02 June 2018

Before the Devil Breaks You by Libba Bray

Series: The Diviners (#3)
# of Pages: 552
Publication: October 3rd, 2017
Source: Personal Copy & Audibook
Genre: Paranormal Fantasy/Historical Fiction
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After battling a supernatural sleeping sickness that early 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.

Where do I even begin with this book?? That's the ultimate question because when it's all said and done this book completely and totally destroyed me. I was not expecting certain things to occur. And those events definitely had me in tears. If you know anything about me, you know that it takes a lot for a book to make me cry; however, I had a full on breakdown while listening to this book in the car. Speaking of audiobooks, I clearly listened to this one on audiobook and I highly highly recommend that anyone that is new to this series does the same. January LaVoy is the most amazing narrator that I have encountered. This book is filled will a diverse cast and January will make you feel as though the audiobook is a full cast production instead of just one person. If you haven't had the opportunity to check her out definitely do that.

Okay so back to the book. This is the third book in the four part series of the Diviners. Libba takes her time with these books and I love and appreciate that. All of the books takes place in the 1920s amongst a group of young adults known as diviners. These diviners have special powers that allow them to do a wide variety of things; however, as most people fear what they don't understand, the diviners are feared by most of the community. This book focuses on their journey to discover the wants of the demonic man in the stove pipe hat. Dynamics between characters change and there were characters that we used to love that we grow to dislike and then they're characters that have made a complete 180 (most notably Sam--who I'm in love with). One thing that I loved and I mean absolutely loved about this book was the social commentary. It was clear that this book has some statements toward the election of Donald Trump. The book clearly outlines the idea that when we ostracize and make victims of people who are different from us, we are then headed towards a very hateful and dangerous world. This book covers topics like racism, immigration exclusion policies, America's not so friendly history, etc...all of the things you would expect to be important during the time of an election. While the social commentary may seem subtle to some people, it was right there in my face and I loved it.

It took me a while to read this book not because it was slow or boring but because I didn't want it to end knowing that it may take Libba over a year to finish the next book. It was well-written with so many diverse characters and diverse situations. We learn so much about characters and their backstories as well as their abilities. I loved that the climate of this book forced everyone to work together. I think in the last book the diviners will need each other more than ever. It's a beautiful thing to see them working together. The book left off on such a cliffhanger that I can't wait to see what the next book has in store for readers. While it wasn't as scary as the first couple of books, this was another great installment to the series.


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