Hey, guys! Sorry it’s been light on posts lately–my nook was on the fritz–but it’s back in action and so am I!
This week’s trad-pub book is:
The Diviners is a supernatural Mystery set in 1920’s New York, and I think it’s technically YA.
Why I Picked It Up
I noticed the cover at the bookstore and thought the title sounded intriguing. I’d been in the mood for a period piece ever since I got through playing Bioshock: Infinite.
What I Like About It
A great deal. For starters, worldbuilding is front and center and expertly woven into the action so we aren’t subjected info-dumps. I’m no expert on the 1920’s, but I’ve read The Great Gatsby. The character’s use of period slang and appliances, as wellas even pop-culture references, recreate something that feels to me like the 1920’s.
I can’t help but think that this book would have been a huge sensation had it been released in the 20’s.
Second, our prologue is tight and clearly sets up the conflict. We start at a debutante’s ball–a lady’s “I’m legal now, fellas!” celebration, popular at the time–where there is a seance, also popular at the time, and a dark spirit is released.
Next we have a great and relate-able (if you manage to forget that by now she’d be in a nursing home) main character in Evie: A teen with a drinking problem and a mysterious power that makes her life a living hell. She doesn’t fit into her Midwest USA society and has developed a false reputation as a promiscuous troublemaker. Her superpower–psychometry–causes her great physical pain and usually gets her in trouble.
A really good thing to note here for other authors–the character is far from perfect, and her superpower is simultaneously her weakness. Classic!
What Could Be Better
Honestly, I haven’t got a whole lot of constructive criticism at this time. This is one of those books that seems just right for me. I guess I felt a little weird about it being YA when we’re technically reading about someone who could be my great-grandmother, but that’s just one of my weird brain-thoughts.
All in all, this is a great beginning, and the sample will get you hooked!
I’m eagerly reading this one! Look forward to a FOLLOWUP article when I finish.
If you’ve read or plan to read (or written) The Diviners, leave me a comment and let’s talk about it!