Title: Before the Devil Breaks You (Diviners #3)
Genre: YA Historical Fantasy
Release Date: October 3, 2017
Narrator: January LaVoy
Listening Time: 21 hours, 26 mins
Sorry for the absent post yesterday guys! I got carried away with other things and didn’t finish this book until today. I was excited for this third book since I was curious of how the story would keep going. I didn’t like the limited POV’s in the previous book, but luckily, the multiple POV’s like the first book are back as the Diviners fight against violent ghosts and the looming King of Crows. While there some great developments, answered questions and great writing, it did bring up a few things that both frustrated me and makes me uncertain of reading the final book. Here’s the breakdown:
- Narrator: Seriously, January LaVoy is the best female narrator you’ll ever hear! Her transitions from a seven year old boy, an old blind man, an Italian immigrant to screeching and violent ghosts is astounding. I personally tell people that you’ll enjoy the audio so much because the atmosphere of her voice seeps into the words and brings it to life ten fold. Her vocal ability, both singing and accents is superb!
- Character Spotlights: Without any spoilers, it was awesome more minor characters like Blind Bill and Mabel Rose got their own time in the book. You see them change, question their motives and also feel important. None of the minor characters feel tossed to the side which was great. You also see threads of Theta, Jericho and Sam’s lives becoming more complicated. Theta is one of my top favorite characters and the growth you see in her was amazing; everything she did and felt was natural to her character and I was worried for her a lot. But I was also surprised to see different emotions from people like Evie as well; people do think she’s annoying, but you see some moments with her where she becomes serious, hurt and terrified. Everyone does grow very well in this book.
- Answers to Questions: While Bray is saving most of the unanswered questions for the final book, crap does hit the fan in this third book. The lack of answers in book two was very disappointing, but I was satisfied enough with the answers you do get here. I didn’t see many of the revelations coming which is another strength to Bray’s writing abilities. Things in the final book seem grim and hopefully it’s a satisfying finale.
- Ending: Oh man the crap hits the fan and the ending is very satisfying. While I do think one or two small things at the end could’ve happened earlier, the ending helped me enjoy the book more than the middle. This was a great glimpse of the final book.
- Not Scary Enough: This book was the least scary in the series! The synopsis talk about the mental asylum, but it’s dealt with very early on and the supernatural stuff before the ending was skimmed over. I didn’t like that the supernatural stuff posed no threat and was in the background a lot. I was hoping the scare factor would be either like the first book or worse.
- Messages/Content: I personally found this book way too modern in thinking/messages/themes. To clarify, I feel like the author injected a lot of her own political ideas and other views in this book. There’s themes in here that are way too accepting or open minded, when they wouldn’t be back in the 1920’s. All the talk about politics, racism and stuff like will always be important. But it was too distracting to the story. Many of these themes have been repeated multiple times in these books that the main plot (the supernatural one) is taking a backseat and my enjoyment kept dropping for a chunk of the book. Yes I know teenagers have hormones and other things, but I wanted the characters to focus on the actual threats in the story instead of reading pages and pages of relationship stuff and more politics. Mabel’s story line with the politics/anarchy is crucial to the story, but the rest felt like filler detail. There’s also more graphic sexual content in this and if you’ve read any of my reviews, you’ll know I hate seeing that stuff in books. I feel that stuff is private and I didn’t like that this stuff distracted both the plot and characters.
Overall: I wanted to love this book, but it didn’t happen. I feel that if book 2 had the multiple points of view like the other two books, it would’ve helped answer more questions, develop characters and leave more of the scares and looming threat for this book. I do also think that the author needs to take out her current political thoughts out of the story so that the supernatural plot line can grow and be resolved. I do want to read the last one when it comes out, but if the last one will be like this one, I’m not sure. I’m on the fence. If you’re a die hard fan of this series, I would still say to check it out. But I don’t recommend this series to readers under 18 due to the scares and occasional graphic content.
Rating: .75 stars
Have you read this series? Do you want to read this latest installment? If you’ve read this book, what did you think of it?