The Diviners (part 2)

I started my blogging journey on Libba Bray’s The Diviners on Sunday December 14th. As of right now, I can finally say I finished the book/audio experience and I have to say, although this book is so beautifully written, I actually prefer the audiobook version, read by January LaVoy. Her voice is so dynamic–accents and the taking-on of both male and female voices enhanced the story rather than taking away from it (like those kinds of things so often do).

This book also has an awesome website with photos of the characters and news on possible sequel(s) and the forthcoming movie.

Plot:

it’s the 1920’s and 17-year-old Evie O’Neill is known in her small Ohio town for starting trouble. She’s perfectly okay with that, thankyouverymuch. After all, “well-behaved young ladies rarely make history.” One night, however, she takes it too far. She uses her gift, called “divining,” to read an item belonging to a young man in her circle of friends. When she tells the people at the party that the golden boy she’s “reading” knocked up a chamber-maid, her parents send her to New York City to stay with her Uncle Will for fear that she’ll be charged with slander.

This is the moment Evie has been waiting for. Once on the train, Evie meets Sam Lloyd and her big New York adventure begins. Although this series is primarily about Evie, there is a beautiful cast of characters that have their own abilities and well-drawn backstories. Miracle Memphis Campbell, the Harlem Healer, is another Diviner featured in the story. He and Evie’s new friend Theta Knight turn heads as one of the first biracial couples in NYC’s club scene. And then there’s Maybel, Evie’s longtime friend and pen pal who is in love with Jericho (Uncle Will’s mysterious assistant).

Everyone in this cast of characters is put to the test when New York City is struck by The Pentacle Killer (Naughty John Hobbes). The city knows him as a ruthless, methodical killer, and no one is safe. Uncle Will, Evie, Jericho & Sam, along with Theta, Maybel and Memphis are all in grave danger as Naughty John stalks his next victim.

I fell in love with these characters and I’m truly sad to have to stop hearing their story. Apparently The Diviners is being picked up by Paramount and is in the developing stages of becoming a movie (EXCITING!). As I said before, I listened to this book on audio, and I really loved the experience. I ended up buying a hard copy (I loved the book that much), but I was still sitting in front of my laptop for hours on end listening to this beautiful story.

Subject Headings:

Paranormal, Romance, Historical Fiction, New York City, 1920s

Appeal:

fast-paced, breakneck, thrilling, suspenseful, well-drawn characters, beautiful language, open-ended, multiple plot lines,

Favorite Quotes:

“‘There is a hideous invention called the Dewey Decimal System. And you have to look up your topic in books and newspapers. Pages upon pages upon pages…’
Uncle Will frowned. ‘Didn’t they teach you how to go about research in that school of yours?’
‘No. But I can recite “The Battle Hymn of the Republic” while making martinis.’
‘I weep for the future.’
‘There’s where the martinis come in.'”

“I’m not interested in being polite. It’s false.”

Advertisements

Cinder

I started reading this series for my GSLIS Young Adult Literature class, and I must say I was pleasantly surprised. I love, love, love fairy tales. And there has never been a story more beloved and retold than the classic underdog story of “Cinderella.” It’s told in every culture. It’s been retold in some of our favorite adventure stories (Harry Potter, anyone?) and yet it’s never been retold with such a Science Fiction twist.

So yeah, when I started reading Cinder by Marissa Meyer I was a bit skeptical. I know this story could get me on the protagonist’s side like no other or I could really not like the way this book takes place in a futuristic society. I really loved it, though. I just finished Scarlet, which features Cinder and Emperor Kai along with Wolf and Scarlet, who are loosely based on the classic “Little Red Riding Hood.”

Plot:

Cinder CoverThis book takes place in New Beijing in a completely new era, where cyborgs (humans that have been modified with robot parts for medical purposes) are marginalized and spit on by society. Enter Cinder, a part-cyborg who’s only friends in the world are her adopted sister, Peony and a robot named Iko who she works with in her family’s mechanic shop. One day, Peony comes down with the plague, a disease that has been rampant in the Eastern Empire for decades. It is the same disease that has the current emperor in the hospital.

So imagine Cinder’s surprise when Prince Kai shows up in her mechanic’s shop (in a disguise, of course. He is the prince of everyone’s dreams) with a robot in desperate need of repair. Kai tries to woo Cinder but is unsuccessful at first. Eventually he asks her to the ball to which Cinder has been specifically banned by her stepmother from attending.

How will Cinder deal with Peony’s death? Will the emperor formerly known as Prince ever find out the truth about Cinder? Why does Cinder black out when she sees the Lunar visitors who have come to Earth in want of peace?

Read Marissa Meyer’s Cinder to find out.

Subject Headings:

Fantasy, Science Fiction, Romance, Young Adult, cyborg

Appeal:

compelling, bleak, chilling, gritty, suspenseful, romantic, eccentric characters, recognizable characters, action-oriented, layered, open-ended, plot twists, futuristic, urban, accessible, engaging, vivid.

Favorite Quotes:

“Even in the Future the story begins with ‘Once Upon A Time.'”

“I’m sure I’ll feel much more grateful when I find a guy who thinks complex wiring in a girl is a turn-on.”

The Diviners (part 1)

It’s not often that I stumble upon a 15-CD audiobook and think, “yes Margaux! Brilliant! You have the time and patience for this!” but for some unknown reason I did this time. I was at the library looking for our hard copy of The Diviners by Libba Bray (let us all bask in the glory that is that woman’s name for just a moment…… okay done) to no avail. I’m convinced someone was reading it IN THE LIBRARY that day.

Anyways I hunched my shoulders in mock-disappointment over the text version and as I walked past our audio section and saw that we had it on CD. I’d read in School Library Journal that the audio was one of the best of 2013 so I gave it a shot.

I find myself listening to it in the car and wishing that I had the sultry voice of Theta and could jaunt around New York City unnoticed like Sam. The characters are so well-drawn in this book and I really think the audio does it justice. If you need me at any time in the next few weeks, you’ll find me on the couch with a cup of coffee listening to The Diviners in the glow of my Christmas tree.