Review | The Diviners by Libba Bray

The Diviners (The Diviners, #1)As a punishment, Evie O’Neill has been sent to live with her uncle in New York City–and she is ‘pos-i-toot-ly’ thrilled. Evie’s Uncle Will is the curator of The Museum of American Folklore, Superstition, and the Occult–also known as “The Museum of the Creepy Crawlies.” Soon after her arrival to NYC, Evie’s uncle is called upon by the police to help them solve a brutal murder that somehow seems tied to the occult. Through her wily ways, Evie becomes involved right in the thick of the investigation. Evie also has a secret: a mysterious power that could help catch the killer.

This book was terrifying. I had no idea what I was getting myself into before I started it. If I had, I probably would not have read it. That said, it was well written and if you like ghost stories, murder mysteries, and horror movies, you’ll probably like this book. Libba Bray always seems to have some kind of underlying political message in her books and The Diviners was not exempt from this, but at least she didn’t hit you over the head with it like she did in Beauty Queens.

This book is part of a series and Bray introduces a lot of characters and story lines that you only get snippets of but I’m assuming play a big role in the next book(s). As a result it sometimes seemed that the story jumped around a lot. Bray says she did a ton of research while writing this book, and I know very little about the roaring twenties to be able to verify just how authentic some of the information is. I thought some of her dialogue was too heavy laden with slang from the period and I’m curious to know if teens were drinking and partying as much as Bray’s characters seemed to be during Prohibition.

I’m giving the book 3 and a 1/2 stars, but only because I don’t like the horror genre. I really think Bray wrote a great book and there were many times throughout it that I thought she accomplished what Dan Brown didn’t his novels. Bray’s writing was much better than Brown’s, and she had me seriously scared at different parts of the book. I’m torn about reading the next book in the series.


Overall Rating: 3 of 5 stars false 1/2

Parent’s guide: This book is for mature readers. I would probably not recommend it to teens.

  • Sex: some kissing, some references to homosexuality, older men preying on younger women
  • Violence: Lots! A serial killer (who has supernatural powers) that kills a lot of people in gruesome ways – some of the victims are children/young people, a woman is beaten by her husband, war violence, suicide, a zealous religious group/cult tries to kill people, medical testing on humans
  • Language: deity, name-calling, some swear words
  • Adult Themes: lots of underage partying and drinking, occult rituals, supernatural occurrences that involve evil


  1. Havalah says:

    I read libba bray’s book A great and Terrible beauty and remember being surprised by the scary elements she added to it.