Before the Devil Breaks You (The Diviners #3) by Libba Bray

Before the Devil Breaks You (The Diviners #3) by Libba BrayBefore the Devil Breaks You (The Diviners, #3) by Libba Bray
Narrator: January LaVoy
Published by Penguin Random House Audio Publishing Group
Published on 3 October 2017
Genres: 20th Century, Paranormal, United States, Young Adult
Format: Audiobook
Source: my local library
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5 Stars

New York City.1927.Lights are bright.Jazz is king.Parties are wild.And the dead are coming...

After battling a supernatural sleeping sickness that nearly claimed two of their own, the Diviners have had enough of lies. They're more determined than ever to uncover the mystery behind their extraordinary powers, even as they face off against an all-new terror. Out on Ward's Island, far from the city's bustle, sits a mental hospital haunted by the lost souls of people long forgotten--ghosts who have unusual and dangerous ties to the man in the stovepipe hat, also known as the King of Crows.

With terrible accounts of murder and possession flooding in from all over, and New York City on the verge of panic, the Diviners must band together and brave the sinister ghosts invading the asylum, a fight that will bring them fact-to-face with the King of Crows. But as the explosive secrets of the past come to light, loyalties and friendships will be tested, love will hang in the balance, and the Diviners will question all that they've ever known. All the while, malevolent forces gather from every corner in a battle for the very soul of a nation--a fight that could claim the Diviners themselves.

This book has everything I’ve grown to love and adore about The Diviners: a supernatural Scooby gang, spooky atmosphere, scary villains, awesome language (I nearly said ‘Everything copacetic?’ to a colleague the other day).

It’s confronting: there’s racism, attempted rape, domestic abuse, homophobia, and all kinds of bigotry that make me really mad, but all dealt with by Bray in a respectful and honest way. It also has character redemption, admiration, loyalty, love, and a huge emotional response to character fates. I just loved seeing the diviners come together as a group to train, to learn how to control their abilities better, and finding out more about the history of diviners.

While the storyline itself might seem a little slow paced, there’s plenty of activity, and the POV switches between the characters quickly enough to keep you engaged. Besides the fact that it’s also just fun to see the amazing world Bray builds, filled with Broadway bright lights, radio shows, jazz and gin. It’s glamorous, the sparkle and shine barely hiding the gritty underneath layers of the horrors of the ways minorities were treated in 1927, murder and violence and death and ghosts seeking vengeance.

What I love most about the diviners themselves is that it’s a really diverse group. Even in an era where you could easily and ignorantly say there wasn’t much diversity (because the history mostly focuses on the rich white men of the time anyway), there actually was, and Bray delivers it, showing that it’s not that hard to have a beautiful, wonderful diverse group of characters all with different backgrounds, personalities, motivations and interests.

The most unlikely friendship is the dreamwalkers Henry and Ling: Henry the gay laid back former rich boy now struggling musician, and Ling the asexual disabled half Chinese half Irish scientist, feisty and dry and sharp, all edges. But my god, they love each other, and I love seeing their unwavering support of each other.

Once again, January LaVoy does the most amazing job narrating this enormous book, giving each character their own distinct voice and creating believable men and children, including making a voice recognisable when a character’s age changes. She is a true gem and everyone should bow down to her talent and hard work.

This is the third big book in a series of big books, so if you’re not totally in love with this series at this point, you’re basically wasting your time reading it. However, I do recommend this series to everyone because it’s fabulous.

Nemo
Nemo

About Nemo

A lover of kittens and all things sparkly, Nemo specialises in reading and reviewing contemporary, paranormal, historical, sci-fi and fantasy Young Adult fiction. She especially loves novels about princesses, strong female friendships, magical powers, healing, and assassins.

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