A new decade is here and that means this is the perfect time to find a new book series to fall in love with! Of course, we have to take into account just what decade we’re talking about. I adamantly believe we should be bringing back 1920’s slang to kick off the roarin’ 2020’s — wouldn’t that just be the berries? But perhaps we’ll begin this journey with a wonderful YA series set in the tragic Prohibition era: The Diviners by Libba Bray.
The year is 1926 and young Evie O’Neill has been shipped off from small town Ohio to the hubbub of Manhattan. The only downside is that she’s forced to stay with her Uncle Will, who happens to have a deep obsession with the occult. However, this seems fitting since Evie was carted off after stirring up trouble with a newly discovered psychic ability. It’s not long before Evie finds a small hoard of friends who also happen to have divining powers. Do these teens get in way over their head in hi-jinks and mystery? You bet-skies!
Bray’s writing had me instantly hooked, which is something I didn’t expect. For me, the allure of YA novels revolves around vivid imagery and capturing emotion in unique ways — those are the things I find lacking in many adult fiction novels. And I must admit that it had been years since a novel had captured my heart so quickly! Bray has a naturally expressive style that never falters, and when combined with the portrayal of paranormal drama and teenage angst this skill pos-i-tute-ly shines!
The best thing about this novel is the slick combination of historical narrative and paranormal themes. But Natalie, isn’t that just the plot in general? Yes! However, if you’re a paranormal enthusiast like me, you will absolutely be impressed with the variety of paranormal aspects involved. I’ve researched every cryptid, demon, ghost and occult object you can imagine, so you can imagine my surprise when I realized just how far Bray delved into the world of the metaphysical and occult while maintaining the Prohibition-era theme. Without giving too much away, here’s a quick list of what’s in store:
- Psychic abilities including divining, glamours and control of the elements
- Sleep paralysis
And that’s just the first novel in the series! And don’t let the YA aspect fool you; the ghosts and ghouls are definitely not watered down just because they’re written for a younger audience. Even I had to stop and focus on the audio book at times because the danger is so glowing and lifelike. Evie and the gang have hardly a moment of peace, so get ready for a continuously perilous journey!
Bray’s creation is truly the embodiment of the phrase “the bee’s knees.” Every moment is intentional and the characters are always charged with teenage emotion and angst in the best way possible. This novel begins an addicting adventure that will both chill and thrill you. And the excitement doesn’t stop with The Diviners — Bray has thus far spun three novel’s worth of heebie-jeebie tales including Lair of Dreams and Before the Devil Breaks You.
And now I am incredibly excited to announce the best part of this article:
Libba Bray’s fourth installment of The Diviners series, The King of Crows, is set to release on Feb. 4, 2020.
I said the best way to kick off the new decade is with some 1920’s goodness, didn’t I? Here’s to starting the roarin’ 2020’s in style with ghosties and killers and shebas galore!
Already an avid fan of Evie and the gang? Gee, hearing from you would be swell! Hit me up on Twitter to discuss your favorite characters and excitement about the new novel!