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Book Review: The Diviners by Libba Bray

Best known for her Great and Terrible Beauty trilogy, Libba Bray returns with a spooky teen novel about the occult and a serial killer who just won’t quit. Kidzworld reviews The Diviners.

The Museum of Creepy Crawlies

Evie O’Neill has a special gift; she can learn people’s secrets by holding an object that belongs to them. During a party, she makes the mistake of showing off her ability. Mortified, her parents ship her off to Manhattan to live with her Uncle Will, owner of the Museum of American Folklore, Superstition and Occult (better known to locals as The Museum of Creepy Crawlies).

A Serial Killer

When a murderer leaves behind the mangled body of a girl whose skin is branded with a strange symbol, the police summon Will’s expertise. Evie and Will’s helper, Jericho, accompany him to the scene. And when Evie touches a piece of the dead girl’s shoe, she opens herself up to a new realm of horror.

Evil Unleashed

As the serial killer continues to strike, Evie, Will, Jericho and a persistent thief-turned-museum employee named Sam discover a pattern in his killings. A pattern that they must keep from the police so as not to look crazy. But if they don’t put a stop to this killer before Solomon’s Comet passes overhead, he will unleash an unstoppable evil.

The Bottom Line

Set in 1926, the story includes a lot of well researched description and quirky sayings that were common during the decade, such as “and how,” meaning yes, and “the cat’s pajamas,” which was used to describe something great or stylish. While the book is rather long, the story itself is a fast-paced murder mystery. But if you’re prone to nightmares, we wouldn’t recommend that you read it before bed! 

Have Your Say

Will you read The Diviners by Libba Bray? Tell us in our comment section below!

 

3 Comments

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Humans are creatures of habit, and I was no exception. Every Wednesday before classes started, I drove to my favorite coffee shop and ordered a cappuccino. I would sit in the same booth, and drink my coffee for the few minutes I had while the world rushed by. It was the same every time, and I never expected it to be different, until one day I saw a new face appear: an older man of unclear age, who sat in the booth across from me. I thought nothing of it. Why would I? It was merely another person I would probably never see again, or if I did, never remember. But I did see him again, next Wednesday. I still didn’t think much of it. Maybe he was just… a new regular. He didn’t matter to my life. Several weeks passed, and I increasingly began to notice the man in the booth across from me. He wore old clothes that looked well cared for throughout the years, and a hat with a faded emblem that I couldn’t read. The daily paper was always with him, except for the times when he brought a tattered journal, reading and sometimes writing in it. The thing that began to stick out the most over those weeks, though, was that he was always alone. No one ever talked to him except the barista to ask what he wanted (it was always a small, black coffee with two spoonful’s of sugar). After all those weeks, I finally worked up the courage to sit with him and introduce myself. I liked him from the moment he opened his mouth. I eventually learned he was a WW2 veteran, with several medals from various battles. We exchanged stories, I from college, and he from the war. After an hour, I finally realized how much time had passed and had to dart away, but we met again the next Wednesday. We became good friends, but our friendship was limited to phone calls and coffee shop visits. I didn’t know much of his personal life other than stories of his school days. I didn’t really wonder at all, until one day, a familiar face didn’t come. I was worried, though not too much. I simply had my coffee then went to classes. As the day went on, I was increasingly uneasy. He never, not even once, had been MIA. Then I got the phone call. It was a voice I had never heard, a doctor: my friend had suffered a heart attack and had given the nurse this number. He wanted me to come. I immediately left campus without a second thought, and when I arrived at the hospital, his doctor greeted me in front of my friend’s room. “Your father is certainly lucky to survive.” “Oh, I’m not his son.” I waved off the notion. “Really? Oh… You were the only number he gave us. Odd.” This stuck with me. I was the… only one. I was finally let in, and he was barely awake. Sitting down, I took his hand. “Are you sure there’s no one else you want here? Don’t you have any family?” He coughed out a chuckle. “No, kiddo. They’ve all been gone a while. I hope you don’t mind me pulling you away from your classes…” “No! I… I want to be here for you…” “By the way, the coffee here’s terrible. Would you mind going to pick up my usual?” “Small… black coffee with two spoonful’s of sugar.” And we both softly chuckled while I blinked away tears.     Befriend a veteran today.  
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