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The Diviners

The Diviners - Libba Bray Courtesy of Smash Attack ReadsInterest in Book: Well, it's Libba Bray. :) Book Club also chose it for October, and Holy COW, was it a fantastic book to read in October! I'm not sure I ever read the blurb, so I went into the book blind as a bat. I was so pleasantly surprised.World-Building: The setting is epic. I've not read a ton of historical fiction, and I've never read any that takes place in the 1920's flapper/prohibition era. I LOVE that era so I'm not sure why I've never thought to read books with this setting before. That being said, I was over-the-top full of glee with the world-building! Libba portrayed this era perfectly, in my eyes. I was transported back to 1920's NYC, wearing frilly dresses, using phrases like "the bee's knees" and "I'm jake," and dancing in underground clubs full of illegal "giggle water." I wanted to bob my hair again but fought the urge. So, as if you couldn't tell, Libba knocked the setting out of the park. Triple Home Run. It was truly SO much fun to experience.Now, the lore and spooky mystery that was the driving force of this book was really interesting and creeptastic. The way that evil was portrayed in this book was just perfect and I cannot wait to experience more of it.  The lore behind the evil entity's maniacal mission, mixing it with fanatical interpretations of religion, just upped the creep-factor. History is provided via flashbacks and evil seems to curl itself around the pages. I admit to the hair on the back of my neck standing straight up when the evil entity was getting page time. I can faintly hear Naughty John whistling his murderous tune in the background...eeeeeep!Characters: There was quite a mix of characters in this book, many of them getting their own POVs. With a lot of back and forth and with a 550+ page book, I was expecting to be overwhelmed. Nope. Didn't happen. It's obvious to me now that Libba excels at character development. I've only read one other book from her (Beauty Queens) and in both books, the characters were larger than life. In The Diviners, Evie and Memphis are the two main characters. Evie is really fun, so much so that she sometimes forgets to be serious. Some might see her as selfish and downright annoyingly so, but I saw her as lost and searching for acceptance, as this quote suggests:Some mornings, she’d wake and vow, Today, I will get it right. I won’t be such an awful mess of a girl. I won’t lose my temper or make unkind remarks. I won’t go too far with a joke and feel the room go quiet with disapproval. I’ll be good and kind and sensible and patient. The sort everyone loves. But by evening, her good intentions would have unraveled. She’d say the wrong thing or talk a little too loudly. She’d take a dare she shouldn’t, just to be noticed. Perhaps Mabel was right, and she was selfish. But what was the point of living so quietly you made no noise at all? “Oh, Evie, you’re too much,” people said, and it wasn’t complimentary. Yes, she was too much. She felt like too much inside all the time. So why wasn’t she ever enough?I noticed a transformation in her by the end of the book. She definitely began to take life a little more serious and used her cheeky personality in useful ways. She was full of life and even in times of great danger, her personality was vibrant.Memphis was an interesting cat who I foresee becoming more important later in the series. He has a little brother, Isaiah, who experiences some creepy shit, but Memphis never gives up on the little guy. There are a ton of other characters: Evie's uncle who runs the Creepy Crawly museum; his assistant, Jericho; Evie's friends, Mabel, Theta and Henry; Sam, pickpocket extraordinaire, and various other characters get page time. All of them are entertaining and intriguing, and I look forward to learning more about them. Lots of mystery surrounding all the characters.Lasting Impressions:Libba Bray is such a wonderful, entertaining writer. I love her sense of humor. She brings great detail to her scenes. She writes really vibrant characters. And her plots are always well-formed and entertaining.Amelia's review is pretty damn awesome too, if I haven't convinced you...Favorite Quotes: “Harold Brodie is a louse and a lothario who cheats at cards and has a different girl in his rumble seat every week. That coupe of his is pos-i-tute-ly a petting palace. And he’s a terrible kisser to boot.”Evie’s parents stared in stunned silence.“Or so I’ve heard.”And this, is one of my favorite book quotes evar!“I hear they feed you in Sing Sing,” Evie muttered. “Three squares a day.”“Evangeline,” Will said with a sigh. “Charity begins at home.”“So does mental illness.”