The Diviners by Libba Bray (spoiler free): NOT to be Read After Dark!

The diviners
“There is nothing more terrifying than the absoluteness of one who believes he’s right.”
-Libba Bray, The Diviners
Title: The Diviners
Author: Libba Bray
Series: The Diviners #1
Genre: Horror, Young Adult, Fantasy, Historical Fiction
Pages: 578
Publisher: Little Brown Books
Published: September 18, 2012
My Rating: ☆☆☆☆☆
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Synopsis From Goodreads:

Evie O’Neill has been exiled from her boring old hometown and shipped off to the bustling streets of New York City—and she is pos-i-tute-ly ecstatic. It’s 1926, and New York is filled with speakeasies, Ziegfeld girls, and rakish pickpockets. The only catch is that she has to live with her uncle Will and his unhealthy obsession with the occult.

Evie worries he’ll discover her darkest secret: a supernatural power that has only brought her trouble so far. But when the police find a murdered girl branded with a cryptic symbol and Will is called to the scene, Evie realizes her gift could help catch a serial killer.

As Evie jumps headlong into a dance with a murderer, other stories unfold in the city that never sleeps. A young man named Memphis is caught between two worlds. A chorus girl named Theta is running from her past. A student named Jericho hides a shocking secret. And unknown to all, something dark and evil has awakened.

My Thoughts: ☆☆☆☆☆

Want some creepy Halloween reading? You’re gonna love this!
The Diviners is unlike any book I’ve read before, and I’ve read a lot of books! The setting is New York City, 1926, but it’s fantasy! I’m not sure I’ve ever read anything with paranormal happenings that’s set in history. There are things like The Caster chronicles, but those show us history through flashbacks. This is actually set in 1926, and the world building is amazing! Actually, the writing is amazing throughout the whole thing! There are several narrating characters, (I believe I counted five???), and each point of view is separated by a chapter break. I was never confused about who was speaking as I am sometimes in Multi-POV books, but I do think it did detract from the story somewhat. Each of the characters had their own unique story, and we got a little more info about each character each time they got a turn at the mic, but I found myself caring about a few characters a LOT more than the others. It took a while to get that way, but towards the end of the book I found myself just wanting to GET BACK TO EVIE! BUT.. I have to give Libba Bray some credit here… She did a really cool thing, (there is probably a technical term for this that I am not looking up), with her characters and plot. Through those other narrating characters, we knew almost what was going on before Evie, who was the one trying to solve the mystery. It drove me insane because I thought I had the mystery solved and knew what was happening, and then what I had worked out in my head turned out to be wrong. It wasn’t completely off the mark, but it also wasn’t quite what I’d been thinking for the last 200 pages.
Now… Onward to why I said it’d be a good Halloween read… This book is seriously creepy, and it’s got some stuff in there that I normally would NOT read about. I didn’t quite know the extent of the ghost story when I picked it up, and I also skipped the prologue. i don’t typically skip prologues, but somehow I managed to scroll right past it in the Kindle book… If I had read the prologue, that would’ve been my warning flag to put the book down. I’ll read a lot of things when it comes to paranormal, but I draw the line at ouija boards, inverted pentagrams, and raising the devil. Tarot? Awesome! THAT board? Insert screaming emoji here!
Given a do-over where I knew more about the plot, I probably would never in a million years have read this book. I was 200 pages in before I figured out I’d skipped the prologue and made the connection to the creepy stuff, and by that point I was too hooked on the story to stop reading. My brain decided to associate whistling from the TV with the book for about a week, but I DID finish it! And I can’t justify not giving it five stars because it really was an awesome read.
At this point in time, I’m not sure if I’ll read the second book or not. The ending was a pretty big cliffhanger, so I’ll probably cave and read it eventually. This is a scheduled post, so if I decide to read it, you’ll see a review in a few days. And if I don’t read it, you will never hear about this series again…

Share your thoughts?

Have you read The Diviners? Do you want to read it now, or did my review scare you away? Let me know what you think in the comments, and I’d also really appreciate some historical fantasy suggestions!
From Cheyenne 🙂

Blue lily, Lily Blue by Maggie Stiefvater

Blue Lily, Lily Blue cover art
Title: Blue Lily, Lily Blue
Author: Maggie Stiefvater
Series: The Raven Cycle #3
Genre: Young Adult, Fantasy, Paranormal
Pages: 391
Publisher: Scholastic Press
Published: October 21, 2014
My Rating: ☆☆☆
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Goodreads Synopsis:

There is danger in dreaming. But there is even more danger in waking up.

Blue Sargent has found things. For the first time in her life, she has friends she can trust, a group to which she can belong. The Raven Boys have taken her in as one of their own. Their problems have become hers, and her problems have become theirs.

The trick with found things though, is how easily they can be lost.

Friends can betray.
Mothers can disappear.
Visions can mislead.
Certainties can unravel.

My Thoughts: ☆☆☆

Ok… I don’t really know what to say about this book! It was weirs? But amazing? And beautiful? And really creepy? And I like crazy characters? And I’m kinda confused?
I’m giving Blue Lily, Lily Blue three stars for basically the same reason that The Dream Thieves got three stars… It just didn’t really seem to carry the plot as well as the first book did. I have to say that these characters are some of the most awesomest, (that is totally a word for the purposes of this review), characters that I have ever seen in a YA fantasy novel, and I’ve read a LOT of YA fantasy novels! I’m a sucker for characters with depth, so I would love to give it four stars for that alone… BUT.. I can’t justify it.

The Writing:

The writing is still really beautiful, and it conveys the characters’ thoughts and feelings perfectly, but it’s kinda hard to follow in this book… It was pretty while still being simple in the previous books, but now it’s… overly pretty? It’s not that way throughout the whole book, but it definitely sticks out where that is the case.

The Plot:

Hmmmmmmm… tries to be not blunt
I’m not really sure how the plot of this book has anything to do with the plot of the rest of the series… I mean… Ok… There might be minor spoilers coming??? But it won’t totally ruin it because I’m about to give some plot events WAY out of context! Just skip down to the next heading if you don’t wanna risk it!
At the end of The Dream thieves, Blue’s mother disappears. I’m not saying why… Blue Lily, Lily Blue picks up right where that left off! It shows Blue and the boys searching for her, but then it detours, and strays off the path, and does a lil circle, and somehow manages to tie everything up nicely. There is a LOT of really crazy weird stuff in between, but the ending does redeem it! Everything gets wrapped up in this nice lil bundle for The Raven King to bring to an epic finish! And it better bring it to an epic finish because I have too much invested in these characters!

The Characters:

I already touched on this, but i just have to fangirl… These characters are SO real! I feel like they’re going to come out of the pages! And those arcs!
Blue: Blue is experiencing a crisis in this book, but you can still see the developement! This is her book, and her story, and her perspective on the world shaped by the first two books, and her perspective is.. quite an interesting one! And she is falling for a character who I didn’t think I’d want her with at the beginning, coughs and suddleypoints you in the direction of previous reviews, but I think maybe I like it just the tiniest bit now??? It’s growing on me!
Gansey: I thought Gansey’s character was SO flat and fake in The raven Boys, but he’s gaining some depth now! We’re starting to see some backstory, and it’s making me really want to like him! Still getting that shatter Me vibe though if you get my drift…
Ronan: NOT gonna fangirl! NOT GONNA DO IT! But he’s my favorite….. I have this thing for characters who are just really broken and have basically nothing left to lose, and that’s Ronan in a nutshell. I reeeeeeeally want him to turn around and do something awesome! But I’m afraid his heart is going to be broken before that happens and I don’t like it!
Adam: Adam’s right up there with Ronan in my book! He’s had probably the worst life of any of them, but he’s got a big role to play, I just know it! At least he better! And his character gets stronger and stronger in each book. He was SO quiet and kinda in the background at first, but now he’s a key player!
Crazy Girl: No, that’s not her real name… But i’m not telling you her real name because I want you to be as shocked as I was when you find out who she is! Just know that she’s crazy, and she sings demented songs about crowns and birds and blue lilies, and I love her because she’s crazy for the sake of being crazy! Plus, Maggie Stiefvater actually composed the music for the song, and it played at the end of the audio book, and I love it when authors make something specifically for their story like that! Maybe one day I’ll be musically talented enough to make a book soundtrack… One can dream!

Final Conclusion:

I loved it! But mostly because of the characters… I have got to find out what happens to these awesome people! The plot’s a little iffy at this point, but I think the last book is going to redeem it. I will be finishing the series because that ending was a major cliffhanger! I know an that one evil person from the first book and a new evil person from the second book were trapped in a cave together, and I think they woke up something NOT good! Maybe it’ll kill them and leave Blue and the boys to live happily ever after on the leyline? Yeah, right… Anyway… If you like awesome characters, and you enjoyed the first two books, you should read it. I think you’ll like how it ends up.

Book In A quote:

“Her aura is like yours—it’s blue,” he said. “The clairvoyant aura!”

“Is it?” She was going to be extremely annoyed if this was how she had gotten her name—like naming a puppy Fluffy.”
-Maggie Stiefvater, Blue Lily, Lily Blue

Book Review: Girl Of Nightmares, (Anna #2), by Kendare Blake

Girl Of Nightmares

Title: Girl Of Nightmares 

Author: Kendare Blake 

Series: Anna #2 (click here for my review of book1) 

Pages: 336 

Publisher: Tom Doherty Associates 

Published: August 7, 2012 

iBooks 

iTunes Audio 

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Goodreads Synopsis 

It’s been months since the ghost of Anna Korlov opened a door to Hell in her basement and disappeared into it, but ghost-hunter Cas Lowood can’t move on. 

His friends remind him that Anna sacrificed herself so that Cas could live—not walk around half dead. He knows they’re right, but in Cas’s eyes, no living girl he meets can compare to the dead girl he fell in love with.

Now he’s seeing Anna everywhere: sometimes when he’s asleep and sometimes in waking nightmares. But something is very wrong…these aren’t just daydreams. Anna seems tortured, torn apart in new and ever more gruesome ways every time she appears.

Cas doesn’t know what happened to Anna when she disappeared into Hell, but he knows she doesn’t deserve whatever is happening to her now. Anna saved Cas more than once, and it’s time for him to return the favor. 


My Rating: ☆☆ 

Like Anna Dressed In Blood, Girl Of Nightmares is seriously creepy! Like don’t read it at night creepy! But the creepiness is toned down quite a lot in the second book. Anna Dressed In Blood gets a ten out of ten on Cheyenne’s scale of creepy, and Girl Of nightmares is somewhere around an eight. It may actually be the same level of creepy, but it’s a different kind of creepy. I’ve said the word creepy WAY too many times in that paragraph, so I think I’ll move on now! 

I will admit that Girl Of Nightmares was a bit of a let down for me as far as plot and structure, but it still maintained the realistic characters that I fangirled over in book1. I’m a sucker for awesome characters, so that’s why I’m giving it four stars. Anna Dressed In Blood had a very tight plot structure, along with the realistic characters, and the end of the book left the readers wanting something more. Girl Of nightmares was that something more, but it wasn’t quite the tightly woven something more I was hoping for. 

The main problem that I had with it was the romance subplot, and the ending. The subplot kind of seemed to me like it was just there for the sake of having a subplot with romantic issues, and the ending was just a little… anticlimactic. I mean… We went through all this stuff, and traveled half way across the world, and now it’s just gonna end, and everybody’s just gonna walk off into the sunset in a cloud of rainbows and butterflies! That might be a little exaggerated, but that’s what it seemed like to me. And ok! I have to add a spoiler because I have feelings! 


Spoiler, Spoiler!!! 

The whole break up thing with Thomas and Carmel… What on earth was that about?! I mean I get what it was about, and it totally made sense, but it just seemed a little down played/way over done to me! That was a conflicting statement, but it’s true! It was kind of taking over at first, and then it kind of got dropped, and then she showed up in England, and then it was all better! I guess I just think it could’ve been done better, but it’s nothing to stop anyone from reading the book. 


End Of Spoiler!!! 

In short, Girl Of Nightmares is an awesome book with a few minor plot problems that bug my writerly brain more than they probably should. It definitely shows Kendare Blakes amazing characters, and the writing style is very true to the series. It was a bit disappointing after the tight structure of the first book, but it isn’t enough to make me drop the series if a third book is released. 


What do you think? 

Did you like Girl Of Nightmares? Do you agree with my views? Disagree? Think I’m crazy? Don’t answer that last one! I love hearing from you guys, so drop me a line and tell me what you think! Happy creepy reading!!! 

From Cheyenne 🙂 

Book Review: Anna Dressed in Blood by Kendare Blake

Anna Dressed in Blood

Title: Anna Dressed in Blood 

Author: Kendare Blake 

Series: Anna (#1)

Pages: 320 

Publisher: Tor Teen 

Published: October 17th, 2011 

Find It On: 

 

 

Synopsis From Goodreads 

Cas Lowood has inherited an unusual vocation: He kills the dead.

So did his father before him, until he was gruesomely murdered by a ghost he sought to kill. Now, armed with his father’s mysterious and deadly athame, Cas travels the country with his kitchen-witch mother and their spirit-sniffing cat. They follow legends and local lore, destroy the murderous dead, and keep pesky things like the future and friends at bay.

Searching for a ghost the locals call Anna Dressed in Blood, Cas expects the usual: track, hunt, kill. What he finds instead is a girl entangled in curses and rage, a ghost like he’s never faced before. She still wears the dress she wore on the day of her brutal murder in 1958: once white, now stained red and dripping with blood. Since her death, Anna has killed any and every person who has dared to step into the deserted Victorian she used to call home.

Yet she spares Cas’s life. 


Rating: ☆☆ 

Anna Dressed in Blood is creepy! Like we’re talkin’ voodoo creepy! When I say it shouldn’t be read at night, I am speaking with late-night reading experience! But at the same time it has some of the most realistic and relatable characters I have ever seen in a book of it’s genre. 

I put off reading Anna Dressed in Blood for a long time because of the creep factor. I believe that some of that paranormal stuff can actually happen, and I tend to not open myself up to that kind of thing through books and movies, but multiple people insisted that I give it a try. I was hooked by the third chapter, and I read the book through in two days. It seems to me that most horror/fantasy books are largely plot driven and don’t allow much room for character development and reader connections, so I’m always super excited when I find a book in one of those genres that is strong in both aspects. If I can’t connect with the characters, even in the most basic of ways, the book will not hold my attention, and I’ll have a hard time even telling someone what it’s about. Anna Dressed in blood has a very strong plot with a very tight structure, but it has possibly the most beautifully written characters that I’ve read in a long time! Cas undergoes a full transformation. In the beginning he’s a loner; his philosophy is get the job done and move on without creating any attachments. By the end of the story he’s come to realize that it’s okay to open up to people, and that sometimes friends are needed to assist with rough times. He gains a close circle of friends that is bound together by all the things they’ve experienced over the course of the plot, and there is also a bit of romance that is SO sweet and amazing. I can’t say anymore about that though, because it would totally spoil the book, and then you guys would probably yell at me in the comments… Kendare Blake must be some kind of word witch herself, because this book is magical in more ways than one! I will be reading Girl of Nightmares, which is the second book in the series, as soon as I can get my hands on a Kindle copy. 

That’s pretty much all I can safely say without spoiling the whole thing, so I’ll stop raving now! If you’ve read it or are planning to read it, I’d love to know what you think of my review! You can drop me a line in the comments, or tweet me @Cheyenne_writes. Until next time… Always remember to be bookish, stay writerly, and enjoy your creepy reading!