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review 2019-10-24 00:12
The Diviners by Libba Bray
The Diviners - Libba Bray

The Diviners by Libba Bray

The Diviners was well written and I appreciated the aesthetic of the roaring '20s. On the other hand, damn anyone for taking bible verses out of context!! UGH! It makes me want to gag! I mean the world is full of crazies just like the Brethren in the Pillar of Fire Church.

A sinister entity was let loose via a group of unsuspecting and drunk partygoers playing with an ouija board. I was blown away with the semblance that something dark and terrible now resides in a cellar of a dilapidated house!! Admittedly I was terrified mmk?
I don’t like Ouija boards because I BELIEVE what the Catholic Church says about it. Nuff said.

We follow the protagonist Evie O’Neill - a 17-year-old who is sent away to New York City to live with her Uncle who is a professor in the Museum of Creepy Crawlies BECAUSE she gets in trouble for indiscriminately using her gifts. Evie could tell things about a person simply by touching an object belonging to them. She is a diviner. Many call themselves diviners who have different abilities. Her powers can get her into trouble because it is equivalent to stealing; stealing people's secrets.

The 1920s were a time of dance marathons and the charleston and Ziegfeld girls, flapper dresses and ‘bobbed’ hairstyles. When Evie arrives in New York Penn station she meets Sam Lloyd, a pickpocket, thief and diviner who can slip away without being seen whenever he wishes. He ends up stealing 20 dollars from her and she swears vengeance if she ever saw him again. Their relationship is heavily flirtatious. She is excited to see her friend Mabel who is very smart and lives with her parents in the same fancy hotel as her Uncle. It is here they meet Theta Knight a Ziegfeld girl, also a diviner.

When Evie has earned her uncle's trust, she subsequently becomes more of an asset to the museum of creepy crawlies and in the murder investigations that are occurring around the city. She is finally allowed to use her ability to catch a serial killer, and she reminds me a bit of Buffy the vampire slayer. Naughty John Hobbes is the killer who happens to be an old dead person who is vying for the position of antichrist! The police require the expertise of Will Fitzgerald because of the nature of the crimes. The victims are seen having weird symbols carved into their flesh and uncle Will is an expert in weird occult symbols and objects.
I didn’t realize it was going to be so scary and I can't wait to find out more in Lair of Dreams.

Source: www.goodreads.com/review/show/3018328116
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review 2018-10-01 14:25
Just a Filler to Third and Fourth Books in Series--Also Most of The Characters Are Terrible
Lair of Dreams - Libba Bray

It takes a special talent to write a 600 plus page book and have zero character development. I am also perplexed that it took to the 80 plus percent mark (according to my Kindle) before all of the characters even met up to fight to "Big Bad" in this book. Evie and Sam are awful. I wish that one or both of their characters would get killed off. It's also really annoying the love rectangle will be continuing through to a third book. At this point all parties need to leave each other alone. There is also way too much repetitiveness in this one. 


"Lair of Dreams" takes place a few days/weeks after the events in book #1. You still have Evie focused on being famous and now using her talents to perform a nightly show in which she reads people's items. Evie is estranged from her Uncle Will, and still hates Sam, and regrets kissing/being into Jericho. You follow all of that? From there the book jumps around to each of the characters we are familiar with, Will, Jericho, Sam, Theta, Memphis, Henry, and Mabel. You will be happy to know that all of these characters are still singing the same song from the last book, i.e. still focused on their dreams of being famous or successful and just generally self absorbed to the max.


Bray includes a new character, Ling, who was the only bright spot in this whole book. I was wishing that the majority of the book was her, her family, and the people in Chinatown.


Unfortunately we go back and forth between all of these characters, and a few others I am thinking about. Bray includes details on a sleeping sickness that is killing those in New York, specifically Chinatown. Along with that, we have Ling and Henry meeting up and becoming close friends after they realize that they both can dream walk. 


I don't even know how to review this book properly. Seriously, nothing happens. You have Evie and Sam cooked up in the dumbest scheme ever with them pretending to be engaged cause now that the Fitzgeralds have left New York, they have taken up their mantle. IT MAKES NO SENSE! If you are going to talk about the Roaring Twenties at all, why in the world are you acting like the Fitzgeralds were the only ones running around? Also Evie and freaking Sam are not literary figures like F. Scott, Hemingway, and Stein. It wasn't about people running around and drinking if you are talking about the Lost Generation folks. I am still flabbergasted there was no discussion of women's rights or anything else that was going on in this country or others at the same time. This is my own fault, I should have known better than to read a book taking place in a pretty significant historical moment in history, I was just irritated the entire time.


Jericho and Mabel are the saddest people ever. The end.


Theta and Memphis. Sigh. I Memphis is African American, Theta is not. We get one scene in which they go out and Theta acts like an ass (because she's keeping a secret from Memphis) and there are lots of inner monologue from Memphis about being out with a white woman, and how eventually he is going to be like Zora Neale Hurston and Langston Hughes. I don't think that the character of Bray gets that being famous doesn't equal that somehow racism wasn't going to be a thing anymore. I just found Memphis naive as hell. 


Henry and Theta have friction due to Henry dream walking more and more and then him getting tied up with Ling. Ling has her own set of issues and frustrations and she is starting to want to dream just as long as Henry since the real world is pretty terrible.

Ling though and some other characters start to sense that the sleeping sickness is more than what they initially thought and it takes a really long time for the character to figure out what is going on and stop things.


I honestly just found myself wishing that the book could stay focused on a character for more than a couple of pages. This needed edited for length/clarity so badly. At times I just found myself skimming because I didn't need to read one more scene where Evie and Sam acted like assholes to each other. The flow was awful from beginning to end. If all of your characters don't meet until the 80 percent point of your book something is wrong. The fact that Bray had them all come together to save someone close to them was a laugh and a half. The most anti-climatic fight scenes ever. Nothing made sense. And then in the end for them to all say, well maybe what we did mattered, or maybe it didn't made me want to pull my hair out.

The world-building in "The Diviners" just needs improved. Bray foreshadows that some big government secret is about to blow and maybe all of these people and their powers are a direct result of that. I just don't care and am glad I am not going anywhere near the third and soon to be published fourth book in this series.


The ending was just a cliffhanger to set up book number 3 and I hate that in books. Even if you have a book that is part of a series, each arc for that book should be finished by the time you get to the end. It just reads as if you can't come up with a good ending so you are just going to continue on. 


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text 2018-09-29 21:47
Reading progress update: I've read 100%.
Lair of Dreams - Libba Bray

This book was a hot mess. Took forever to get done and in the end it is just setting up the plot for book #3 which I have no intention of going near. There is zero character development and the big is stuffed with too much going on. Bray trying to add in a Chinese main character and discuss Chinatown in New York was haphazard at best. We finally see who is causing people to dream forever and die and I went eh at the only reveal that made sense. 


We also still have characters not coming clean with each other so I’m sure even more stupidity will follow.


Evie and Sam are awful. Evie just wants to be famous and doesn’t care about her friends at all. Sam is obsessed with finding his mother and getting one over people. And somehow these two may have caught feelings for each other and then tossed them away again. Evie though still wants Jericho and is jealous of him going out with Mabel.


Mabel needs a spine and to leave Jericho alone. She finally catches a clue he’s into Evie. But she still wants him. Cause there are no other young men in New York (sarcasm). Jericho is into secret stuff per usual and obsessing over Evie and trying to get over her:


Theta and Memphis would matter more if they actually talked to each other. She’s keeping secrets from him and also trying to make it big which baffled me since she’s still on the run using her fake name.


Henry meets Ling who is a fellow dreamwalker Diviner and he dreams of his lover Louis. He soon sleeps more and more and is barely awake in the real world.


Ling could have been interesting. There’s something there initially with her having her illness and dealing with a Queen Bee in Chinatown that danced towards interesting at times.


There’s too much crammed in this 600 plus page behemoth. You don’t get a chance to stay with characters and really care about them. It took til the 80 percent mark before everyone even met up. That’s ridiculous. The we rush headlong to the most anticlimactic battle ever with people wondering if what one group did mattered or not.


The world building is a mess and it feels like Bray made up things on the fly.


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text 2018-09-29 14:00
Reading progress update: I've read 52%.
Lair of Dreams - Libba Bray

Sigh. This book is endless and tedious. I still have more than 300 pages to go. Now we have Henry and Ling who met each other dream walking and it’s just boring. Sam and Evie are still in their fake relationship. Theta is having issues with her powers and hasn’t told Memphis. There’s just a lot of no communication happening between characters and it’s boring.


I’m assuming there’s a big bad in this one but we haven’t even seen him or her yet.





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text 2018-09-28 20:44
Reading progress update: I've read 40%.
Lair of Dreams - Libba Bray

This. Book. Is. Terrible.

There is a fake romance going on between Sam and Evie cause now that the Fitzgeralds have left for Europe, the U.S. needs some new young and bright things. Vomit. Sam is awful and Evie is awful. I loathed both of them in book #1 and still loathe them now. Evie is a jerk and is obsessed with parties and being special and God help her if she loses her looks. Wow. I am just full of rage today. 


Theta and Memphis are just a no. I don't care. I feel like Bray threw in some of the POC characters to have some diversity check in her mind and doesn't know what to do with them.


Jericho and Mabel are annoying. He's not into you, and Mabel knows it, and she even knows that Evie and Jericho have "feelings" for each other, but she hopes he let's that go and gives her a try to date. Did you follow that hot mess? I just felt anger through this whole stupid love rectangle that is going on. 


Ling is just there having a whole different plot/story than the mess that is going on with the other characters. I cannot believe I am at 40 percent of a 616 page book (Kindle version which makes it page 258) and nothing has freaking happened. Ugh. 



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