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Before the Devil Breaks You

The Diviners, Book 3
Written by: Libba Bray
Narrated by: January LaVoy
Series: The Diviners
Length: 21 hrs and 26 mins
4 out of 5 stars (1 rating)

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Publisher's Summary

The Diviners are back in this thrilling and eerie third installment by number one New York Times best-selling author Libba Bray.

After battling a sleeping sickness, The Diviners are up against a group of new and malevolent foes - ghosts! Out in Ward's Island sits a mental hospital full of lost souls from 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 New York City, the Diviners must band together and brave the ghosts haunting the asylum to bring down the King of Crows.

Heart-pounding action and terrifying moments will leave you breathless in the third book of the four-book Diviners series by number one New York Times best-selling author Libba Bray.

©2017 Libba Bray (P)2017 Listening Library

Critic Reviews

"This story broke my heart and made me laugh and gave me hope - and really, what more can you ask of a book than that? I loved it, and I have a feeling you will too." (Jennifer E. Smith, author of Windfall and The Statistical Probability of Love at First Sight)

"Narrator January LaVoy shines in the third installment of The Diviners series.... Despite the considerable number of characters and their intersecting storylines, LaVoy never misses a beat, demonstrating a wide range of vocal dexterity and skill that creates the impression of an ensemble. Listeners are encouraged to begin at the beginning of this planned four-audiobook series and enjoy LaVoy's mastery." (AudioFile)

What members say

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Eryn
  • 06-10-17

SO GOOD

I love this series so much. It's so well done. I can't wait to find out what happens in the final book. It's going to be an unbearable wait! And the narrator is fantastic, she really captures each character's personality.

5 people found this helpful

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  • MissSusie66
  • 21-12-17

I want the next book NOW!!!

I am having a hard time lately writing reviews but I wanted to tell you all to READ THIS SERIES!

I love this series so much, I honestly went into this book thinking it was going to be the last book in the series so was pleasantly surprised to get to the end and find out no it is not the end there will be more of these fabulous characters, which made me very happy!!

January LaVoy's narration of this series couldn't be more perfect every character has their own voice and inflection and you are never left wondering who is speaking. I will always listen to these on audio.

Can I have the next book NOW Please!!

Top 5 audiobooks of 2017

4 people found this helpful

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  • Sean A. Smith
  • 24-04-18

Worst of the 3

Would you try another book from Libba Bray and/or January LaVoy?

debatable at this point!

What could Libba Bray have done to make this a more enjoyable book for you?

This was a filler book, nothing got accomplished. All this book did is set it up so you have to read the next one. Very disappointing.

Which scene was your favorite?

when theda saved them all and revealed her powers.

If you could play editor, what scene or scenes would you have cut from Before the Devil Breaks You?

none, would have added a bunch instead of just leaving every storyline open.

Any additional comments?

Very disappointed in the way this turned out to be a filler book to lure you into the 4th book. Nothing was accomplished in this book, very unsatisfying.

2 people found this helpful

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  • Malgorzata Kaczmarska
  • 12-12-17

Another part in the series, and it's divine!

Darker than previous books, but equally engaging and good. I was surprised to see few characters killed off, but it made the story that much more dramatic and grand.

Another amazing performance by January LaVoy.

Highly recommended if you liked the previous parts of The Diviners.

2 people found this helpful

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  • Mike D
  • 04-12-17

Great story however

Why so much sex added in? It felt like author trying to fill quota. In previous books it was just the right amount. Sometimes subtle is so much better. Particularly subtle good when this is supposed to be a young persons novel. Really unnecessary.

2 people found this helpful

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  • CarolinaC
  • 24-11-17

Excellent, chilling listen

Loved this mix of history, humor and supernatural storytelling. I highly recommend! Best of the books, so far, in this series.

2 people found this helpful

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  • Maggie R
  • 27-01-20

Favorite Series, FAVORITE NARRATOR

This book is near perfection. It blows my mind what Libba has done with this story—from a writing perspective and a topical one. She somehow manages to balance a beautifully diverse, uniquely voiced ensemble cast of characters with a chilling storyline full of thrills, socio-political commentary on America in the 1920s, our treatment of mental health, political leanings, and how a person can be coaxed into extremism or passivity. She's not afraid to point out the gaping wounds of America's history and the subsequent ghosts we must not forget. It is a book—a series—SO necessary under today's leadership, and one I truly hope makes waves when it comes to an end.

On a story level, Libba is a master weaver. She highlights the colors of each character, creating their unique struggles, hopes, dreams, ambitions and then spins a whole tapestry in which they are worked seamlessly together without losing that which makes them unique. She shows their personalities vividly through their dialogue and responses to a situation, the way they cope with tragedy and victory, the way they interact with the world around them. She makes me die laughing in places (usually at Sam and Evie's tomfoolery), swoon and blush (again usually at Sam and Evie), weep profusely, and grit our teeth in anger. Her world is incredibly immersive, the 1920s grit of New York painted in a few simple words.

This narrator is by FAR my favorite of the entire pantheon. Her ability to spin unique voices for a myriad of characters—major and minor—and to hit the emotional beats every time is completely unmatched. Her renditions of Evie's voice in particular during this audiobook made me weep in places—from her brightest teases to a scene full of vulnerability after trauma. I look froward to listening to this again!

1 person found this helpful

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  • CV
  • 01-02-20

Not my Favorite of the series, but still good

January Lavoy is so good! This is a hard book to read due to the sheer amount of characters and backgrounds, but I just didn't enjoy her execution of the King of Crows voice.

It's just unpleasant and sounds like a bad Sailor Moon villain.

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  • James
  • 09-01-20

Many explicit sex scenes and social commentaries

The diviners book 3 continues the engaging interpersonal drama and supernatural stories from books 1 and 2. Bray continues to delightfully paint the picture of a likeable but relatable diverse set of characters with powers in the swinging 20s. Similarly, LaVoy's presentation, as with the first 2 books, is a joy to listen to: she gives each main character a unique tone and inflection pattern, so it's easy to follow along with and know who is talking to who.

The diviners series is not new to social commentary. Books 1 and 2 openly discussed racism, homophobia, xenophobia, sexism, indentured servitude, sex traffiking, Native American injustices, and made several subtle digs at other social injustices (e.g. unfair labor practices). In the first 2 books the social commentary enhanced the book, as Bray expertly integrated the social injustices into relatable and believable plot twists. In book 3, however, social commentaries are so numerous they feel artificial and forcefully injected into the main story. There were many instances where I thought, "that doesn't fit into the 1920's" or "that doesn't sound at all like something the character from the last 2 books would say". Near the 2/3 mark I just started rolling my eyes and fast forwarded every 10 or 15 minutes to skip the authors' frequent social injustice soliloquies.

Sex is also nothing new to the series. Books 1 and 2 vaguely hinted at various sexual activities in a PG-13 like manner. In book 3, the clothes come off and sexual activities are many and very explicit, more like an R movie that earns the rating solely for sexual content. The sexual narrative is not so explicit as to be pornographic, but if you don't like listening to sex narratives describing specific body parts and actions for 4 or 5 minutes at a time this might make you feel uncomfortable.

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  • Jessica {NoobChic}
  • 25-12-19

AMAZING!

I don’t know how Libba Bray does it but she takes something and makes it feel both real and gritty and completely genuine but also magical and mystical and other worldly. Being book three it’s very hard to say anything about this book without spoilers BUT I will say that it takes all the atmosphere and vibe of the first two books, takes all the magic and world building and takes it up to a ten. The way this found family comes together, the way they lean on each other, all so different and all so unique, it’s a very American dream type story. Not the American Dream that excludes and abuses and hurts but the one that we are sold as children, the actual hope filled and promising melting pot. I can’t wait for the conclusion of this series.

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  • Anonymous User
  • 26-12-19

best book in the series

this was a really good one. You could see it as a filler for the story but I thought it was more building up to the last book. It took up many important subjects like how mentally ill people were treated back in the day. Also I've waited for Libba Bray to do something BIG, cause I thought she was playing a bit safe (to the point where it was unrealistic) but damn did she deliver this time. I was that "F*CK GO BACK" button meme lol

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  • A
  • 09-01-19

Amazing in every way

The narration is still amazing and makes the already great writing even more enjoyable! The chracters were fleshed out even more in this book and I'm really looking forward to the next book!!

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  • ValaDrew
  • 09-09-18

Another Great Diviners Adventure

Thanks to Libba for another rip roaring Diviners adventure. I was hooked to the story, which had lots of surprises and cannot wait for the next adventure.

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  • Gary W
  • 12-05-18

I love this rag tag group of misfits

I enjoyed this book very much. January LaVoy's array of voices makes the audiobook that much better. Sam and Evie Forever. How cute is Isaiah. I would recommend this book to YA lovers.