Title: Give the Dark My Love (Give the Dark My Love #1)
Author: Beth Revis
Pub. Date: September 25, 2018
Rating: ♥♥♥ – 3.5
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.
This will be a spoiler free review.
Thanks to Penguin’s First to Read program I was able to read Give the Dark My Love early.
Weirdly enough this was my first time reading any of Beth Revis’s work – not sure why I never picked up Across the Universe. I didn’t really know what to expect from this novel. I knew the synopsis sounded like something I would ultimately like, so I took a chance and I ended up enjoying this book. It was definitely darker than I anticipated it being.
It took me a little while to get into it, but a little over half way through I found that I couldn’t put it down. I just kept turning the page, desperate to find out what happened next. What I thought was going to happen didn’t play out, but the twist at the end had my mouth gaping.
If you’re looking for your typical YA fantasy, this isn’t it. This is darker, grittier, and gorier than any typical YA fantasy I’ve read. Nedra suffers a lot and quickly spirals down into anti-heroine territory.
I think Beth Revis did a fantastic job at bringing the world to life – I had no issues picturing what everything looked like. I liked her writing style, and how she brought the characters to life, so I’m hoping they are further explained and evolved in the later books. I’m super interested in seeing if Nedra ends up corrupted by the power she creates or is able to retain who she is. She goes through so much in this first book, suffering so much grief, it’s kind of amazing she’s still standing. I think that’s my biggest draw for the second book – is Nedra going to make it to the other side in one piece or is playing with darkness going to cost her more than it already has.
While there were some things I had issues with – personal preference issues – I did like how this book handled grief and explored the topic. It felt genuine in the sense that not everyone can rise above it and be the ‘hero’ everyone might expect the main character to be. It was definitely a darker book that takes a look at how emotions can be internalized and how that can affect a person.
Overall, I did like this book, and I’m so thankful I got the chance to read it early. If you like dark, anti-heroine thrillers, with a touch of necromancy, then you want to check this book out.