Home > dystopian, Genre > Book Review: The Diviners by Quinn Robles

Book Review: The Diviners by Quinn Robles

Artistic image of light and darkness with book's title on it.Summary:
In a world where the 1% has taken over the government and resources and the rest are left to fend for themselves, the Symmonds siblings seek to keep starvation at bay with their divining abilities.  Everyone knows diviners can find a water source with two rods, but the Symmonds siblings can find much more, including lost people.  When they are asked to find girls most likely stolen by the government for sex slavery, they must face a choice.  Should they risk it all to save them?

I actually hesitated over whether or not to review this book because it does not appear to be available for sale anymore in spite of coming out just this February.  This shows me that perhaps the author is already aware that it wasn’t quite ready for publication, so why pile it on?  But I did promise a review in exchange for a copy, and I also review everything I read, so I ultimately decided to review.  But I will keep it short and try to offer simply constructive criticism.

There are two issues with the book.  One is some awkward sentence structures and flat-out wrong grammar.  This is something that could be quickly fixed in another editing pass, which I recommend.  The other is larger, though.  The world building is confusing and weak.  It took me until around 75% through the kindle book to finally figure out what was going on in this world, and some of it was still unclear.  For instance, what I think is a branch of the government (still not sure) is called the “Jacobs,” but they are just called the Jacobs for so long with no other information that at first it seems that they are a rival family or something.  The little information the reader does get about the dystopian world is delivered via information dump.  It’s not smoothly written into the story.  It is told to the reader like a confusing history book.  If this wasn’t a review copy, I would have quit in the first chapter, because it’s simply not pleasant to receive information via info dump.  The dystopian world itself, though, is interesting and timely.  It’s based around the Occupy movement’s rhetoric about the 1% with the wealthy ultimately blatantly taking over.  I could see a lot of people really enjoying the mix of that with the more fantastical element of divining.  The characters are also fairly well-rounded and easy to tell apart.

Overall I would say it’s a good idea and a good first draft, but it needs some reworking and editing.  I hope that’s what this author is doing and that she keeps at it, because her ideas are definitely unique.

2 out of 5 stars

Source: Kindle copy from author in exchange for my honest review

Currently unavailable to buy, but check out the author’s website

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