The Diviners are back in this thrilling and eerie third installment by #1 New York Times bestselling author Libba Bray.
New York City.
Lights are bright.
Jazz is king.
Parties are wild.
And the dead are coming...
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 forgottenghosts 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 nationa fight that could claim the Diviners themselves.
Heart-pounding action and terrifying moments will leave you breathless in the third book of the four-book Diviners series by #1 New York Times bestselling author Libba Bray.
About the Author
Libba Bray is the #1 bestselling author of The Diviners, Lair of Dreams, the Los Angeles Times Book prize finalist Beauty Queens, the 2010 Printz Award-winning Going Bovine, and the acclaimed Gemma Doyle trilogy. She lives in Brooklyn, New York.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
4.5 Stars I just absolutely love diving deeper and deeper into this fantastically haunting world the Libba Bray has created. Before the Devil Breaks You continues the adventures of our incredible cast of characters as they learn more about their Diviners powers and the ghostly threat looming over New York. The Diviners learn more about themselves and their history as they prepare for this epic battle that is sure to test them in ways they won’t expect. Things I Liked Ward Island and the exploration of mental health in the 1920s (including continuing to highlight the unseemly parts of US history including the forced sterilization). I also really loved how the Diviners and the Ward Island residents were foiled - where the Diviners were often revered (though not by everyone) and the Ward Island residents were rejected, even though they both have a similar 'otherness' to them. I loved how everyone really came together in this story. We get to see all the Diviners discovering more of their powers and working together, strengthening bonds and continuing the amazing friendships we see in the first two books. Once again, the characters in this series are standouts, and together they form amazing dynamics that completely draw me in and feel so real and genuine. Memphis and Isaiah's brotherly relationship is perfection and feels so earnest. I LOVED seeing all of the girls supporting each other and forming this incredible 1920s girl gang of amazing characters. My favorite romance in the story remained Memphis and Theta, they are adorable perfect and I love them a lot. I didn’t much care for the other romances - I didn’t hate them, I didn’t love them, I didn’t really care. I surprising liked the King of Crows in BTDBY. We get to learn more about him and his origins, as well as his goals and his plan for the Diviners. He actually became a villain in this story, instead of a ghostly idea (which is what I felt he was in Lair of Dreams). And he is a real threatening presence that hold a lot of power, but isn’t infallible. The chapter, “The Dead” was my favorite chapter in the entire book. It was raw, gripping, and thought-provoking. It was such an ambient chapter that set the tone and further established the atmosphere for the story and created a real-world, lived in feeling to all the ghostly problems the Diviners faced. Things I Didn’t Like I wanted more from Henry! I loved that he really got to shine in Lair of Dreams, but I felt like we barely saw him here. He very much returned to a side character, and that was a little disappointing. Though I did absolutely love seeing more of his friendship with Ling. I didn’t like Jake Marlowe at - he is such an awful person and I hate him. He is scum in human form. I was so frustrated with Ling because she still admired him for his scientific advancements and could separate the person from the work with Marlowe, but not with Sister Walker who was nowhere near as awful. And I didn’t really liked Jericho and Mabel’s storylines that were related to Marlowe - they were weaker points of the story for me. These characters are so completely in my heart and I love them so much. I become so invested in their story and their journey and I want to spend time with them. The 1920s setting is also on of my favorite historical settings I’ve ever read - there’s a perfect blend of paranormals that’s grounded in raw honesty. Before the Devil Breaks You is an amazing addition to an outstanding series
The best way to describe this book is an entire season of a TV show. There are 8 main POV characters (and numerous secondary and tertiary characters) and their storylines don't always overlap. They have their own arcs with rises and falls that often complement each other, but don't always match. But then you get to the season finale...and it's huge in scope and impact and emotions. The first 1/4 of the book is a little slow, a lot of dominoes were set up. and characters were (re)introduced. But any slowness in the set up pays off x100. And it pays off in this emotional catharsis. The characters get soaring victories, moments of happiness and joy. And for every victory, there’s a tragedy, a moment that’s written to calibrate exactly the maximal pain. On top of all this wonderful character development is this underlying musing on America and its place in history. It's very well developed and well researched and feel so relevant today. Bray has created characters that I care about deeply, and I can't wait to see how all these complex story lines resolve in the final book. (Final note - listen to the audiobooks of this series. They’re so great.)