I can’t believe this series is finally done. This last instalment was emotional, intense, and timely, as all of its predecessors have been.
The Diviners are shaken after the events of the explosion that claimed their friend, and New York is out for their blood. Isaiah's having visions of a mysterious girl who he's sure will help them defeat the evil King of Crows, and when the whole crew are forced to flee New York, they decide to meet up in Bountiful - but they have no idea of how fraught the road there will be, or how challenging Jake Marlowe and the Shadow Men will make their journey.
I have a few big descriptors that come to mind for this series: sweeping, epic, atmospheric, heart-breaking. All of those describe this last book just as well as they do the first, second, and third. I thought that the ending might have been a tad...underwhelming, here, but then again, I was satisfied enough, so I take off half a star just because I really wanted to be blown away. I was moved, and overall pleased at where things end, but I wasn't truly surprised by anything here.
What always gets me about this series is the amount of research that had to go into its conception and creation. The detail here, the colloquialisms the characters use, the weird things they ask for to drink at the store, the descriptions of small town America - it all feels so genuine. And that atmosphere contributes a huge amount to how much I love this series; every time I pick up one of these books, it's like being transported to the 1920's in a different way. In this book, it's middle America, small towns and farms, and my god, do I feel like I could picture the entire thing in such ridiculous detail.
And as always, the characters are what make this series as strong as it is. I love the dynamics amongst them, how no matter whose story is front and center, everyone else's voice remains strong and important every step of the way. I absolutely adore Evie and Theta and their blooming friendship; Memphis and Isaiah and even Blind Bill are so close to my heart; Sam Lloyd is such a scoundrel and I ship him and Evie so hard. I could say something about everyone, but I won't. The point is, everyone just takes on a life of their own, and I love living alongside them.
I really loved the three different paths that are taken in the narrative, also. There were never any chapters where I went "ugh back to the circus again" or whatever, because each locale was so colourful and interesting. I never found it dragging, even when the relevance to the overall plot seemed a bit tenuous. I just wanted more of these characters and how they were getting by.
Final note: never has a series seemed more relevant. With the race protests and the state of the world in 2020, reading about 1920 and how nothing has changed makes me feel heartsick and so sad. Sure, the Klan went out lynching then - but is it really any different than the America of today, where a white man brings a bow and arrow out to a rally to "help out" the police? It is just ultimately such a heart-wrenching fact of life, but one that needs to be acknowledged: we have so far to go, and confronting these issues in our fiction is such an important step.
I am so disappointed with this book! This was the last book in "The Diviners" series by Libba Bray and I had been waiting for 3 whole years for this book to be published! This was my most anticipated book of the year and it was honestly such a let down... This book is THICK! This book is so thick but absolutely nothing of importance happened in this novel. I felt like a lot of it was just "filler" and this book could have easily been condensed into 300 pages vs. the almost 600 pages that it was. It was although interesting it was incredibly slow paced and the ending was very anti-climactic. Everything does get wrapped up in a nice neat little bow, but I was so disappointed with that ending!! I don't want to give any spoilers away, but that ending just left me wanting more. I kept asking myself, "was that it?" I felt like I wasted my life waiting for this book to come out. It was a very unfortunate ending! I will say I'm glad at how things ended with Evie and Sam, I totally ship them as a couple but I know fans of Evie and Jericho are going to be disappointed. I am giving this book 4 stars just because I absolutely adored this series from the very beginning, so I am glad to finally have an ending to it. This book was a little more spooky than the past books in the series but I still think book 1 The Diviners is my favorite, nothing can top book 1. Also I'm a big fan of the audiobooks, so if you don't feel like tackling a 600 page book the audiobook version is amazing!
This culminating novel in the Diviners series reads a little bit like Stephen King's The Stand, except with a 1920s setting. I love how political this series has become and how much acknowledgement of the historic institutionalization of white supremacy is baked into this novel. The stories we tell are important...and it's good to have that reinforced as we walk through this particular period in US history. For audiobook fans: January LaVoy is an amazing reader!
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