Wednesday, January 16, 2013

The Diviners by Libba Bray

Little Brown, 2012

Evie wants more...more excitement, more fun, more adventure, and she definitely doesn't find it in Ohio.  One accident, though, will change her life....

After accusing a high society man of a situation he denies, Evie's parents decide the best way to calm down in the social faux pas is send her to New York City to live with her Uncle Will, owner of the Musem of Creepy Crawlies (according to the locals).

So onto NYC Evie of the speakeasies, Ziegfield Follies, flapper girl fashion paradise, and NO parents.  What could get better than living in the biggest city in the U.S. during the 1920's prohibition?  The sky's the limit, for everyone, including Naughty John, supposedly a local legend based on fact, but he isn't just a story...
With Evie's arrival, a mass murderer has taken over the city, and when the police ask Uncle Will to help, Evie and her gift (or curse) become more important than ever.  She's not the only one with a gift though.  There are others, and the ones that are more sensitive can feel the battle coming on between good and evil.  Those hiding their gifts, afraid of being called out or hunted down, aren't sure what they're supposed to do or even why.  Until Naughty John gets bigger, stronger, and starts hunting for the one who can make that final transformation for him....

"Naughty John, Naughty John, does his work with his apron on. 
Cuts your throat and takes your bones, sells 'em off for a coupla stones."

Initial reaction to the book:  LOVE LOVE LOVE!!!!  Not only does Libba Bray encompass the era of Prohibition so well, but she ties in the supernatural and mystery, creating a "tri-genre," if you will, that is sure to blur the edges for those teens who like to stay in one genre.  
Bray's novel also shows the hard work and research put into this book, which she writes in an afterword that is quite interesting.  The late 1800's and early 1900's were rife with supernaturalists and the belief in the otherworld, especially in small communities in New York state.  Bray not only incorporates this eerie part of history into her novel, but more as well.  She includes different parts of the NYC that were birthplaces of amazing talent, popular pastimes for the young and idle, and the slang of the era that give this novel such an authentic feel.  One of the best I've read this school year.  Cannot WAIT for this sequel!  Highly recommended

Common Core Pair:  Devil in the White City:  Murder, Magic and Madness at the Fair that Changed America by Erik Larson, Crown Publishers, 2003


Sherry Thompson said...

This is one of my new favorite books! It looks like it will be a series, and I can't wait for the next one!
The trailer was awesome, too! Very creepy!

Naomi said...

You're right! The trailer is excellent!!