Friday, October 20, 2017

Title: Before the Devil Breaks You
Author: Libba Bray
Narrator: January LaVoy
Series: The Diviners, book #3
Length: 21 hrs 26 mins
Publisher: Listening Library
Publication Date: October 3, 2017
Source: audiobook received from publisher
Purchase: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Audible

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New York City.
Lights are bright.
Jazz is king.
Parties are wild.
And the dead are coming...

After battling a supernatural sleeping sickness that early claimed two of their own, the Diviners have had enough of lies. They're more determined than ever to uncover the mystery behind their extraordinary powers, even as they face off against an all-new terror. Out on Ward's Island, far from the city's bustle, sits a mental hospital haunted by the lost souls of people long forgotten--ghosts who have unusual and dangerous ties to the man in the stovepipe hat, also known as the King of Crows.

With terrible accounts of murder and possession flooding in from all over, and New York City on the verge of panic, the Diviners must band together and brave the sinister ghosts invading the asylum, a fight that will bring them fact-to-face with the King of Crows. But as the explosive secrets of the past come to light, loyalties and friendships will be tested, love will hang in the balance, and the Diviners will question all that they've ever known. All the while, malevolent forces gather from every corner in a battle for the very soul of a nation--a fight that could claim the Diviners themselves.

I don't even know where to begin with my love for this series. The writing, the narration, the utter creepiness of all coalesces into one of my very favorite series. Which is quite a boast for this author, considering her Gemma Doyle trilogy is also on that list of favorite series. Despite how much she loves breaking my heart.

And I can totally see Libba Bray doing that here with this series, as well. She's made me come to love all of these characters, even ones I thought I'd always loathe. And, yes, she's left my heart reeling after this installment, too, but I know it's not over yet. She's not finished with my heart yet and even when this series is complete, she still won't be done with me because this is one of those stories that I can't help but come back to.

I love each and every characters' story arc, even if I didn't foresee it going in a certain direction, well, for any of them. No, especially because of that. I love how relevant this story is because of how history is doomed to repeat itself. That the more things change, the more they stay the same. And how sad is that? And I loved that in this book most of all, we see the Diviners actually coming together to work as a team. They all have their issues and their hang-ups but they're such a diverse lot of characters that it makes me hopeful for them, despite what they're up against.

I've said it before and I'll say it again: Libba Bray has done her homework. When I'm reading these books, everything else falls away. I am transported to the Roaring Twenties. To the time of speakeasies and flappers and prohibition. When white man ruled the land and anyone of color or another sexual orientation was shunned. (Oh...wait.) But it's in the little details, as well, from specific items of clothing to songs sang at rallies or advertisements on radio shows. The background for this series has been so well-researched and it shows.

The publisher could not have selected a better narrator for this series, either. This story comes to life because of January LaVoy. There are so many story lines, so many perspectives, that normally I'd have a hard time keeping them all straight, but this narrator literally has a separate voice for each character. Each one is unique; each one is special. I cannot praise the narration of this series enough. It's among my favorites, as well.

This third installment in The Diviners series is actually on my favorites of 2017 list. It is just SO good. I mean, I waited long enough for should be, right? ;0) Two to three years between books is hard but worth it. So worth it. And if I'm being honest, this might actually be my favorite in the series so far, so that makes the wait between installments all the sweeter.

I wholeheartedly recommend this series -- especially on audio -- and this time of year is perfect for it. It's just so divinely creepy.

Previous books in the series:

The Diviners
Lair of Dreams

About the author:

Libba Bray is the New York Times bestselling author of The Gemma Doyle trilogy (A Great and Terrible Beauty, Rebel Angels, The Sweet Far Thing); the Michael L. Printz Award-winning Going Bovine; Beauty Queens, an L.A. Times Book Prize finalist; and The Diviners series. She is originally from Texas but makes her home in Brooklyn, NY, with her husband, son, and two sociopathic cats.

(You should absolutely check out her full bio on her website, though. You'll learn things.)

Find Libba:

Website | Twitter | Facebook | Instagram | TumblrGoodreads

About the narrator:

January LaVoy is a New York City based actress, best known for her role as Noelle Ortiz-Stubbs on the long-running ABC daytime drama One Life to Live. January was named Publishers Weekly's "Audiobook Narrator of the Year" for 2013 and has an extensive body of work in both narration and commercial voiceover, including Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie’s Dear Ijeawele, or A Feminist Manifesto in Fifteen Suggestions, John Grisham’s Camino Island and several Star Wars novels. She has won multiple Audie Awards, most recently in 2016 for her work on Libba Bray's Lair of Dreams.


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