Review No.119 – The Diviners

The Diviners – Libba Bray

Allen&Unwin, 2012

1920s New York is a city infused with optimistic hedonism. When Evie O’Neill, a girl with a reputation for trouble-making, is sent there to stay with her uncle, she thinks she’s got it made – but there’s something darker at work underneath the bright lights and jazz. A nightmare from the past is stalking the streets once again, and Evie holds a crucial clue to uncovering the truth, if only she can get someone to believe her. And if not, what’s a girl to do but track down the killer herself?

This is the first in the Diviners series, an intoxicatingly dark world in which every character has a story and all the stories entwine in unexpected ways. Bray’s use of 1920s slang might annoy some people, but it felt consistent and was part of what made the setting so convincing. Evie is a wonderfully messed-up, glammed-up heroine, her friends are fully fleshed out with plots arcs of their own, and there is fascinating potential for the second book in the series, Lair of Dreams, due for release in August next year.

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