Monday, February 11, 2013

The Diviners

Bray, Libba. 2012. THE DIVINERS. New York: Little, Brown and Company. ISBN 9780316126113. [Suggested Grade Levels 9-12] 

Evie is a young, impulsive, teenager sent to live with her uncle in 1920s New York.  A flapper in the making, Evie is thrilled that she gets to experience the exciting New York night-life of speakeasies and dancing, bathtub gin and…brutal murder.  Evie’s somewhat secret (at least when she’s sober) psychic powers reveal clues to her about the crimes.  It becomes clear that the murderer is not of this world, and that his spirit must be returned to the realm from which it came in order to free the city, and perhaps the whole world, from the evil he brings with him. 

This daunting historical fantasy introduces a chaotic array of characters and detailed storylines, but is nonetheless gripping through and through.  The first in an anticipated series of three books, little is truly resolved or fully explained by the end of this tale.  Bray is a master of page-turn and the story is as enthralling as it is lengthy.  

This would make a great after school book club selection for fantasy lovers who have outgrown Pullman’s HIS DARK MATERIALS series or Gaiman’s CORALINE.

Other historical or supernatural fantasy for high school students:
LaFevers, Robin. GRAVE MERCY. ISBN 9780547628349
Steifvater, Maggie. THE RAVEN BOYS. ISBN 9780545424929
Wein, Elizabeth. CODE NAME VERITY. ISBN 9781423152194

By Sarah Dornback

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