The Diviners

The Diviners

Book - 2012
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Seventeen-year-old Evie O'Neill is thrilled when she is exiled from small-town Ohio to New York City in 1926, even when a rash of occult-based murders thrusts Evie and her uncle, curator of The Museum of American Folklore, Superstition, and the Occult, into the thick of the investigation.
Publisher: New York : Little, Brown and Company, 2012.
Edition: 1st ed.
ISBN: 9780316126113
Characteristics: 578 p. ; 24 cm.


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PimaLib_ChristineR Oct 23, 2018

A great Halloween-time read. Bray does a great job of setting the 1920's New York scene from the elevated trains to the Harlem Renaissance. Evie is a big fish personality in a small-pond-of-an-Ohio-town until she is "forced" to move to Manhattan with her uncle, Dr. Fitzgerald, the owner and curator of the Museum of American Folklore, Superstition, and the Occult. Although Dr. Fitzgerald claims only an abiding interest in others' beliefs, as the story progresses it is clear that his previous work for the government may have more to do with his museum than he'd like to let on.

Evie too is hiding a secret, about her ability to read personal secrets from items she holds. As Bray expands the scope of the novel, we meet other people with special powers, "Diviners." And it seems, just in the nick of time, as Dr. Fitzgerald is called in to aid the police in solving a series of grizzly murders tied to the occult.

With amazing atmosphere and a spooky supernatural element, this book will suck you in for a fun ride. For those who try to avoid books involving dark magic and the occult, you'll want to steer clear.

Sep 04, 2018

This book was extremely entertaining and continually left me on the edge of my seat. It did something many historical fictions fail to do- stay true to the time period. Even though the reader knew who the killer was, the initial mystery was still compelling enough. I enjoyed the parallels between many of the characters and the complex plot line. However, there were many moments when I found that I had to put the book down as either the story was going excruciatingly slow or the imagery was too vivid. I felt as if the story could have been wrapped up 300 pages earlier, but then I realized if the story lacked a great part of its detail to make the book shorter, it would not have been as intriguing.
3/5 stars

WestSlope_TheaH Aug 21, 2018

This is such a delightfully scary YA novel set in New York City in the 1920s. I love the spooky supernatural elements! Just make sure you block off some time for the last few chapters---you won’t be able to put it down.

Aug 03, 2018

4/5 Stars. This is my favourite book. It is exciting right from the very first page and has such a unique plot and storyline. The author has an amazing writing style and such great ideas. Each character that is introduced into the plot has a backstory given to them that helps readers imagine them as actual people. This book is creepy and dark and funny and romantic- a mix of everything people love to read. I have read and re read this book so many times that I have all of the most memorable parts memorized, I recommend this book to everyone. The whole story is full of excitement- from cover to cover, there is never a filler chapter or a part where there is nothing going on. This book will forever be my favourite and I would recommend it to anyone that likes to read and is on the hunt for their new favourite novel.
@Bookworm123 of the Hamilton Public Library Teen Review Board

Jun 28, 2018

Such a good book! I am familiar with Libba Bray from her Gemma Doyle series, so I figured I'd enjoy this, but I wasn't prepared to get as sucked in as I did. I will say, at least for me, it started out a bit slow. But once Evie got to New York, the pace really picked up and I found I could not put the book down. if you like supernatural YA, stuff about the 1920's, and mysteries, you will probably enjoy this.

May 15, 2018

The first title in a trilogy, the story follows young Evie from her small Ohio hometown to New York in the roaring '20's. There she finds adventure, new friends with similar issues, and a horror beyond anything she's ever encountered. Great read, and a great audiobook to listen too as well.

CRRL_MegRaymond Oct 03, 2017

It’s 1926, and Evie is considered something of a wild “flapper” in her small Ohio town. But then she’s sent to New York City to live with her uncle, the curator of the Museum of American Folklore, Superstition, and the Occult.

Aug 18, 2017

17-year old Evie O’Niell is in trouble. After a supernatural party incident, she is exiled from her boring Ohio hometown and sent to live with her uncle in the wonderful, glimmering city of 1920s New York. However, things begin to take a sinister turn after a series of disturbing murders crop up. It’s the golden age of America, and things are changing much, much faster than expected. A strange group of teens have begun to develop mysterious powers. A Harlem numbers runner is beginning to receive visions of a man in a stovepipe hat. A Ziegfeld girl named Theta is running from her past. A teenage pickpocket is on the search for his family. And above all of them, a dark and vicious evil has returned. Set at the height of America’s jazz age, The Diviners is an extraordinary book. Through gorgeous prose, Bray illustrates the authentic historical American experience, populated with dynamic characters and set against the glamorous backdrop of the Roaring Twenties. The Diviners is historical fiction, mystery, suspense, horror and romance all blended up to make one big, beautiful book. It’s hilarious, terrifying and addictive all at once, and it is not something you want to miss.
- @Apis of the Teen Review Board at the Hamilton Public Library

Aug 10, 2017

I wasn't sure what to expect from Libba Bray's "The Diviners", but it ended up being a lot more macabre than I was expecting. A religious-themed serial killer is on the loose in 1920s New York City, and the reader gets up close and personal with some of his victims before they're dispatched.

But the main character of the story is a vivacious teenager called Evie O'Neill, sent to NYC by her parents as punishment for her wild behaviour. This suits Evie just fine, and soon she's enjoying the sights and sounds of jazz, speakeasies and dance halls. Libba Bray obviously had a great time researching this era, as the book is filled with 1920s slang, fashion and culture.

But Evie has a secret: for as long as she can remember she's been able to divine people's secrets by handling their personal belongings - and when she gets a chance to touch some of the murder victims, she becomes the closest thing the police have to a witness (assuming they'll believe her). That's not even going into the number of other diviners out there in the city, each one being drawing closer into the mystery of the terrible killings...

It's a book that revels in its own atmosphere, filled with plenty of period detail to the point where it sometimes obscures the story itself. If you like the combination of New York in the Roaring Twenties and the supernatural mystery of how and why certain people are being murdered in the streets, then "The Diviners" is a thick, intriguing read - with plenty of room left for a sequel.

SaraLovesBooks Oct 05, 2016

This book was incredible! I have read and re-read it. The atmosphere is set up so well, and is really creepy. Bray did an amazing job with showing the 1920's. Evie O'Neill was a bratty heroine who was still likable in spite of the brattiness. I would recommend this book as a great Halloween read.

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SusanOP Dec 10, 2014

“She was tired of being told how it was by this generation, who’d botched things so badly. They’d sold their children a pack of lies: God and country. Love your parents. All is fair. And then they’d sent those boys, her brother, off to fight a great monster of a war that maimed and killed and destroyed whatever was inside them. Still they lied, expecting her to mouth the words and play along. Well, she wouldn’t. She knew now that the world was a long way from fair. She knew the monsters were real.”
― Libba Bray, The Diviners

JCLChrisK Dec 04, 2013

“How do you invent a religion?” Evie asked.

Will looked over the top of his spectacles. “You say, ‘God told me the following,’ and then wait for people to sign up.”

JCLChrisK Dec 04, 2013

“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.” Will grabbed the sheaf of newspaper clippings he kept in a stack on his desk. “This, and these”—he gestured to the library’s teeming shelves—“they’re a testament to the country’s rich supernatural history.”

JCLChrisK Dec 04, 2013

There is nothing more terrifying than the absoluteness of one who believes he's right.

JCLChrisK Dec 04, 2013

People will believe anything if it means they can go on with their lives and not have to think too hard about it.

JCLChrisK Dec 04, 2013

People always fear what they don't understand, Evangeline. History proves that.

JCLChrisK Dec 04, 2013

Often, the monsters we create in our imagination are not nearly as frightening as the monstrous acts perpetrated by ordinary human beings in the aim of one cause or another.

JCLJennyM Apr 30, 2013

“There is a hideous invention called the Dewey Decimal System. And you have to look up your topic in books and newspapers. Pages upon pages upon pages…”
Uncle Will frowned. “Didn’t they teach you how to go about research in that school of yours?”
“No. But I can recite ‘The Battle Hymn of the Republic’ while making martinis.”
“I weep for the future.”
“There’s where the martinis come in.”


Add Notices
Nov 27, 2016

Frightening or Intense Scenes: Devil worship, satanic rituals, ritual sacrifices, and overall spookiness goes on.

Nov 27, 2016

Sexual Content: Sexual fantasies are described.

Nov 27, 2016

Violence: One of the characters was abused physically and sexually in her past, and it is moderately described.

Nov 27, 2016

Coarse Language: There is cussing.


Add Age Suitability
Nov 27, 2016

PayetteStAmour thinks this title is suitable for 16 years and over

May 30, 2015

Green_Jaguar_13 thinks this title is suitable for 12 years and over

decarabas Dec 08, 2012

decarabas thinks this title is suitable for 15 years and over


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Aug 30, 2016

Evie uses her special talent to solve the mystery of the Pentacle Murders.

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