Description (from Goodreads):
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-toot-ly thrilled. New York is the city of speakeasies, shopping, and movie palaces! Soon enough, Evie is running with glamorous Ziegfield girls and rakish pickpockets. The only catch is Evie has to live with her Uncle Will, curator of The Museum of American Folklore, Superstition, and the Occult–also known as “The Museum of the Creepy Crawlies.”
When a rash of occult-based murders comes to light, Evie and her uncle are right in the thick of the investigation. And through it all, Evie has a secret: a mysterious power that could help catch the killer–if he doesn’t catch her first.
I had a blast reading The Diviners. Libba Bray has taken a fun setting–the Roaring 20s–and combined it with an interesting school of thought–The Spiritualist Movement. As if that weren’t enough, there are plenty of really interesting and compelling characters, lots of humor, and a thrilling murder mystery. The Diviners is the cat’s pajamas, the berries, the bee’s knees, and exactly the kind of book I always want to read but so seldom find done well.
At the center of the plot is Evie O’Neill, newly moved to New York after a scandal made her leave boring old Ohio. Evie is spunky, impulsive, and always looking to have a good time. However, she has plenty of street-smarts, and is also hiding a secret: she is able to read objects. She finds that she fits right in helping her uncle, the curator of the Museum of American Folklore, Superstition, and the Occult. Uncle Will is an expert in dark matters, so when a body turns up with mystical symbols covering it, he and Evie are called to the scene. Along the way, readers meet a larger cast, each with backstories complicated by their unique gifts. We learn that these people are called Diviners, and are told that there is a storm coming and every Diviner will be needed if mankind is to make it through.
Like in her previous books, Bray’s writing is incredibly fun to read. The vocabulary and historical setting feels really true to the era, lending authenticity to an otherwise supernatural story. The characters trade one-liners and banter, and the plot has the perfect balance of lightheartedness and darkness. Bray also leaves enough open-ended questions that readers will be longing for the next book in this series.