Title: The King of Crows (Diviners #4)
Author: Libba Bray
Genre: YA Historical Fiction/Paranormal
Release Date: February 4th 2020 from Little, Brown Book for Young Readers
Narrator: January LaVoy
Listening Time: 22 hours, 20 mins
Synopsis: 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 is the final book in the series, so if you’re not caught up, I would wait to read this review until you’re caught up with the first 3 books. Possible spoilers will be present so read at your discretion**
You guys know how much I love this series! I was waiting for this finale for so long that I could barely contain myself. I read the first book back around Christmas time in 2015 and it is one of my favorite series of all time. Our cast of characters have gone through a LOT in the first 3 books, especially in the last book Before the Devil Breaks You. Jericho is missing after escaping Jake Marlowe’s estate, Mabel dies in the explosion at the Future of America Exhibition, Sam has been kidnapped by the Shadow Men and the Campbell brothers and Blind Bill are on the run from the Shadow Men. Evie quits her job and is distraught over Mabel’s death, but she doesn’t know that her uncle is dead. I have also done a recap for the first three books in case you need a refresher. But now, it’s time for talking about the finale!
- THETA KNIGHT!: Having finished the series, Theta is hands down my favorite character! This girl has gone through the ringer but man she comes out victorious. She gets a good amount of time in this book as she continues to come into her powers and also facing Roy. Her confrontation with Roy was one way unexpected but also SO SO satisfying. She becomes so strong while embracing her vulnerability and no longer letting that weakness control her. I want another book just all about her 🙂
- Narration: Once again, January LaVoy is a full ensemble cast in one body! Her talents continue to shine here 🙂 This is the only series I’ve listened to that she narrates but I need more audio books from her. I hope she continues to narrate more YA books, since she is the real deal here. She can have a higher pitched voice like Evie, then switch to a deeper tone for Bill and a rasp for the King of Crows. She is the audio book queen.
- True atmosphere: This series always keeps that intense and creepy atmosphere and it didn’t disappoint here. Throughout the book, I was never sure when something was gonna jump out and jeopardize the characters. Whether it was the Shadow Men or the King of Crows, so many people are after the Diviners and they are nearly never safe. I like that the author kept up that tension and how you didn’t trust any side character they came into contact with.
- Sarah Beth Olson a.k.a. Creepy Farm Girl: After being mentioned as the only surviving patient of the 144 from Project Buffalo, Sarah Beth Olson makes her appearance in this book. She lives in Bountiful, Nebraska and the Diviners are trying to get to her since she says that she knows how to defeat the King of Crows. Even from the first conversation she had with Isaiah, I NEVER trusted this girl. She was creepy AF and that’s all I will say. She was done very well.
- Jericho & Ling friendship?!: For a good chunk of the book, Jericho and Ling are getting to know each other as they try to keep their identities hidden. They really don’t know each other and it was honestly really funny how they reacted to each other. Both are very smart people and both are not very social, so you would think they would get along right? Not really but I liked seeing how they surprised each other and became more comfortable.
- Ending: I will say that the way things finally wrap up was well done. You will see in the final chapter that’s called the “Epilogue/Prologue” and I had to go back a couple times on my audio book to make sure I heard right. But yeah how they battle the dead and come together in the end was great. I wonder why the author it’s both an epilogue and prologue but it was a great way to end this series. If the author has anything else Diviners in the future, GIVE ME MORE!
- Themes/Writing: Having read Bray’s first series Gemma Doyle and this one, Libba Bray has grown so much as a writer! She really tackles themes in history and doesn’t back on how nasty people were, how they justified their actions but also how people fight back. This series tackles so many topics like racism, class issues, what it means to be an American and who you love and of course how women were still suppressed. She shows the ugliness but also the hope and how people tackled might have tackled those issues back then. She shows her prowess with research, atmosphere and how her characters have become so memorable.
- Pacing: Despite liking this book overall, it really suffered from pacing and how the author juggled how long certain events went on for. I didn’t like how she dragged out the group’s separation for so much of the finale and then the battle with the King of Crows feel so rushed! Book 3 was really getting that balance back with action, revelations and so much happening but then the last book tanked again like book 2 did. I don’t get the reason why things were so dragged out and then suddenly came to a head. More time with fighting the big bad would’ve been much more satisfying.
- Not a reunion?!: There was a reunion in context that I was waiting for, but it was WAY too short. I wanted this reunion to finally happen and come full circle and offer more bonding time and emotion between two characters. It was way too quick and I’m not happy about it.
- Not enough King of Crows: That’s the name of the book: The King of Crows, but the name doesn’t live up to what the book actually did with our main antagonist. I had expected a slight dive into our bad guy, but I will say that I wasn’t satisfied what happened with him and leave it at that.
- Fake outs aren’t cool: I do feel like the author broke her own rule with the fate of one character and that annoyed me. Take that as you will, since I don’t want to spoil it here, but I feel like there was a fake out and it either should’ve just a tragedy or not happened at all. While the ultimate fate was something I was okay with, fake outs just aren’t cool lol.
Overall: I had SUPER high expectations with this finale since I have come to love this series, despite a few flaws. But while character growth, fantastic narration and writing and some creepy moments, this wasn’t completely what I wanted. The pacing truly suffered from not being balanced enough and the title didn’t live up to what was actually in the book. But the way the final chapter ends things, and maybe opens more (?), was good. Still, my favorite characters are: Theta, Sam, Memphis and Evie. I’ll still re-listen to this series but it didn’t quite live up. If I could rank the series it would be: 1) The Diviners, 2) Before the Devil Breaks You, 3) The King of Crows and last is 2) Lair of Dreams.
Rating: (rounded up to a 4 due to the narration and writing style, but story wise it’s a 3.5)
What did you think of the finale? Did you like it, love it or just disappointed? Let me know your spoiler free thoughts down below!