Publisher: Little, Brown and Co.
Publication Year: 2012
Page count: 578 pages
Rating: 3.75 stars
Rep: Black MC, queer side character
SOMETHING DARK AND EVIL HAS AWAKENED… 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-tute-ly ecstatic. It’s 1926, and New York is filled with speakeasies, Ziegfeld girls, and rakish pickpockets. The only catch is that she has to live with her uncle Will and his unhealthy obsession with the occult. Evie worries her uncle will discover her darkest secret: a supernatural power that has only brought her trouble so far. But when the police find a murdered girl branded with a cryptic symbol and Will is called to the scene, Evie realizes her gift could help catch a serial killer. As Evie jumps headlong into a dance with a murderer, other stories unfold in the city that never sleeps. A young man named Memphis is caught between two worlds. A chorus girl named Theta is running from her past. A student named Jericho is hiding a shocking secret. And unknown to all, something dark and evil has awakened…
It has taken me a few days to collect all my thoughts on this book, so sorry in advance if this review is a disaster!
I am going to start off with this: this book is very character driven. If you need a book where the plot takes off right away, you probably won’t love this one. In my opinion, the plot didn’t really start moving until about 50% of the way in. It didn’t bother me so much, but I can see how it would others.
The characters in this book are so much fun to read about! There are quite a few of them, but they each have their own distinct personality. Evie is the definition of a flapper girl: charming, flirtatious, and loves to have a good time. She is definitely the central character in this story, which I can’t complain about because her perceptive was a lot of fun to read about. The other character I adored with Memphis, and Black teenager growing up in Harlem. After the death of his mother and disappearance of his father, Memphis is tasked with taking care of his little brother. It was so interesting to see how much his world differed from Evie’s, even though they were in the same place at the same time. Memphis’s relationship with his brother will leave your heart so full.
I also liked how the author gave us back stories about other people in the city. For example: she tells us about a Polish immigrant trying to become famous. A boy who had just gotten into an argument with his best friend. It reminded me of The Sun is Also a Star in that aspect, and I really enjoyed it.
As for the plot, like I said earlier, it takes awhile to get into it. I did find myself bored a couple times, and I suspect if I would have physically read it I wouldn’t have liked it as much. I don’t want to give any spoilers, so I can’t go into much detail other than that. However, the atmosphere of the book fits so well with the plot; it is dark and mysterious- perfect for fall!
The other aspect of this book I loved was the setting. This takes place in 1920s New York City, and you can tell that the author definitely did her research. It was so interesting to learn about the flapper era, prohibition, and watching the city recover from WWI. This is definitely a time period I wish I would read more about!
All in all, although I didn’t enjoy this book as much as others did, I still am happy I read it this October, and I am definitely interested in picking up the sequel!
Leave your opinions of The Diviners in the comments below!!