Review: Before the Devil Breaks You

I love the Diviners series, so when my friend Grace asked to buddy read this book, I said heck yeah! This is the 3rd book in The Diviner series, the first being The Diviners, second being Lair of Dreams. If you haven’t read the first two books, this post may contain spoilers, but my review overall is spoiler free.

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Before the Devil Breaks You by Libba Bray
Published: October 3, 2017
Publisher: Little, Brown Books for Young Readers
Genre: YA Historical Fantasy
Pages: 552

New York City.
Lights are bright.
Jazz is king.
Parties are wild.
And the dead are coming…

After battling a supernatural sleeping sickness that claimed two of their own, the Diviners have had enough 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 face-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.

Honestly I don’t remember anything that happened in the first two books. I read Lair of Dreams back in January 2017 so it’s been FOUR YEARS since I picked up the last book. Thankfully, it wasn’t too hard for me to jump back into things. Grace and I set up a reading schedule of 75 pages every day and after the first 75 pages, things were coming back to me.

Because I don’t remember much from the first two books, there’s not much I can compare to or really remark on. But I can say that I loved this book! In this story, we have the King of Crows raising the dead to try and stir up the Diviners because their powers, their mistakes, and the sins of the world feed his energy. He has begun raising his army and preparing himself for the war against humanity and it’s intense.

In the meantime, our characters are going through some wild events. Evie is devastated after her and Sam’s fake rendezvous has ended, Jericho is running out of the serum keeping him alive, and Theta and Memphis are struggling to stay together after a mysterious person from Theta’s past comes knocking on her door. Sam is still trying to find his mother, Ling is just trying to survive, and Mabel is finding herself enthralled with anarchists who want to save the working man. Meanwhile, Will and Sister Walker have asked the Diviners to come together to help them figure out their powers and try to strengthen them.

There’s a lot going on!

Though there are a lot of characters and a lot of plot lines to keep track of, Bray does an amazing job keeping things organized. I never felt like I was lost throughout the POV changes and different events. It’s one of the reason I like the series so much. That, and it’s 1920’s New York with flappers and magic!

As I was reading, I found myself unable to stop. Each time I only read 75 pages and was dying to continue forward to know what happened next. Now, I have to wait a few days for Grace’s copy of King of Crows to arrive so we can finish the series and after that ending, I’m dying to know what happens next! I won’t go into spoilers, and honestly this review would be horribly long if I did, but the ending was intense!

I’m a sucker for this series and the world Bray has built. I would be surprised if this book was anything less than five stars for me, so good thing I’m not that surprising! star-1star-1star-1star-1star-1 // 5 stars!

If this series sounds interesting, check out These Violent Delights by Chloe Gong!


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