Narrator: January LaVoy
Series: The Diviners #4
Published by Listening Library
Published on 4 February 2020
Genres: 20th Century, Paranormal, United States, Young Adult
Source: my local library
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The breath-taking finale to the epic New York Times bestseller, The Diviners, from Printz winner and beloved author, Libba Bray.
After the horrifying explosion that claimed one of their own, the Diviners find themselves wanted by the US government, and on the brink of war with the King of Crows.
While Memphis and Isaiah run for their lives from the mysterious Shadow Men, Isaiah receives a startling vision of a girl, Sarah Beth Olson, who could shift the balance in their struggle for peace. Sarah Beth says she knows how to stop the King of Crows-but, she will need the Diviners' help to do it.
Elsewhere, Jericho has returned after his escape from Jake Marlowe's estate, where he has learned the shocking truth behind the King of Crow's plans. Now, the Diviners must travel to Bountiful, Nebraska, in hopes of joining forces with Sarah Beth and to stop the King of Crows and his army of the dead forever.
But as rumors of towns becoming ghost towns and the dead developing unprecedented powers begin to surface, all hope seems to be lost.
In this sweeping finale, The Diviners will be forced to confront their greatest fears and learn to rely on one another if they hope to save the nation, and world from catastrophe...
This series is absolutely outstanding.
There is everything to love about it: it’s got an amazing diverse cast of characters I just can’t help but love, the worldbuilding is immersive and influential (I seriously start talking like the characters while I’m listening to the audiobook), the plots are slow and steady enough to draw you in but interesting enough to keep you around, and the book tackles really heavy themes like racism and eugenics. To top it all off, an already spectacular book is made so much better by the incredibly talented voice actress who delivers the audiobook narration, January LaVoy. I just love it. I love it, love it, love it.
When you love something so strongly it’s hard to write a decent review!
The plot has been slowly gathering over the course of the series to a final showdown of the Diviners versus the King of Crows, a demonic-like bogeyman from another dimension who leads a literal army of dead, bent on entering and ravishing the world with the help of a rich maniac’s Diviner-powered machine.
The King of Crows himself, well, we’ve been heading in this direction since book 1 and to be honest he was never going to live up to expectations.
Our Diviners are wonderful and unique and beautiful people. My favourite in the audiobook is probably Theta Knight, a Broadway dancer who struggles to control her fire power, because LaVoy gives her a 1940s comedienne accent. If I was just reading and not listening, my favourite would probably be smart, blunt, asexual disabled Ling, a half Chinese, half Irish dreamwalker from Chinatown who works in her parents’ teahouse.
So obviously I really love this series, but that doesn’t mean it’s infallible. I love everything about it, even the ending… except I don’t love how the ending came about. I’m going to put this bit in spoilers:View Spoiler »I don’t know how to feel about the fact that the Diviners only have to think about things differently to win. A change in attitude, or belief, and then suddenly they can do anything. Theta’s power is out of control for so long, until suddenly she believes she’s in control of it. Memphis can heal the breach as soon as he realises his stolen power is inside him all along and Bam, breach healed. Isaiah defeats the King of Crows all by himself simply by… thinking that the king is nothing. It’s like a riddle. It almost doesn’t make any sense. It’s like a magic word. How does accusing the King of Crows of being nothing defeat him? HOW??
I don’t know if I like it.
But the fact that they win simply by thinking differently is a powerful message in a book all about inequality and oppression against minorities. « Hide Spoiler
And yes, some characters that I love deeply have died, and I’m just going to have to accept that.
I would love to re-read this book in audio format, because it’s such a treat to listen to.