By Libba Bray
Little, Brown Publishers for Young Readers, 2012, 592 pgs. Young Adult
Libba Bray has combined the currently popular themes of the roaring twenties and paranormal teens in this large novel. Fans of her Gemma Doyle series (like me) will get some of the mysterious magic that was so entertaining, but this one seemed to have a much more grim twist. The murderous character, Naughty John, was extremely dark and creepy. However, she did have a strong heroine in Evie O’Neill. Knowing that this is going to be a series, I felt the other characters lacked depth and were introduced only to be given more story in future books. There were a lot of things happening for Evie all at once, and this led to some slower moments as Evie dealt with her feelings, powers, and friends. The supernatural plot was enticing since many characters will obviously have a purpose later, but for almost 600 pages, there wasn’t a whole lot to the “Diviners”. I know I will eagerly wait for the other books in order for it to all come together.
Even though it wasn’t my favorite Libba Bray novel, I know teens and adults will enjoy the mystery of the mystical origins of Naughty John’s cult and will look forward to seeing if Evie and her companions can save the world. As a 1920s setting, it did add to the fun presented in Evie and her rebellious ways. The first book may have been overdone in plot and dialog at times, but I hope it means the second will just start with the action!