Reviews for Diviners : Library Edition

Horn Book Magazine Reviews 2013 #2
Travel back to New York City in the 1920s with all the glitz, glamour, and occasional supernatural serial murder. For once, Evie O'Neill's little party trick -- reading people's secrets via objects that belong to them -- heralds more good than harm if it can help stop a serial killer from rampaging through New York to fulfill an old prophecy. Evie also soon discovers she isn't the only one with powers. With a captivating cast of characters to portray, LaVoy brings them all to life, employing a variety of accents that reflects the diversity of the city's inhabitants. With so many competing voices, however, LaVoy is not always completely successful: though she imbues the spectral figure and antagonist John Hobbes with an eerie shakiness, at times her portrayal comes off as over the top. Still, LaVoy fully captures Evie's bubbly personality, and her overall verve and clarity nicely complement Bray's vivid writing. Listeners will be humming the song "Naughty John" for days on end. marisa finkelstein

School Library Journal Reviews 2012 December

Gr 10 Up--Printz winner Libba Bray's latest literary masterpiece (Little, Brown, 2012) is stunning, suspenseful, and sure to leave listeners utterly breathless. Thoroughly modern flapper Evie O'Neill's psychic ability to divine secrets from inanimate objects gets her exiled from her stuffy Ohio town. Sent to stay with her Uncle Will in Prohibition-era New York City, the last thing Evie expects is to be thrown headlong into a terrifying, and seemingly paranormal, serial murder mystery. Crime scene evidence leads Evie to believe the killer is John Hobbes, a religious leader and madman who was hanged for murder 50 years ago. It seems "Naughty John" has returned from the grave to complete a deadly ritual to bring about the apocalypse. Evie believes her abilities can help stop this killer. But there are others with unique powers as well, including a clairvoyant child and a man with healing powers. Circumstances gradually draw these Diviners together. Are they strong enough to stop the evil that's been unleashed? Not for the faint of heart, this spellbindingly creepy ghost story will keep listeners enthralled long into the night--preferably with the lights on. Bray's writing is brilliant. Intricately detailed storylines interweave perfectly with a cast of richly drawn characters. Period slang and historical details help set the scene. January LaVoy's exceptional narration skyrockets an already outstanding story to the next level. Characters live and breathe through distinctive voices, complete with accents and dialects. Perfect pacing bestows the story with a constant edge-of-the-seat ambiance. A must-have.--Alissa Bach, Oxford Public Library, MI

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