I’ve loved everything I’ve ever read from Libba Bray. She knows just how to keep you interested, her characters and plot getting equal time. And let’s not forget her range. From her Gemma Doyle series, set in the Victorian era she made an effortless transition to post-modern parodies like Beauty Queens and Going Bovine. It’s enough to make any writer jealous.
So, let me spread the good news, if you haven’t already heard (-I really hadn’t until a week ago-). Bray has a new book out: The Diviners.
If her track record isn’t enough to convince you to read this book, let me give you 5 reasons to read The Diviners.
1. The Diviners is set in the 20’s.
There aren’t enough books set in the roaring 20’s.To be honest, despite the amount that was going on in that era, I don’t know a lot about the 20’s. Ask me about the 50’s, 60’s, or 70’s, I could write you books, but the 20’s, not so much. Just think about it: prohibition, flappers, speakeasies, bootleggers, worker’s rights movement, racial issues, immigration, and innovation. It’s a goldmine of glamour and grit.
2. A creepy supernatural serial-killer villain.
Supernatural serial killers are a more common trope than you think, but they haven’t gotten old yet. Still, if Naughty John looked in a magic mirror and said “Mirror, mirror on the wall, who is the creepiest of them of them all?” the mirror would roll its eyes and say “Duh, you are.” He does that creepy thing where he thinks his gruesome murder are the will of God, and he has his own nursery rhyme. It’s the prerequisite. And he comes with his own haunted real estate – always nice.
3. Evie is more hurricane than heroine.
Evie loves her speakeasies and alcohol, she loves her dancing, and she wants to shine (let me tell you, she does). From the first moment you are introduced to Evie you can feel her frenetic energy radiating off the page. She pushes the other characters out of the comfort zones, she is not afraid to do crazy things, and has a zest for life that is impossible not to admire. She’s not perfect either, not by a long shot. Like any good character her best qualities are also her worst. Her drive to succeed and be famous causes trouble and her zest for life breaks a lot of rules. She is a good time girl, and you’ll love every minute of her.
4. You get the glamour and you get the grit.
It wouldn’t be a Bray book unless she took on the social issues of the era. In this series she doesn’t take these issues head on like she does in her post-modern standalones. Instead the issues are subtly woven in to create a create a genuine roaring 20’s, full of optimism and change. Racism, classism, and Bray’s favorite hot button topic, the American Dream are all tucked into The Diviners in a way that makes English majors pee their pants with excitement.
5. And the award for best supporting actor goes to…
…all of them. Just as much as you love Evie, the supporting characters are all well flushed out and their chemistry is a thing of beauty. Sam Lloyd and his charm, Jericho and his gradually endearing steady ways, Theta and her showgirl past, and Memphis trying to hold his world together. They’re memorable, and they’re only just getting started. Half of these characters don’t interact with each other, but you’re wiggling with anticipation for the moment that they do. You can feel the awesome just waiting to happen.
If that isn’t enough to convince you to pick up The Diviners, I don’t know what will.
The next book, Lair of Dreams, comes out August 5th (it got pushed back from MARCH) and there is also talk of a movie. So be strong until you can get your next fix of this awesome series.