Tuesday, June 18, 2013

weekly reads: the diviners by libbra bray

I don't usually read fantasy or young adult paranormal fiction. I am a pretty strict contemporary gal, but summer is here and what better time to branch out and read books you normally wouldn't go for? I borrowed The Diviners from my aunt because I have enjoyed Libba Bray's other works and decided I needed another summer distraction in the form of this 600-page tomb.

The basics: the story is set in the late teens/early twenties of the 20th century and primarily focus on Evie, our speakesie-attending, magical-gift having, flapper girl. Evie is sent to live with her uncle in Manhattan and looks for adventure in all of the right (but also probably wrong?) places. When murders start popping up around the city and her uncle is enlisted to help, Evie believes that she can help too. Any modern girl couldn't resist a murder.

At times, I was overwhelmed while reading, because we started off with about six different characters and characters without names and merely called "the stranger" and "the man in the top hat" and I was all kinds of confused. The Diviners is the first book in a series, so I understand that there was a lot of exposition to be hashed out, but all of the information made the first two hundred pages seem a little slow.

As the plot started to pick up and simultaneously thicken, things got a little less confusing (yay for names!) and much more interesting.

I was surprised by the amount of biblical and religious references surrounding the murder cases. I think it added a more interesting layer to the murders and the fantasy, because it was a continuous build up and something that I'm pretty sure the series will build around.

I was also surprised by how much I liked Evie, even though in most cases, she was downright unlikable. She was selfish, intrusive, and inconsiderate, but as her story unwound, her actions seemed almost justifiable with her emotions and the attention she was trying to find.

The plot was intense and the book did pick up, when the character's paths started to intertwine, but I do wish that the book hadn't been so slow in the beginning. I will most likely read the second book in this series, primarily because I devoted so much time to finishing the first one, but it isn't something that I would reread.

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