Sunday, January 6, 2013

Audiobook Review: The Diviners by Libba Bray

When Evie O'Neill's life is rocked by scandal in her small town of Zenith, Ohio, she is sent off to stay with her Uncle Will in New York City who is the owner and curator of The Museum of American Folklore, Superstition, and the Occult - AKA "The Museum of the Creepy Crawlies." Despite her anger and heartbreak over the reason for her exile, she couldn't be more excited about what awaits her in New York: The lights! The glamor! The Speakeasies! And even though Uncle Will gives Evie strict instructions to stay out of trouble, she soon finds herself hanging with the flapper crowd in speakeasies and getting in trouble with the law. If it weren't for her secret and mysterious power that could possibly help her uncle and the police with a serial murder investigation, Evie might have found herself on a train back to Ohio. If she's not careful though, Evie could become a target of the killer herself.

Libba Bray proves once again what a talent she has for the written word. Her ability to set the perfect mood, whether it's 1920s New York City or a deserted island full of beauty pageant contestants, Libba always takes you on a journey to another place and time. And while getting into this novel is slow going at first, once you hit your stride, you will be hard pressed to want to stop. Though I caution you, unless getting the bejeezus scared out of you is on your list of fun things to do, you might want to reserve this book for daytime reading. Despite hitting the middle of the novel and not wanting to stop, I decided a restful sleep was better than a fitful one and chose to halt my listening until the safety of daylight hours.

Speaking of listening, let's talk about the audiobook narrator, shall we? I can't imagine anyone being a more perfect narrator for the audiobook of The Diviners than January LaVoy. While her performance is more subtle than, say, Libba Bray's in Beauty Queens or Bahni Turpin's in The True Meaning of Smekday (two of my favorite, over-the-top audiobook productions), LaVoy is a master at setting the mood. Her voice has a lighthearted bounce when she needs to be funny, and transforms to grave and austere when the book takes a spooky turn. She even manages to downright give you chills when her deep, fluid voice croons a mournful version of the Negro Spiritual "Wade in the Water." It's experiences like this that propel certain audiobooks into more a enjoyable experience than reading it on your own. The Diviners pos-i-tute-ly goes on my list of audiobooks I highly recommend over reading the book on your own. But if you're not a fan of reading with your ears, then read this one with your eyes. It's still worth it.

The Diviners by Libba Bray
Audiobook Narrator: January LaVoy
Published: September 25, 2012
Publisher: Little, Brown Books for Young Readers and Listening Library
Pages: 587
Audiobook Length: 18 hours, 14 minutes
Genre: Historical Fiction/Fantasy
Audience: Young Adult (though this is a great book to give adults you're trying to convert to YA)
Disclosure: Audiobook checked out from library


  1. That was a nice review. I really enjoyed your comments about the narrator, January LaVoy.

  2. I just finished listening to this one. I couldn't believe the number of characters and ethnic backgrounds she was able to portray. Unbelievable! I admit that I had to turn it off last week when I was driving at night, in the middle of the fog, in the middle of nowhere. Some books are *too* good.

  3. This audiobook was so wonderful. The voice actor was incredible and really made all of the characters spring to life. Really amazing!! Is there a part 2???