Saturday, April 6, 2013

My Divine Intervention

The mind of Libba Bray must be like a creeptastic wonderland full of so many ingenius scenarios. Each book she writes is so different from the last, so my start with The Diviners was a journey where everything was unexpected. And that was what made it so wonderful.

After her parlor tricks got her in trouble back home, Evie O'Neill was sent to live with her uncle Will in NYC. Taking it as the beginning of her rise to fame and fabulousness, Evie is excited for the move to the big and beautiful city. What she didn't realize was that Uncle Will's Museum of American Folklore, Superstition, and the Occult was the laughing stock of the city and dubbed the Museum of "Creepy Crawlies". But never one to give up or fail to spin things her way, Evie isn't disappointed by the Creepy Crawlies- she is going to take NYC by storm.

When a serial killer begins leaving mutilated bodies around the city, Uncle Will is consulted by the local police. Evie, the ever-thinking young woman that she is, knows how to spin this to save the museum and rocket herself into the spotlight. When she begins to give exclusive interviews to a reporter, she makes sure he mentions the museum, and of course, photographs her on her good side. But the Pentacle Killer has escalated and there are no clues as to who he might be, only more and more carnage left in his wake. The truth of the killer might be too "out there" to believe, but Evie and the rest of the Creepy Crawly crew aren't afraid of the unexplainable... they live to explain it!

I don't really think my description of this book does it justice. In fact, I think it makes the book seem a lot lighter than it truly is, so please know this is a very, very creepy period piece. The murders are really gruesome, and I don't want to give anything away, because the book is best enjoyed with an element of surprise, but you will certainly be creeped out when they get to the bottom of the pentacle killer. I think this book might appeal to both horror fans and historical fiction fans, but it is quite long and might discourage a struggling reader. Despite it's size, it reads like a 200 page novel- you will blow right through it. So if you know a reader who needs a spunky heroine and a creepy story, you should think about the Diviners.

One thing I think might divide readers is the main character, Evie. She is bold, brash at times, self-serving, and headstrong. She acts without thinking, which puts her and her friends in danger over and over again. I can see how this might be totally grating for some readers. And yes, she can be impetuous and annoying, but there is also something charming and funny about how she acts before she thinks. I think if you go into her character thinking she is obnoxious, the book  is going to be tough to get through, but if you see her as a willful young woman, you will enjoy her more. The supporting characters in this book are really fun and will make the story even more dynamic than the story with just Evie. 

But this setting is also something to pique your interest. The language, slang, and jargon can be novel at first, but it helps you to feel like you have been submersed int he time period along with the characters. For many students who live in their bubbles without much thought to times long past, I love a fun period piece that takes a historical time and combines it with an exciting story. And this book has it in spades!

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