Monday, February 11, 2019

Audio-book Review: The Diviners by Libba Bray

About the Book

The Diviners by Libba Bray
Read by January LaVoy
Published by Little Brown Books for Young Readers on September 18, 2012

GoodReads Description

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-tute-ly ecstatic. It’s 1926, and New York is filled with speakeasies, Ziegfeld girls, and rakish pickpockets. The only catch is that she has to live with her uncle Will and his unhealthy obsession with the occult.

Evie worries he’ll discover her darkest secret: a supernatural power that has only brought her trouble so far. But when the police find a murdered girl branded with a cryptic symbol and Will is called to the scene, Evie realizes her gift could help catch a serial killer.

As Evie jumps headlong into a dance with a murderer, other stories unfold in the city that never sleeps. A young man named Memphis is caught between two worlds. A chorus girl named Theta is running from her past. A student named Jericho hides a shocking secret. And unknown to all, something dark and evil has awakened.

My Thoughts

One of my personal goals for this year is to listen to more audio-books.  This has been a struggle for me.  I am not very good at auditory tasks.  It is much easier for me to read something and carry out a task than it is for me to remember directions or a plot line.  It's especially difficult when the story is interrupted.  The constant stopping and starting of the audio-book is absolutely terrifying.  I started with shorter books, but The Diviners was a HUGE task.  I was terrified.  January LaVoy made it so much easier to follow along despite all of the required interruptions.

LaVoy is an absolutely wonderful reader.  I was always excited to hear the different voices that she used for the different characters.  This made it so much easier for me to follow along with the plot for the entire audio-book.  I will definitely be watching for her as I shop around for future audio-books.

Not only does The Diviners have a wonderful reader, it has a wonderful author.  Bray's writing style entranced me from the beginning to the end of the novel for a variety of reasons.

First, she creates and brings to life a large number of characters.  These characters are vivid and realistic and they have so many layers that the reader feels like they truly will never know enough about them. Then, slowly but surely, Bray connects the dots.  She brings them together and uses their unity to introduce new information about each one.  I was absolutely amazed by how well Bray was able to accomplish this seemingly impossible feat.

Second, her villain was hauntingly terrifying and absolutely brilliant. I loved that Naughty John was such a smart aleck!  Without this charming characteristic, he would not have been the monster that he was.  Naughty John filled me with dread.  He is not a man I would ever want to come across.

Bray uses her characterization of the main characters and the villain to pull off some absolutely wonderful world building in this well-researched novel. Instead of relying on descriptions of the world, she uses the perspectives of her characters to show the audience around.  Nicely done!

There was one character, however, that I was a little disappointed lived through the novel.  I HATED Evie O'Neill!  I thought she was the most annoying and selfish piece of crap character that I have ever read about.  I was very excited to see that the ending was going to go well for Jericho, but Evie's evil selfishness destroyed that for me.  I can only hope that Bray purposefully wrote a nasty character to do some impressive character development in the following books.

My Rating

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