Title: The King of Crows
Author: Libba Bray
Series: The Diviners #4
Release Date: 4/2/2020
E.S.C.A.P.E Score: 46
(see below for breakdown)
I received a free eARC copy from Little Brown Book Group , via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own.
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 fourth book in the series but I will still try to write this review as spoiler free for the whole series.
For me this really was a fitting ending for a series have have thoroughly enjoyed. Libba Bray does an amazing job of combining the historical with the fantastical. Her writing is lyrical and atmospheric, it really immerses you in the world with these characters. While it had been a good time since I had picked up a diviners book it really didn’t take me long to fall back into that world. She has a great way of combining the lighter and darker moments moving between humour and horror with ease.
In fact looking back on how I felt about Before the Devil breaks you I actually much prefer the way this story is told. Our Diviners came together in the third book but circumstances have forced them apart as they travel cross country in their battle against the King of Crows and this give us as a reader a chance to get to know them all even better. The pairings are all somewhat unlikely so we get a little glimpse into each of them and I and how they are coping with both the supernatural and the real world issues of the time.
We get a real sense of the dark and grimy underbelly of 1920s USA, in this series and this instalment is no different. We also get to experience how different things were away from the bright lights of New York. And the reality is dark in its own right so when combined with the supernatural elements highlights it even more. We cover issues such as Jim Crow laws, Sunset towns, and the KKK, anti-antisemitism. Bray also parallels more middle american modern attitudes to issues such as immigration to the middle American’s of the 1920s and highlights that not much has really changed. I appreciate that in the authors note Bray also acknowledges the privilege she is writing from and discusses the topics she addressed further. At points I found the Historical elements more interesting and grounding when the supernatural elements became a little cartoonish.
These have always been more character driven books than plot driven and while the plot is ok and the ending is good it is really the thoughts, feelings and motivations of the characters that are the best part. There were moments in the end that had me shocked, others where I had predicted the outcome and others that made me smile and all considered I was happy with the ending. It had a rather nice bittersweet with a slight chilling feeling right to the very last line and that just perfectly surmised these books. It left me feeling satisfied with how the characters tales concluded but highlighted that the world is not a happy place all the time and that happy endings rarely last.
If you are looking for a series jam packed with diversity, found families, great friendships with a hint of creepy and a good dash of fun this is a good series to try.