The Diviners (The Diviners #1)

Featured
 
4.7 (2)
 
4.4 (10)
3196 3

User reviews

1 reviews with 3 stars

10 reviews

 
(5)
 
(4)
 
(1)
2 stars
 
(0)
1 star
 
(0)
Overall rating 
 
4.4
Plot 
 
4.5  (10)
Characters 
 
4.2  (10)
Writing Style 
 
4.5  (10)
Already have an account? or Create an account
Back to Listing
1 results - showing 1 - 1
Ordering
Memorable and unique paranormal mystery
(Updated: June 11, 2013)
Overall rating 
 
3.3
Plot 
 
3.0
Characters 
 
3.0
Writing Style 
 
4.0
This book is, well…it’s different. Different in many, many good ways, but different in some bad ways as well. Libba Bray, as I well know from my experience with A Great and Terrible Beauty and its sequels, is a wonderful writer who can truly create a haunting, gothic atmosphere in her stories; The Diviners did not disappoint me in regards to quality of prose and creepy factor. Characters, additionally, were well-drawn. Most of my complaints arise from the way Bray chose to wrap up her story, and, unfortunately, that conclusion will leave an aftertaste that lingers long beyond the wonderful aspects that made up the majority of the book. It’s a shame how that tends to happen, really.

At its core, The Diviners is a paranormal mystery novel. There’s a ghost murdering people as part of a ritual meant to create the Antichrist. The large cast of characters is, in various ways, attempting to stop this ghostly murderer before the world goes to hell—literally. I like this story; I like it a lot. Bray’s attention to detail was flawless, the bastardized Biblical elements were creepy and worked wonderfully in the text, and the path to unraveling the secrets surrounding the ghost was incorporated very well.

Alongside the mystery, the novel’s historical setting was done well. The glamour and frenzy of New York in 1926 was presented with depth, and genuine attention to detail. I’ve long admired Libba Bray’s ability to write historical fiction with a paranormal twist, and I think she handled it just as well in The Diviners as she did in her Gemma Doyle trilogy.

Obviously, this book is a long one, and perhaps unjustifiably so. When I complain that a book is too long, it’s usually because I feel like the author is dragging things out, adding unnecessary side-trips, or just meandering in general. I don’t think that’s the case with this book. Rather, the main reason The Diviners is so long is because there are so many main characters Bray was juggling. There were at least 10 “main” characters, and then probably 10 more secondary characters we got to experience once or twice as the narrative unfolded. Technically speaking, this book is narrated in third person omniscient, but in my opinion it wasn’t done well, and was sloppy in places (omniscient perspective, I’ve found, is rarely done well). Anyway. In my opinion, while the different characters were interesting and for the most part well-rounded, the story itself would have benefitted better if Bray had stuck to one or two POV characters, thus tightening up the mystery, adding to the suspense, and lessening the list of people the reader needs to keep track of. All in my unprofessional opinion.

What really upset me about this, however, was the plot’s conclusion and the lead-in to the sequel. Basically, the ghost gets caught and eliminated. Problem solved. With about thirty pages left, I couldn’t see how there was going to be a second installment—there was no lingering conflict or investment in the story, as the characters were all in a good place. So then Bray throws in this mysterious “thing” that’s supposed to intrigue the reader into buying book 2. It was rushed, it was hurried, and it felt completely out of place. Unless this series is going to become an episodic paranormal mystery type-deal (like Nancy Drew with spirits), I don’t think this was a good move. At all. Structurally speaking, it was just a mess. Either the mystery in The Diviners could have been refitted to arch across several novels, or there should have been no sequel (the book is long enough, and with a few tweaks it could work quite well as a standalone). I was not at all a fan of Bray’s rushed hook into the next book. It felt very weak and was poorly developed.

Oh, and cyborgs. What was that all about, huh? Please explain how cyborgs fit in with the rest of it? Very displeased with that little sideplot.

So. The unfortunate fact of it all is that when an ending disappoints you, it tends to sour the entire reading experience, even if the majority of the book was excellent. That’s pretty much the case here. I liked The Diviners a lot, and was really impressed with the story, the characters, and Bray’s atmospheric prose. The questionable plot construction made me really unhappy, however. In the end, I definitely recommend this book, and I’ll probably stick around for book 2 (even though I have no idea what kind of storyline it can have aside from “ooh, we’re a bunch of teenagers with psychic abilities and also: cyborgs!”).
Report this review Comments (0) | Was this review helpful to you? 0 0
1 results - showing 1 - 1
Powered by JReviews

FEATURED GIVEAWAYS

Latest Book Listings Added

Salty, Bitter, Sweet
 
0.0
 
0.0 (0)
A slow-burn romance in a cutthroat kitchen! There’s more to...
The Midnight Lie (The Midnight Lie, #1)
 
0.0
 
0.0 (0)
Set in the world of the New York Times–bestselling Winner’s...
The Winter Duke
 
0.0
 
0.0 (0)
She survived the curse. Now she must survive the throne....
Most Likely (Most Likely, #1)
 
5.0
 
0.0 (0)
From the creator of the hit TV series The Bold...
Look Both Ways
 
5.0
 
0.0 (0)
This story was going to begin like all the best...
Ashes (The Wings Trilogy: Adam, #3)
 
0.0
 
5.0 (1)
"The truth was, I wasn’t on anyone’s side except Claire’s....
Fire (The Wings Trilogy: Adam, #2)
 
0.0
 
0.0 (0)
After being killed by demons, former angel Adam wakes up...
Spark (The Wings Trilogy: Adam, #1)
 
0.0
 
5.0 (1)
"It came out of nowhere. A sweep of emotions. Love,...
The Twin
 
3.7
 
0.0 (0)
After their parents divorced, 10-year-old twins Ivy and Iris were...
Devil Darling Spy
 
4.7
 
0.0 (0)
It's 1940, and Sarah Goldstein is hiding in plain sight...
The Life Below
 
4.0
 
4.0 (1)
It was hard enough for Naomi to leave Leo, a...
Mr Penguin and the Fortress of Secrets (Mr Penguin #2)
 
4.5
 
0.0 (0)
Meet Mr. Penguin―Adventurer (And Penguin!) When Mr. Penguin...
Famous by Default
 
4.0
 
0.0 (0)
Jax Buried, By my family's fame. Dying to escape...
Sword and Pen (Great Library Book, #5)
 
5.0
 
0.0 (0)
With the future of the Great Library in doubt,...
Butterfly Yellow
 
3.3
 
0.0 (0)
Perfect for fans of Elizabeth Acevedo, Ibi Zoboi, and...
Jonny Lambert's Construction Site
 
5.0
 
0.0 (0)
A beautifully illustrated book for babies featuring lots of noisy...

Latest Member Reviews

Look Both Ways
 
5.0
"I often hear it said that writers are bred, and sure you can breed some decent writers with whatever amount..."
Mr Penguin and the Fortress of Secrets (Mr Penguin #2)
 
4.5
"Mr. Penguins and his friends Colin the spider and Edith are trying to keep a rock safe from dastardly types..."
Pop-Up Peekaboo! Baby Animals
 
5.0
"POP-UP PEEKABOO! BABY ANIMALS is a charming lift-the-flap and pop-up picture book. Each spread features a parent animal who is..."
On These Magic Shores
 
5.0
"Twelve-year-old Minerva "Minnie" Soledad Miranda has big goals. She wants to be the first Latina president of the United States..."
Ghost Boys
 
5.0
"I always struggle to review these types of novels--these black lives matter, civil rights-esque novels. I often go into them..."
Soldier Dogs #5: Battle of the Bulge
 
4.5
"Juliette's father is a baker in Belgium in 1944, and has been threatened by the occupying Nazis into giving them..."
Dog Days in the City
 
4.0
"In The Unlikely Story of a Pig in the City, Josie and her large family adopted Hamlet, a pig. When..."
Daniel Coldstar #2: The Betrayer
 
4.0
"Copy provided by Young Adult Books Central After the evens in The Relic War, Daniel, Jasper the..."
The Dragon Egg Princess
 
5.0
"Change is coming to Kidahara, a magical forest in the Joson, a kingdom in a diverse realm where there is..."
Efrén Divided
 
5.0
"Efrén and his family work very hard, but still struggle to make ends meet. His father works several jobs, and..."
Worse Than Weird
 
4.0
"Mac lives with her parents, Hank and Coral, in a small house in Portland. Small, as in she sleeps in..."
Daring Darleen, Queen of the Screen
 
4.0
"Darleen comes from a long line of entertainers; her father and his siblings are all part of Matchless Studios, a..."
In the Red
 
4.0
"Michael Prasad and his family live on a colony on Mars, under a dome that controls the environment. His father,..."
Pippin No Lickin'
 
5.0
"As a family with 2 busy boys, 14 and 12, we appreciate Layne’s contribution to helping children understand the importance..."
Pete the Cat and the Perfect Pizza Party
 
5.0
"'Pete the Cat and the Perfect Pizza Party' by Kimberly & James Dean is a cute story about friendship and..."
The Secret Key (Agatha Oddly)
 
4.0
"Agatha loves the work of Detective Hercule Poirot. He's actually her imaginary friend and she uses his work to influence..."
Starfell: Willow Moss & the Lost Day (Starfell, #1)
 
4.0
"STARFELL is a charming and magic-filled middle grade fantasy that sweeps young readers away into another world. Willow Moss seemed..."
Journey of the Pale Bear
 
5.0
"What an adventure I just had! From the moment, I opened the book, I was transported to the 13th century..."
Hey Grandude!
 
4.5
"'Hey Grandude!' by Paul McCartney, illustrated by Kathryn Durst, is a fun, colorful, and exciting adventure. The illustrations enhance the..."
The Peacock Detectives
 
4.0
"THE PEACOCK DETECTIVES is a story told by a young narrator, who is in Grade 6 but reads at a..."