“The Diviners must stand, or all shall fall.”
The Diviners is a historical, paranormal fantasy set in 1920s New York City! And in this alternative history, there are people called Diviners who have magical abilities that are hidden from the world. And these powers will come in handy as a demon like being who was summoned from a Ouija board starts ritualistically killing people, while also bringing upon the apocalypse.
➽ Evie O’Neill – Sent to NY to stay with her uncle after causing too much of a scene back home. And she has the magical ability to read objects.
➽ Memphis Campell – Black, extremely charming and good looking, taking care of his little brother with his aunt after the loss of his mother, and in the past he had a healing ability.
➽ Sam Lloyd – Rakish Russian Pickpocket who can make it so others do not notice him, but he is looking for answers about what happened to his mother and the project she was working on.
➽ Theta Knight – A Dancer who ran away from a terrible past and is trying to make a new life for herself were she is in charge of her own fate.
➽ Henry DeBois – Theta’s roommate, queer, and a musician. Henry has the magical ability to dream walk, but you do not learn a lot about it in this book.
➽ Mabel Rose – Evie’s best friend and pen pal, who has the biggest of all crushes.
➽ Jericho Jones – Works for Evie’s uncle Will, but may be keeping a big secret of his own.
➽ Naughty John – Does his work with the apron on. I’ll see myself out, bye.
But we follow all of these characters, while they are slowing pieces together the clues about Naughty John’s killing, while also trying to figure everything out before it is too late. And friends? I’m going to be straight up with you, this book was pretty scary. Full disclosure, I am a big baby, but I legit read this book with the light on, during the daytime, every single day. But following along and trying to figure out what is happening, while also trying to learn about these characters and what they are able to do? It surely made for a fun reading experience.
I really loved the cast completely. All of them, truly. But Memphis really won me over very early on. First off, I am such a sucker for anything with healing powers, so he and his mystery just stole my heart. Also, he is such a good brother, and seeing him protect Isaiah really was everything to me. Also, Isaiah having the wildest powers of them all? Yeah, that’s a thing. Also, I really loved his development with Theta. We stan a power couple in this house, always and forever.
Besides the characters, I think the thing I liked most about reading The Diviners, as sad and heartbreaking as it is to say, is that we are almost in the year 2020 and not a lot has changed. From racism, and people hiding their hateful ideas behind the cover of God, to sexism, and the idea that a silent woman is the only women worth hearing, to being pure, and the pedestal that white men are willing to put their bloodline on, this is all very much a thing in 2020, even if it is not as loud. I think Libba Bray really did something so impressive with this story, and even though this book is almost a decade old and the parallels are still rampant, I still really respect her putting so much into this book.
Overall, this really did blow me away. I had my doubts going in that I wouldn’t like it, or that it wouldn’t hold up, but it truly did, and it truly made for an amazing reading experience. I can’t wait to see what the next book has in store, and I can’t wait to meet a character named Ling Chan that everyone promises me I’m going to fall in love with.
Content and Trigger Warnings: brief animal cruelty and death, talk of domestic abuse and sexual assault in the past, abortion, loss of a loved one in the past, drugging, grief depiction, abandonment, talk of slavery, racism (always in a negative light), slaughter house setting/scene, death, murder, and ritualistic killings.