12/30/12 ** After abandoning (or merely pausing in) 4 books in quick succession, I gave up on my to-be-read pile and started working on my husband's. This was clearly a good idea...tore through The Diviners
in a day and a half (so much for dissertation writing - oh no!) Early in the book, I was reminded of The Vespertine
(Mitchell), Infernal Devices
(Clare), and the books about Sally Lockhart by Pullman. Though those are in more Victorian settings, they all have supernatural elements woven into our world.
Be 'ware...if horror isn't your thing, think twice before starting this book. At a minimum, try not to read it late at night while alone in the house. There were definitely some sensory (visual, auditory, and tactile) scenes that nearly made me abandon this book at several spots. I will also say that it was well worth finishing.
So, to the review...creepy, compelling, an fascinating mix of supernatural and historical fiction. I loved the feeling of immersion in the Harlem Renaissance and the Roarin' 20s in Manhattan. Bray's research into colloquialisms, architecture, and hot-spots paid off.
I know that I will be reading this volume again before I read a second or third book in the series; I'm just like that. I look forward to seeing the political & social commentary in a new light. I picked up some spots that seemed to speak to 21st century residents about materialism, commercialism, and empty patriotism. I'd need to re-read to sort those out. The notion of choice as it relates to good and evil also bears consideration. Finally, I look forward to seeing what happens with Henry, as a gay man, and Theta & Memphis, as an interracial couple, in 20s America.
NOW, Ms. Bray, I just want to know what you mean by SERIES. I've been all through your website and the site for the series and there's no mention of a book #2!?? When(ish) might we expect another? What is the working title? Please don't leave us hanging, or I might have to invoke my rule about not starting to read a series that's still in progress.