The Diviners

The Diviners

Book - 2012 | 1st ed.
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Seventeen-year-old Evie O'Neill is thrilled when she is exiled from small-town Ohio to New York City in 1926, even when a rash of occult-based murders thrusts Evie and her uncle, curator of The Museum of American Folklore, Superstition, and the Occult, into the thick of the investigation.
Publisher: New York : Little, Brown, 2012.
Edition: 1st ed.
ISBN: 9780316126113
Characteristics: 578 p. ; 24 cm.


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Seventeen-year-old Evie O'Neill is thrilled when she is exiled from small-town Ohio to New York City in 1926, even when a rash of occult-based murders thrusts Evie and her uncle, curator of The Museum of American Folklore, Superstition, and the Occult, into the thick of the investigation.

Not long after Naughty John Hobbes is summoned through a Ouija board at a flapper party, Evie O’Neill is sent off to live in New York City where dark magic, evil, and a serial “Pentacle” killer are on the loose.

From the critics

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LoganLib_Sheridan Jan 11, 2021

I liked the concept of this book but the idea that ALL of these characters are some kind of diviner just seems kind of ridiculous. The idea that they wouldn't tell each other is less ridiculous but still very annoying.

I am unsure why we get Theta's backstory because it doesn't add a whole lot to the plot except explaining her relationship with Henry. I just think a whole lot of this book is set up for the next books instead of just focusing on a story. The ending is literally just a whole bunch of leads on to the next story.

There was also a ridiculous love triangle. It is obvious who Evie should be with but then she shows interest in this other guy who is totally not her type at all but who is admittedly a lot more stable makes the situation ridiculous .

I think there are a lot of ridiculous relationships in this series. Evie and her parents? Why are you sending your child to her uncle and why do you think sending her to New York is a good idea?! Evie just doesn't talk with and is always trying to manipulate her uncle but this probably comes from having to manipulate her parents who aren't interested in anything she has to say.

The only powers we see as being real useful are Evie's as she uses them for detective work. Sam uses his a little to get them out of a tough situation but I think his could be used more. I also thought we could have heard more about Memphis' power, how it works and why he lost it. Also how was it useful and relevant to this story?

There was a lot going on here and I think it just needed to be more compartmentalised. I might listen to the rest of the series but I don't know. Too many books and too little time.

smep Jan 09, 2021

Such a great read! Libba Bray does an amazing job of keeping you on the edge of your seat all the way through the book. I’m looking forward to reading the next book in the series!

CCPL_Teens Apr 23, 2020

Bray uses the 1920s slang, social/political issues, and aesthetic to immerse her readers in the 1920s setting while delivering a murder mystery that doubles as a chilling ghost story.

Interested in audiobooks? January LaVoy does a fantastic job as the narrator. With her diverse range of voices for each character, it will feel as if the characters are in the room with you.

Dec 27, 2019

diviners 1

PimaLib_ChristineR Oct 23, 2018

A great Halloween-time read. Bray does a great job of setting the 1920's New York scene from the elevated trains to the Harlem Renaissance. Evie is a big fish personality in a small-pond-of-an-Ohio-town until she is "forced" to move to Manhattan with her uncle, Dr. Fitzgerald, the owner and curator of the Museum of American Folklore, Superstition, and the Occult. Although Dr. Fitzgerald claims only an abiding interest in others' beliefs, as the story progresses it is clear that his previous work for the government may have more to do with his museum than he'd like to let on.

Evie too is hiding a secret, about her ability to read personal secrets from items she holds. As Bray expands the scope of the novel, we meet other people with special powers, "Diviners." And it seems, just in the nick of time, as Dr. Fitzgerald is called in to aid the police in solving a series of grizzly murders tied to the occult.

With amazing atmosphere and a spooky supernatural element, this book will suck you in for a fun ride. For those who try to avoid books involving dark magic and the occult, you'll want to steer clear.

Sep 04, 2018

This book was extremely entertaining and continually left me on the edge of my seat. It did something many historical fictions fail to do- stay true to the time period. Even though the reader knew who the killer was, the initial mystery was still compelling enough. I enjoyed the parallels between many of the characters and the complex plot line. However, there were many moments when I found that I had to put the book down as either the story was going excruciatingly slow or the imagery was too vivid. I felt as if the story could have been wrapped up 300 pages earlier, but then I realized if the story lacked a great part of its detail to make the book shorter, it would not have been as intriguing.
3/5 stars

WestSlope_TheaH Aug 21, 2018

This is such a delightfully scary YA novel set in New York City in the 1920s. I love the spooky supernatural elements! Just make sure you block off some time for the last few chapters---you won’t be able to put it down.

Aug 03, 2018

4/5 Stars. This is my favourite book. It is exciting right from the very first page and has such a unique plot and storyline. The author has an amazing writing style and such great ideas. Each character that is introduced into the plot has a backstory given to them that helps readers imagine them as actual people. This book is creepy and dark and funny and romantic- a mix of everything people love to read. I have read and re read this book so many times that I have all of the most memorable parts memorized, I recommend this book to everyone. The whole story is full of excitement- from cover to cover, there is never a filler chapter or a part where there is nothing going on. This book will forever be my favourite and I would recommend it to anyone that likes to read and is on the hunt for their new favourite novel.
@Bookworm123 of the Hamilton Public Library Teen Review Board

Jun 28, 2018

Such a good book! I am familiar with Libba Bray from her Gemma Doyle series, so I figured I'd enjoy this, but I wasn't prepared to get as sucked in as I did. I will say, at least for me, it started out a bit slow. But once Evie got to New York, the pace really picked up and I found I could not put the book down. if you like supernatural YA, stuff about the 1920's, and mysteries, you will probably enjoy this.

May 15, 2018

The first title in a trilogy, the story follows young Evie from her small Ohio hometown to New York in the roaring '20's. There she finds adventure, new friends with similar issues, and a horror beyond anything she's ever encountered. Great read, and a great audiobook to listen too as well.

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SusanOP Dec 10, 2014

“She was tired of being told how it was by this generation, who’d botched things so badly. They’d sold their children a pack of lies: God and country. Love your parents. All is fair. And then they’d sent those boys, her brother, off to fight a great monster of a war that maimed and killed and destroyed whatever was inside them. Still they lied, expecting her to mouth the words and play along. Well, she wouldn’t. She knew now that the world was a long way from fair. She knew the monsters were real.”
― Libba Bray, The Diviners

JCLChrisK Dec 04, 2013

“How do you invent a religion?” Evie asked.

Will looked over the top of his spectacles. “You say, ‘God told me the following,’ and then wait for people to sign up.”

JCLChrisK Dec 04, 2013

“There is no greater power on this earth than story.” Will paced the length of the room. “People think boundaries and borders build nations. Nonsense—words do. Beliefs, declarations, constitutions—words. Stories. Myths. Lies. Promises. History.” Will grabbed the sheaf of newspaper clippings he kept in a stack on his desk. “This, and these”—he gestured to the library’s teeming shelves—“they’re a testament to the country’s rich supernatural history.”

JCLChrisK Dec 04, 2013

There is nothing more terrifying than the absoluteness of one who believes he's right.

JCLChrisK Dec 04, 2013

People will believe anything if it means they can go on with their lives and not have to think too hard about it.

JCLChrisK Dec 04, 2013

People always fear what they don't understand, Evangeline. History proves that.

JCLChrisK Dec 04, 2013

Often, the monsters we create in our imagination are not nearly as frightening as the monstrous acts perpetrated by ordinary human beings in the aim of one cause or another.

JCLJennyM Apr 30, 2013

“There is a hideous invention called the Dewey Decimal System. And you have to look up your topic in books and newspapers. Pages upon pages upon pages…”
Uncle Will frowned. “Didn’t they teach you how to go about research in that school of yours?”
“No. But I can recite ‘The Battle Hymn of the Republic’ while making martinis.”
“I weep for the future.”
“There’s where the martinis come in.”


Add Notices
Nov 27, 2016

Frightening or Intense Scenes: Devil worship, satanic rituals, ritual sacrifices, and overall spookiness goes on.

Nov 27, 2016

Sexual Content: Sexual fantasies are described.

Nov 27, 2016

Violence: One of the characters was abused physically and sexually in her past, and it is moderately described.

Nov 27, 2016

Coarse Language: There is cussing.


Add Age Suitability
Nov 27, 2016

PayetteStAmour thinks this title is suitable for 16 years and over

May 30, 2015

Green_Jaguar_13 thinks this title is suitable for 12 years and over

decarabas Dec 08, 2012

decarabas thinks this title is suitable for 15 years and over


Add a Summary
Aug 30, 2016

Evie uses her special talent to solve the mystery of the Pentacle Murders.

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