Author: Libba Bray
Narrator: January LaVoy
Series: 1st book in The Diviners series
Publisher: Listening Library
Publication Date: September 18, 2012
Source: purchased (also received an ARC)
Purchase: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Audible
So, I started my ARC of The Diviners -- which I won from the awesome Claire LeGrande -- back in early September before the book was released, but I soon realized that I would need to be able to devote a large chunk of my time to finishing all 578 pages of this novel. And my time is limited. No, I'm not dying, but I do work full-time away from the home, I'm a devoted (okay, maybe that's pushing it, but I do love my family ohsomuch) mother and wife, and I'm a book blogger, which many of you know can be a full-time job in and of itself sometimes. So you can see my conundrum...maybe you even identify with it. But lo and behold, the audio was released on the same day as the novel hit the shelves at bookstores, and I snatched it up and immediately shelved my ARC in favor of hearing the indomitable January LaVoy breathe new life into the characters I'd already come to love in the first 100-150 pages I'd already managed to devour.
The Diviners is now my new favorite audiobook EVAR. I am completely, completely serious. I loved all of the voices and dialects Tavia Gilbert used in her reading of The Night Huntress series, but -- and no offense meant, honest -- she cannot hold a candle to January LaVoy's narration of The Diviners. This woman managed to portray all of the following characters without ever sounding trite or unbelievable: a 17-year-old girl; two very different 17-ish boys; an old, stodgy uncle; several African-American characters ranging in age from 10 or so to the very old and disabled Blind Bill; the swarthy and sophisticated Memphis Campbell; two senile old ladies; a cocky news reporter digging for the scoop; and a deranged serial killer, hell-bent on cleansing the world. Those are just a few of the characters...there are many, many more secondary characters, and all of them sounded completely different in their own way.
This is obviously a story that is composed of many smaller stories, each of their own importance. As the story unfolds, we meet each character separately as they start on the path that eventually leads them all to each other. I thoroughly enjoyed each characters' introduction in this manner and that the reader learns each story gradually...hence the nearly 600 page narrative. Once events are set in motion, though, the story finds its pace and really draws you into the world of 1920s New York.
It all starts with one Evie O'Neill, though. This "unflappable flapper" is quite the contrast to Gemma Doyle, who was both precocious and docile when we first met her in A Great and Terrible Beauty. Be that as it may, Evie still stole the show for me in The Diviners and quickly marked herself as my favorite character, though that arrogant Sam Lloyd came in at a close second. Really, though, all of these characters (and their stories) appealed to me in his or her own way.
Libba Bray is one of my favorite authors. I loved her Gemma Doyle trilogy, and I can say with complete faith that if you, too, enjoyed that series, you will love The Diviners just as much. The rich world-building, the superb cast of characters, the incredible story-telling...it's all there in this book, as well. There's just something about Libba Bray and hidden magic that go hand-in-hand. The sheer amount of research necessary to write a story of this caliber alone is deserving of accolades. But pair that with the unfathomable story she's created, and you have yourself a novel to be revered.
Don't believe me? Check out the free previews currently being offered: Amazon | B&N
Prepare yourself for the creepy...and don't say I didn't warn you: