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The Diviners

The Diviners - Libba Bray [I received a free copy from Goodreads First Reads.]The cover, which first attracted me to this book, led me to imagine a different sort of read than I was given. It’s a sophisticated cover, so I expected a sophisticated world and characters, and a lot more mystery. It was (for the most part) a fun, campy read that actually reminded me a great deal of Scooby Doo so that was pretty entertaining.The Diviners is a sometimes strange mix of genres: paranormal, historical, mystery, thriller, steampunk, etc. mostly it works, but the gruesome murder mystery seemed the most at odds with the tone of the story (although the steampunk aspect wasn’t much developed either). The campy and the creepy worked well separately but put together the story became at odds with itself and failed for it. If integrated differently this could’ve been a really great concept, but unfortunately the pacing didn’t help.The characters could’ve been stronger, Evie and co. are so full of '20s catch phrases and cliches that you didn't really get to know them at all. I actually had this same problem with Bray’s Gemma Doyle trilogy where the characters remained quite static and immature. I do think the story benefited from a larger cast of characters, but unfortunately the narration choice didn’t really let any of them shine. The Museum of Creepy Crawlies, where most of the story took place, was a fun setting but I would’ve liked a bit more life and energy to have come from it. Otherwise it kind of felt like an ordinary library or hang-out spot. All in all this was by no means a poor read I just wouldn't feel obligated to read it again. I am curious enough in the premise to try another of the projected series, however but I do hope the pacing gets better and that the characters are stronger. It seemed like this book was stretched out to meet the requirements of a longer series so with that promise I’ll hope that the next books are better.