Saturday, January 17, 2015

Flappers and Fantasy and Serial Murders

The Diviners by Libba Bray is a fun historic fantasy. 

I've loved Bray's writing since I read the first Gemma Doyle book in 8th grade. The Diviners was no exception. In fact, it's pretty high up there on my favorites.

Evie is a 17 year old flapper from Ohio who, after a disasterous party where she humilated a rich boy, is sent to Manhattan to live with her uncle and his assistant, Jericho. Memphis is a numbers-runner for one of the biggest speak-easy owners in Harlem. Theta is a showgirl for Ziegfield, one of the most prominent stage shows in New York City. Sam is a pickpocket trying to make some money on the street. Each of them have a secret. With a mass murderer on the loose in NYC, Evie's uncle, Will has been asked to consult for the NYPD. It might be the roarin' 20s but there's more happening in the world than prohibition and rebelling young people.

While I was constantly questioning Evie's choices, I did really appreciate all of Bray's main characters. They are each unique but shaped by their secrets. I rooted for them, and I felt nervous for them. Even though there were several main characters, I did feel like their lives were in peril. I never thought that they were main enough to escape being a victim—which I feel like can sometimes impede the tension of a murderer-on-the-loose plot. I knew there was going to be a sequel before I started the book, but thankfully, it can also be a standalone (which I know for some people 574 pages is enough).

I would recommend this book to people who enjoy historical fiction with fantastical elements.

Favorite Quote: How do you sever a thread of evil once it has woven itself into the world?

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