Monday, September 17, 2018

Review: Give the Dark My Love by Beth Revis

Give the Dark My Love by Beth Revis
Release date: September 28, 2018
Publisher: Razorbill 
Pages: 456
Reading level: Young Adult 
Genre: Fantasy 
Source: First to Read 
Links: Author • Goodreads • Amazon 

Overall: 4 out of 5 stars
When seventeen-year-old Nedra Brysstain leaves her home in the rural, northern territories of Lunar Island to attend the prestigious Yugen Academy, she has only one goal in mind: learn the trade of medicinal alchemy. A scholarship student matriculating with the children of Lunar Island's wealthiest and most powerful families, Nedra doesn't quite fit in with the other kids at Yugen, who all look down on her.

All, except for Greggori "Grey" Astor. Grey is immediately taken by the brilliant and stubborn Nedra, who he notices is especially invested in her studies. And that's for a good reason: a deadly plague has been sweeping through the North, and it's making its way toward the cities. With her family's life--and the lives of all of Lunar Island's citizens--on the line, Nedra is determined to find a cure for the plague.

Grey and Nedra continue to grow closer, but as the sickness spreads and the body count rises, Nedra becomes desperate to find a cure. Soon, she finds herself diving into alchemy's most dangerous corners--and when she turns to the most forbidden practice of all, necromancy, even Grey might not be able to pull her from the darkness.

Beth Revis' ACROSS THE UNIVERSE trilogy was one of my favorites. I loved how unique and engaging it was. So, of course, I was eager to read GIVE THE DARK MY LOVE. While I didn't love this one quite as much, I still found it to be a great read. Fast paced, dark, and mysterious this was a great start to a new series. The story follows Nedra as she leaves her small town and family behind to attend school for alchemy. Meanwhile, there is a deadly plague ravaging the country and Nedra quickly becomes caught up in how she can find a cure for this disease, protect her family, and succeed as an alchemist.

The book was told in semi-alternating chapters between Nedra and fellow-student Greggori Astor. To me, this was Nedra's story though and I didn't get too much out of Greggori's character or felt he contributed much. It was sweet to see her be vulnerable with him, but beyond that I didn't love this part of the story. Nedra is incredibly strong-willed and independent and knows what she wants to accomplish. I enjoyed reading about her experiences at school, but even more so when she became more involved in directly combating the plague. What a horrible disease! Beth Revis did not hesitate to describe gruesome surgeries, slow deaths, and painful amputations. The practice of alchemy was interesting to me, but I would like to know more about the reasoning behind the rats and other aspects of alchemy that I didn't feel were fully explained.

The last half of the book was especially exciting and we get to see certain characters begin to descend more and more into the darkness. At almost 500 pages this is not a short book, but I read it fairly quickly. There are several plot twists that kept me guessing and while the ending wasn't necessarily a cliffhanger, I am interested in seeing what the sequels will bring. I am hoping to learn more about the world and how alchemy and necromancy will continue to shape the characters. 

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