Folklore, Superstition, and the Occult--also known as "The Museum of the Creepy Crawlies."
When a rash of occult-based murders comes to light, Evie and her uncle are right in the thick of the investigation. And through it all, Evie has a secret: a mysterious power that could help catch the killer--if he doesn't catch her first.
My rating: 3.5 of 5 stars
It’s an atmospheric read with loads going on all at once. Part mystery, part horror story, part magic and more; there is a lot of them getting into trouble. Still, I confess it did get overlong, but everyone’s got a place and they all connect somehow. (It’s simply the matter of making those connections clear).
Goings on: The mostly selfish- sometimes kind Evie’s been kicked out of Ohio and into New York. Given the destination, she’s not exactly unhappy; she’s all this plans and all these goals, but gets caught up in among others a budding love-hate maybe romance, bonding with long time pen pal Mabel Rose, getting life into her Uncle’s museum… and yes, solving a murder mystery (or two). She meets funny guys and not so funny guys and gets into heaps of trouble with her Uncle, the authority, reporters, crazy fanatics and ghost to boot. Like I said, lots of goings on.
Characters: After this, there can in fact be too much of a good thing. Even if I did enjoy how not any of them were too good or too bad; rather just the right mix of both. Evie is likely the epitome of a girl that time: easy going, do as you please, and even sometimes selfish, but she's also this unexpected kindness in her; or Sam whose bad boy/funny guy, on the wrong side of the law most the time, but is where he is for a reason. Or even Jericho Nietzsche-quoting mysterious boy-man, too serious most of the time we know next too nothing of him (till’ we know too much because it’s his part that threw me off. I was enjoying piecing together the psychic-horror show that was going on, but what he eventually added part threw me for a loop). And then there’s Mabel Rose, her name alone reads ‘perfect daughter/ goody-goody’, except she’s not completely that given her friendship with Evie. Mabel’s simply not as out there as the other.
But let me not leave out Theta and Henry and Memphis and Isaiah, too. Each of them add some more things to get consider; more mysterious circumstances, with each their sad dramatic baggage; they are the run away, a seeker and a no-longer healer, respectively.
I had had hoped that all their parts, all those elements be neatly tied together by the end. And on one hand some parts were settled, but now only I've so many questions raised. Who’s Henry? And what’s so special about him? And what about Bill? Or Mrs. Walker for that matter? And Project Buffalo? And how come the one’s I’d pegged ‘good’ might not be so after all? I end DIVINERS with more questions than I started out with. Normally, I’d be pissy because of it, but for what it’s worth lots (and I do mean lots) happened so that it’s built an interesting foundation from which to continue. In other words, I’m looking forward to the next one.
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