Review: Before the Devil Breaks You

Before the Devil Breaks You by Libba Bray
Series: The Diviners #3
Release Date: October 3, 2017
Genres: YA paranormal, historical fiction
Rating: 🌟 🌟 🌟 🌟 🌟

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 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 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 nation–a fight that could claim the Diviners themselves.

At this point I’m just trying to convince everyone to read this series. So here are some reasons you should read these books.


These characters are straight up charming. You will not find two similar characters here and they each bring something to the plot. This cast is so diverse. You’ve got a Black MC, an Irish-Chinese disabled MC, a gay MC, a Jewish MC, and so many more.

There was such fear in the world. But love was everywhere if you looked. It was the best thing about humans. That they could stare into the abyss and still open up their hearts. A spit in the eye to fear.

Each character is real and flawed and I love every single one of them. Evie is just plain entertaining. Memphis and Theta are literally the loves of my lives. Henry is adorable, Ling is lovable as hell, Isaiah must be protected at all costs, and Sam is definitely swoon-worthy. To me, all of the characters and their relationships to each other are the best part of this series.


I’ll just get to the point. These books are scary. While I think book 1 is still the scariest (ghost serial killer anyone?) all of the books have such a mysterious and creepy atmosphere. This series is filled with ghosts, supernatural abilities, murder mysteries, conspiracies.

While book 1 is the scariest, Before the Devil Breaks You takes this series to the next level. This book perfectly sets up book 4 to bring the series to a spectacular end. This book was so intense for the characters and I’m terrified at what book 4 is going to bring us.


This series is filled with authentic descriptions of New York City in the 1920s. Bray hits all the issues that were prevalent in society during the 20s: Prohibition, the KKK, religion, sexuality, World War I, and so much more.

We are a country built by immigrants, dreams, daring, and opportunity.
We are a country built by the horrors of slavery and genocide, the injustice of racism and exclusion. These realities exist side by side. It is our past and our present. The future is unwritten.
This is a book about ghosts.
For we live in a haunted house.

The writing and atmosphere are perfect! All the research Bray did makes it impossible for you not to be transported into the 1920s, you can basically hear the jazz music. Bray makes everything in this series come alive, and it’s just magical.

five stars

3 thoughts on “Review: Before the Devil Breaks You

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