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Give the Dark My Love

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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 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.


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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 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.

30 review for Give the Dark My Love

  1. 4 out of 5

    Chaima ✨ شيماء

    It’s so interesting to me how everyone sleeps differently. Some people sleep on their side, some people sleep on their back and I’ve noticed that A LOT OF Y'ALL ARE STILL SLEEPING ON THIS BOOK. So, what’s this book about? Nedra Brysstain earns a scholarship to Yugen Academy, which also earns her many enemies, especially her rival classmates who think that a poor girl from a rural village should not be admitted to such a place of prestige. In Yugen, Nedra is tutored by the enigmatic Master Ostrum It’s so interesting to me how everyone sleeps differently. Some people sleep on their side, some people sleep on their back and I’ve noticed that A LOT OF Y'ALL ARE STILL SLEEPING ON THIS BOOK. So, what’s this book about? Nedra Brysstain earns a scholarship to Yugen Academy, which also earns her many enemies, especially her rival classmates who think that a poor girl from a rural village should not be admitted to such a place of prestige. In Yugen, Nedra is tutored by the enigmatic Master Ostrum who helps her hone the craft of medicinal alchemy. But when an epidemic seems to only ravage the poor, and the emperor and those in power appear to worry that letting their names onto their tongues would leave them sick as well, Nedra’s responsibility is bigger, and hard to harness. Her efforts to heal the sick go awry and with the enormity of the plague looming over everyone’s heads, the twisting, growing certainty that only necromancy could be the cure wedges itself inside Nedra. Her horror deepens, when her loved ones fall ill, and it’s a new layer added to the grief of this doom. Taunted with phantoms of the dead, Nedra’s anger rose and rose. This was loss and grief, and it tore something open inside her. “They didn’t ask for life, they asked for more time.” She paused. “If love will not stop for death, time should.” If you want something dark, the kind of story that makes you question your morals, your tastes, your reality, and refuses to allow you any of the polite fictions and unspoken truths that will keep you comfortable and safe, then this is the book for you. Granted, it was all fun and games during the first half. No matter how twisted and gritty things have gotten then, that was only a guttering candle to the steady flame of viciousness in the second half. It’s like a hundred slivers of darkness breaking apart and re-forming and siphoning themselves into a huge typhoon. I fell headlong into the story, and at times, I hardly knew if it was Nedra’s anguish or my own. This is a darkly twisted tale about a heroine's journey into villainy, a story that floods you with the truth of how everything you mean well can twist and become something else when you’re not looking. Everything has an edge if you know to watch for it. The author draws the reader’s into Nedra’s journey, a transformative fog that could turn one either into a hero or a monster, with such intensity that her moral struggle becomes tangibly real, even rational. There’s a deep gorge that marks where her world split and the foundations tore apart—when Nedra was still a girl filled with hope who volunteered at the hospital and sought anything torn that she could mend, and not what she’d later become. Nedra’s journey is hard, and filled with pain, violence, and grit, and I oftentimes struggled to reconcile what I thought I knew of her with what I was reading before me, but I can think of no one better to root for. That’s the thing. My favorite kind of villains and anti-heroes are the ones you can understand. You don’t necessarily agree with them and you know that what they’ve done in the aftermath could never be shriven. You fear them because you realize that there is no darkness anyone could send them to rival what they’d endured already. You want to feel scorn for them for being so ruthless, but you know too much to ever scorn them. The scariest type of monsters are the ones that seem so human and so familiar. Nedra would not just uproot the world for her loved ones, but tear it, burn it, do any evil she could to keep them safe. She reached forth with all the fine control that the world has cheated and backstabbed and brutalized out of her, and the dark things within her took wings. Her heart splintered into pieces and reclaimed itself into something else—a tangle of grief and despair and so much fury. She’d lost the ability to see herself through her own eyes and this was the new mirror in which she knew herself: hero, monster, something far worse, maybe neither. Who might Nedra be if she hadn’t borne that burden? Who would she become if it was gone? Another thing I relished in this book is how it felt utterly satisfying to see a heroine willing to risk newfound romance to stand up for what she believes in. The book alternates between Nedra’s point of view and Greggori “Grey” Astor’s, one of Nedra’s classmates whom she falls in love with. Grey’s POVs were a gray space filled with nothing. He was handsome and rich and raised with the privilege of not being accustomed to fear. Everything he chose to deflect with “it will get better” talks, Nedra faced without flinching. And she comes to realize that she could no longer retreat into her old, comfortable belief in his love and faith. He tells her “if you choose necromancy…I will not follow you into that darkness”, to which she answers, “Oh Grey, what do you know of darkness?” and that was such a power move. Overall, this was a very compelling anti-hero story and I eagerly await seeing Nedra’s journey’s culmination in the next chapter of the series! BLOG | TWITTER | INSTAGRAM | TUMBLR

  2. 5 out of 5

    Emily May

    “If you do this, Nedra, if you choose necromancy . . . I will not follow you into that darkness.” “Oh, Grey,” I said, shifting my bag on my shoulder. “What do you know of darkness?” Well. This book's darkness certainly creeps up on you. In the best kind of way. While reading the first half of Give the Dark My Love, I thought it was a decent YA fantasy. It checked a number of boxes that appeal to me - "magic" alchemy school with mysterious tutors, political intrigue, some diversity (view spoiler)[ “If you do this, Nedra, if you choose necromancy . . . I will not follow you into that darkness.” “Oh, Grey,” I said, shifting my bag on my shoulder. “What do you know of darkness?” Well. This book's darkness certainly creeps up on you. In the best kind of way. While reading the first half of Give the Dark My Love, I thought it was a decent YA fantasy. It checked a number of boxes that appeal to me - "magic" alchemy school with mysterious tutors, political intrigue, some diversity (view spoiler)[at least of sexuality, but race is unclear (hide spoiler)] , and a heroine I could like. The romance did nothing for me, but then it rarely does. This first half features Nedra Brysstain - a poor country girl from the northern territories of Lunar Island - receiving a scholarship to attend Yugen Academy, a prestigious school that trains students in the science of medicinal alchemy. Most of the other students look down on the scholarship student, except for Greggori "Grey" Astor. Romance blooms alongside Nedra's growing alchemy skills. But Nedra is most interested in the plague that is spreading through Lunar Island. Her search for a cure is buoyed by her volunteering at a local hospital and seeing the horrific painful results of the disease. Behind the plague is a world of intricate politics - where it seems almost everyone is out for themselves and may even be using the plague to further their own political ambitions. It's quite fun, but it isn't until around the halfway point that this book goes from "fun" to nail-bitingly horrific. If you're the right kind of person, that will be a good thing. I couldn’t be a human in this moment. I had to be an alchemist. An alchemist sees the skin that must be sliced apart. The arteries that must be tied off. The bone that must be sawed through. An alchemist knows to hold the arm down so it doesn’t wiggle too much. Just a warning, though: it gets very dark. There are some gory bits in the first half and yet that doesn't really prepare you for what's to come. The story takes a very emotional and disturbing turn, but I can't deny it-- I was on the edge of my seat, wide-eyed and racing through the pages to find out what happens. The ending wraps up this chapter but it still left me excited (and a little terrified) to see what happens in the sequel. Those who regularly seek out dark reads should love this; everyone else proceed with caution. CW: graphic violence; graphic surgery; animal cruelty (view spoiler)[It's sort of necessary, I guess(?) More like animal testing. (hide spoiler)] ; grief/loss. Blog | Facebook | Twitter | Instagram | Youtube

  3. 5 out of 5

    Elise (TheBookishActress)

    “If you do this, Nedra, if you choose necromancy… I cannot follow you into that darkness.” “Oh, Grey,” I said, shifting my bag onto my shoulder. “What do you know of darkness?” This book looked like a generic, if fun, YA fantasy that just happened to have this really nice and intriguing cover. And then it turned out to be a story about a wonderfully crafted antiheroine falling into darkness in the face of relentless oppression, and then Really Doing That, and I was just shook. If you liked her “If you do this, Nedra, if you choose necromancy… I cannot follow you into that darkness.” “Oh, Grey,” I said, shifting my bag onto my shoulder. “What do you know of darkness?” This book looked like a generic, if fun, YA fantasy that just happened to have this really nice and intriguing cover. And then it turned out to be a story about a wonderfully crafted antiheroine falling into darkness in the face of relentless oppression, and then Really Doing That, and I was just shook. If you liked hero-to-villain arcs in books like The Young Elites and The Grisha Trilogy and want more of that nice slide to evil, you should be reading this. Actually...I have a feeling it might be even more hardcore later on. How about I promo this book to you with one anecdote: (view spoiler)[at one point, a man shows up to Nedra trying to bring his wife back, and it’s revealed that he was the one who murdered her, and Nedra is like “fuck that” and allows her army of the dead to murder him while walking off. (hide spoiler)] Because I think about that a lot. Okay, okay. Give the Dark My Love is an antiheroine origin story, but more importantly, it’s a book about losing your people and the grief of that - the horror of losing the people who have defined your humanity. I mean, if you want to be sad for 300 hours, you will be over Nedra’s relationships with the people around her. Grey and Nedra’s romance is a sweet touch, perfectly geared to make you sad. I really loved Nedra’s family; there’s this one scene where she switches places with her sister to fool her mother, and it’s one of the most adorable and sweet things I’ve ever read. Ernesta in general is a great character, a delight in every page she’s in [and also canonically bi? which I love?] Master Ostrum is a great side character and ambiguous-support for Nedra and it’s fantastic. Which only makes it more upsetting when her family is involved in the conflict. “I love you, Nedra, but...” I didn't realize until that moment how the but cancelled out the love. Love could not exist when it came with conditions. As the book goes on, Nedra is left feeling alone, unsupported, forced to do everything herself… and is driven to levels of unspeakable morals. And despite his best efforts, Grey’s refusal to allow her to be happy with her dark side drives them apart as well. The ending wasn’t unpredictable, but it was cool as fuck. I will admit, I struggled with Grey’s point of view. It’s not the worst – he’s a compelling enough character. It’s just so clear that despite his not-insignificant impact on the narrative and its depiction of poverty, this book is not his story. In a book that is in every other way Nedra’s book, where Grey fills the role of a compelling love interest and no more, it feels odd and somewhat distracting to get his POV. Oh, speaking of Grey, here’s another thing I absolutely adored: the fact that this book is, at its core, a story about the repression of lower classes. In this world, the north of Lunar Island has been left behind the economy of the wealthier south. So when a new plague spreads in the north, richer southerners assume it’s a disease based off the dirtiness of the north. Not that this is a parallel to the real world or anything, but… this is a fantastic parallel to the real world. It’s just overall a very strong book about necromancy and antiheroine-ism. The world doesn’t always give you fairness and sometimes, you need to wrest it back. Spirits don’t always want to come back. And even the villains have a point. Also, can I just say… it really fucking goes there. Nedra is such a queen. The last hundred pages changed me as a person, obviously. But I also… there’s this one section in this book that I can’t stop thinking about because it was so deeply fucked up, and then the narrative just kept fucking describing everything. You’ll know what I mean when you get there. Anyway, I absolutely loved this, and I cannot wait to get to book two - look out for my review here! Blog | Goodreads | Twitter | Instagram | Youtube

  4. 5 out of 5

    Chelsea Humphrey

    "I love you as certain dark things are to be loved, in secret, between the shadow and the soul." -Pablo Neruda, Sonnet XVII This book is dark, heavy, and irreverent... and I love it. It is a book about necromancy, sure, but at heart it was an exposition on grief. Give The Dark My Love is one to add to my favorite books featuring an anti-hero and I think those who enjoy this type of unsettling novel will really take to it. At times it felt lyrical, and even poetic, but the writing is never so lofty "I love you as certain dark things are to be loved, in secret, between the shadow and the soul." -Pablo Neruda, Sonnet XVII This book is dark, heavy, and irreverent... and I love it. It is a book about necromancy, sure, but at heart it was an exposition on grief. Give The Dark My Love is one to add to my favorite books featuring an anti-hero and I think those who enjoy this type of unsettling novel will really take to it. At times it felt lyrical, and even poetic, but the writing is never so lofty that it feels exclusive; it's the type of writing that is easy to devour by any level of reader and consumed like a smooth drink. It goes down quick and you don't realize how hard it's hit you until you turn the last page and ponder for a bit. I saw death itself. It was a feral thing, made of smoke and shadow. It was hollow and empty. And hungry. This is a rare sort of novel where the plot takes a backseat to the atmospheric, slow building characterization without becoming stale and bland. It's definitely a slow burn, and there are few action scenes as this is more a chronicle of one girl's descent into the dark when she finds she cannot cope with the overwhelming amount of grief she's experienced in such a short life. The story had all the plot devices I love in a YA fantasy: political intrigue, magic veiled as science, the all too realistic struggle of a scholarship student amongst a sea of privileged, spoiled brats. It was the type of story I was able to get lost in, as I truly felt a part of Lunar Island and Yugen Academy every time I picked the book up. I feel like there will be a very specific target audience for this novel, as it is so dark and heavy, but for those who choose this type of read on a regular basis, I think you'll be pleased. The ending wasn't a painful cliffhanger (we do receive some closure to most of the questions pertaining to the plot of this book), but it did leave me aching for the next book to find out how the rest of the story wraps up. Highly recommended to those looking for a different kind of fantasy novel that isn't overwhelmingly romantic or riddled with cliches. *I received a review copy via the publisher.

  5. 4 out of 5

    Kai

    Give the Dark My Love more like Give the Devil my Soul, My Sanity and A Shit-ton of Zombies. “A good book will give you answers to questions you didn’t know you had. A great book will give you questions to answers you thought you knew.” Phew, that was morbid. In the best way. Don't let this picturesque cover fool you. This book is dark. And when I say that, I mean do-not-snack-while-reading dark. You better buy some thick skin at Walmart first. I must say that this book piqued my interest but somehow Give the Dark My Love more like Give the Devil my Soul, My Sanity and A Shit-ton of Zombies. “A good book will give you answers to questions you didn’t know you had. A great book will give you questions to answers you thought you knew.” Phew, that was morbid. In the best way. Don't let this picturesque cover fool you. This book is dark. And when I say that, I mean do-not-snack-while-reading dark. You better buy some thick skin at Walmart first. I must say that this book piqued my interest but somehow failed to captivate me at first. It took me a few chapters to really get into it but then I could not stop reading. I read whenever I found a spare minute. Now, the book is not perfect. I think the pacing is too fast, and the plot would have been sufficient for two books. It would have given the author a chance to develop the characters and especially their relationships. A great many revelations and minor plot twist have been put in one novel, and I think it would have seemed more realistic if the events had had more time to unfold. It felt a little forced at times. I liked that romance played a role in this book but never overpowered the main plot. This is not a story about star-crossed lovers but about death and sacrifice. The death part is quite gruesome by the way. The descriptions are very detailed, there are a lot of dead bodies, reawakened dead bodies and, well, necromancy. I great detail. Do not take this lightly. I am pretty sure this book will be banned from a lot of libraries. Which is a shame because it tells the story of a young, determined woman who will stop at nothing to fulfil her dreams, no matter how many obstacles people will put in her way. She is passionate, loves her family and does not shut her eyes and ears to injustice and neglect. I must admit that the ending was slightly predictable. I saw it coming. Again, more time (and pages) would have improved this story a lot. After so many things happened in the first book, I have no idea what the sequel will be about. But I will make sure to read it. Find more of my books on Instagram

  6. 5 out of 5

    Melissa ♥ Dog/Wolf Lover ♥ Martin

    That was pretty good. And it went to some dark places! Lovely cover as well! Happy Reading! Mel 🖤🐺🐾

  7. 5 out of 5

    Samantha

    1.5 stars - review to come on my channel but the biggest struggle this book had was the pacing. 70% of the book before you get to the actual necromancy discussed in the synopsis? No thanks.

  8. 5 out of 5

    Lola

    I can see how this is a hit or miss for most people. It’s not your typical YA fantasy—not what I’m used to reading and not mainstream. But that’s a good thing. I actively seek originality in my reads and this unconventional fantasy, with its limited world-building and romance, worked for me well. The storyline is straight-forward in the sense that we know what Nedra, the new student at the prestigious school of alchemy, is trying to accomplish and for what purpose. It’s very tame in the beginning I can see how this is a hit or miss for most people. It’s not your typical YA fantasy—not what I’m used to reading and not mainstream. But that’s a good thing. I actively seek originality in my reads and this unconventional fantasy, with its limited world-building and romance, worked for me well. The storyline is straight-forward in the sense that we know what Nedra, the new student at the prestigious school of alchemy, is trying to accomplish and for what purpose. It’s very tame in the beginning but grows bolder as the story progresses so much that by the end I could not recognize Nedra anymore and was wondering if someone took over Beth Revis’ mind because those are some wild, wild last chapters. The reason why I claim that the world-building is limited is because everything revolves around one specific element: the Wasting Death, a plague killing the population. The alchemy is performed in order to alleviate pain but it cannot cure illnesses. But Nedra is desperate… and desperation sometimes makes you turn to dark methods. *evil smile* There is another main character—Grey. This story is actually told from two 1st person POVs, Nedra’s and Grey’s, but Grey’s chapters, while seemingly important in the beginning, become unnecessary after about the halfway point. Even the author recognizes this on some level because she removes them almost entirely to leave more room for Nedra’s character arc. So Grey is kind of a sidekick but not really and kind of a love interest but a pretty useless one because romance has little place in this story and Nedra has no time for lovey-dovey stuff. But it didn’t take away from my enjoyment of this book because Grey is kind and sometimes smart. So this is a duology and, after that ending, the second book promises to be very, very exciting. And kickass! Can’t wait. Blog | Youtube | Twitter | Instagram | Google+ | Bloglovin’

  9. 4 out of 5

    Azrah

    But it didn’t take love to sacrifice something of yourself for someone else. It just took desperation. Nedra is an aspiring alchemist. She leaves her small village in the north to go study at Yūgen Academy. But these are hard times on Luna Island. People are dying of a plague, The Wasting Death, in the masses. Nedra's fellow students and the rich folk believe the plague doesn't concern them and only kills those who live in filth (aka the poor). But Nedra is determined to find a cure at any cost But it didn’t take love to sacrifice something of yourself for someone else. It just took desperation. Nedra is an aspiring alchemist. She leaves her small village in the north to go study at Yūgen Academy. But these are hard times on Luna Island. People are dying of a plague, The Wasting Death, in the masses. Nedra's fellow students and the rich folk believe the plague doesn't concern them and only kills those who live in filth (aka the poor). But Nedra is determined to find a cure at any cost, even her own soul. So where do I even start? I was really excited to read this book. I've heard great things about it and I mean seriously, look at that gorgeous cover!! I'm really sad that I did not enjoy it as much as I thought I would. What I did like: In the beginning I really liked how passionate Nedra is about finding a cure and helping her people in the north. And how she didn't give a damn about making friends or good grades and credits. The mystery of the origin of the plague and it's history was intriguing and what really pushed me on. I also didn't mind the politics. What I didn't like: I felt like Grey was so one dimensional. All we really know about him is that he doesn't want to be like his dad and that they don't get along. But not much else, which is disappointing since almost half the book is in his POV. His whole character revolves around Nedra. The romantic relationship between Nedra and Grey felt really unnecessary. It was listless and not at all believable. This is probably one of the only times I've ever said this, because I am usually a huge shipper of couples in books. The final reason I did not enjoy this is totally my own fault seeing as I knew what the premise and the plot was about before hand. So I went into this consciously. Maybe not consciously enough. I am a squeamish person. Horror movies are the bane of my existence. Blood and guts do not do well with me. I don't even watch doctor/hospital shows. I have read dark stuff before... but damn these descriptions for the amputation scenes (plural!!) made me nauseous. And all the talk about necromancy and Nedra's thoughts about it and other necromatic performances (which I won't get into due to spoilers) made me feel sick and I had to put down the book for a while. I had to force myself to finish this and unfortunately I will not be continuing this duology. I wanted to give this my love. Alas, it was not meant to be. If you have the stomach for these topics (as clearly I do not, since I am a weakling) then give this a go. Who knows? You might love it. _______ Pre-Read The hype better be real y'all.

  10. 5 out of 5

    Carrie

    Give the Dark My Love by Beth Revis is the first book in the new young adult fantasy series by the same title. The content of this series is on the darker side with dealing with things like a plague and necromancy but I’d also warn of animal harm (rats) for those that would be bothered. Nedra Brysstain is from the poorer area of Lunar Island in the northern territory but all of her life she’s wanted nothing other than to study medical alchemy. When signs of a new disease starts hitting the north Give the Dark My Love by Beth Revis is the first book in the new young adult fantasy series by the same title. The content of this series is on the darker side with dealing with things like a plague and necromancy but I’d also warn of animal harm (rats) for those that would be bothered. Nedra Brysstain is from the poorer area of Lunar Island in the northern territory but all of her life she’s wanted nothing other than to study medical alchemy. When signs of a new disease starts hitting the north Nedra becomes even more determined to help and when an anonymous benefactor supplies a scholarship to the prestigious Yugen Academy Nedra promises her family she will return. When Nedra arrives she doesn’t quite fit in at the academy but Greggori “Grey” Astor does become her only friend. Grey had been the top of the class before Nedra came along and before long the two are working closely together under their master studying to find a cure for the plague that has also begun to overcome the city. Give the Dark My Love was one of those books that once I sat down and begun to read I just didn’t want to put it down. As I mentioned there is a bit of animal harm in the way alchemy is portrayed in this story and I wasn’t a huge fan of it although I understood the concept the author came up with but that really is the only reason I’m rating at 4.5 stars instead of 5. The rest of the story was rather intense and then the end… oh my, pretzel twisting time so yes, this is one I’d recommend checking out and will look forward to seeing what happens next. I received an advance copy from the publisher via Penguin’s First to Read. For more reviews please visit https://carriesbookreviews.com/

  11. 4 out of 5

    Sunny ✨wordslikefury✨

    I live for innocent female characters who slowly descend into darkness.

  12. 4 out of 5

    Emma Giordano

    Rating & Review to come! (I promise, let me finish my semester lmao) Overall, really enjoyed this one. cw: death, grief, animal cruelty

  13. 5 out of 5

    Nina

    *Thanks again to Penguin Random House for sending me an ARC of this book via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.* Nedra Brysstain is a seventeen-year-old girl from the northern territories of the Lunar Island. She likes her life up there but as a deadly plague starts spreading through the North, Nedra decides to leave her home to learn the trade of medicinal alchemy at the prestigious Yugen Academy. Nedra is determined to find a cure for the plague but as the disease begins spreading fas *Thanks again to Penguin Random House for sending me an ARC of this book via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.* Nedra Brysstain is a seventeen-year-old girl from the northern territories of the Lunar Island. She likes her life up there but as a deadly plague starts spreading through the North, Nedra decides to leave her home to learn the trade of medicinal alchemy at the prestigious Yugen Academy. Nedra is determined to find a cure for the plague but as the disease begins spreading faster and faster, she becomes desperate to find the needed cure and suddenly finds herself diving into alchemy’s most dangerous corners and ultimately turns to the most forbidden practice of all, necromancy. I’d never read anything by Beth Revis prior to starting this novel but the synopsis of it sounded extremely interesting which is why I originally requested an ARC of the book. And the first 60% of “Give the Dark my Love” were indeed great and I would’ve easily given this book at least four stars if it had continued being that good which unfortunately wasn’t the case. At first I was really interested in the story especially because I have only read about two or three books about necromancy in my life and so it was very cool to learn more about the topic. The plot during the first half was also very interesting and I pretty much flew through the chapters because I always needed to know what would happen next. But around the 60% mark, the plot became really slow and I began not really enjoying this book anymore because many scenes just really dragged on. As for the characters, they were all pretty interesting and I actually liked all of them. Either because they were just very likable, or because they just fit the story very well. But it was the main character, Nedra, who ended up acting in a way that made me enjoy the last 40% of “Give the Dark my Love” a lot less than the beginning of it. She was very likable and interesting at first, but at some point she just began doing things that often made me roll my eyes or shake my head. Especially between the 70% and 90% mark of the novel, I felt like she was often being quite unreasonable which suddenly turned her into a character that I began disliking. Furthermore, during the first three or four chapters, I also had a bit of a problem with Beth Revis’s writing style but thankfully, it either got better in the subsequent chapters or I just got used to it quite quickly. Overall, this was still definitely a book I mostly enjoyed reading which is why I’m giving it three out of five stars. As I’ve said, the first half was definitely a lot better than the second half and made me want to read the entire series. But the second half just kind of “destroyed” the story for me and I unfortunately have to say that I probably won’t be picking up the sequel once it comes out next year. instagram || my blog || twitter

  14. 4 out of 5

    Cinda

    Breaking Bad meets The Walking Dead in this twisty thriller.

  15. 5 out of 5

    Jodi Meadows

    That got dark.

  16. 4 out of 5

    Angelica

    When I saw that this book was written by Beth Revis I knew that I had to get my hands on it. For those of you new to the YA book world, Beth Revis is the author of Across the Universe, a sci-fi, young adult space opera that came out in 2011. Basically, that means that I've been looking forward to more of Revis' writing. Now, here we are with Give the Dark my Love. And while no, I did not love it, I think certainly was worth the wait! I don't know what it says about me but I do love a good villain When I saw that this book was written by Beth Revis I knew that I had to get my hands on it. For those of you new to the YA book world, Beth Revis is the author of Across the Universe, a sci-fi, young adult space opera that came out in 2011. Basically, that means that I've been looking forward to more of Revis' writing. Now, here we are with Give the Dark my Love. And while no, I did not love it, I think certainly was worth the wait! I don't know what it says about me but I do love a good villain story. Stories in which we see someone slowly descend into darkness. Seeing the subtle changes in a person, their goodness tearing down, their light slowly fading until they are but a shadow of their former selves and only darkness remains. And you know what? This book delivered that perfectly. I really enjoyed the character of Nedra and watching her slow turn towards the dark side. She was fiercely determined and not the type of heroine to lose herself to the obvious inta-love that was trying to make its way onto the page. Sadly, Nedra alone couldn't make me love it. When Rendz and I discussed the novel we agreed on the fact that Gray was kind of useless. He wasn't a bad character, per se. He was just sort of 'there'. In a way, I liked that Gray's role was nonintrusive because it gave Nedra space to develop without being hampered down by a love interest. And I am glad that this book put romance on the back burner. Still, if a character has a role such as Gray's, he should still be seen as important to the moving of the story. And Gray, for the majority of the book, was not! Even his POV  felt like it lacked a true connection and relevance to the advancement of the plot! I also don't really enjoy routines in books. When a character follows certain routines in a novel I tend to get bored. I understand that the character has job to do in finding the cure and going to the hospital and all, I just don't want to see it quite so often. The last thing that did not help the book was the mood I was in while reading it. I took a few weeks off from blogging and reading in general when I picked this up and ended up leaving it behind for a few days. Is it possible that I might have enjoyed it more had I read it at another time? Possibly. The world may never know. Still, you might want to take that into account when deciding whether or not to read it. Overall, I enjoyed it. I thought it was an interesting read with an interesting main character. I did generally enjoy the writing and did enjoy the ending as well. I'm really looking forward to book two next year! Also, just so you know before going into it, this book is a very, very light fantasy. One might even call it paranormal than a full-on fantasy novel. It does also share some horror elements perhaps. I've seen several people complain about the lack of fantasy so I thought I'd warn you!

  17. 4 out of 5

    Julie

    DO NOT MISS THIS BOOK! This is necromancy fantasy at its finest and its heroine has one of the best descending character arcs I've seen. My official review: "GIVE THE DARK MY LOVE asks: How far will we venture into darkness for the ones we love? In the face of a deadly plague, Nedra's journey from compassionate medical student to ruthless revolutionary is stunning and shocking to behold." - Julie C. Dao, author of FOREST OF A THOUSAND LANTERNS

  18. 4 out of 5

    Jade Ratley

    Very entertaining, dark and twisted, kept me hooked throughout. The ending was abrupt, but I understand there’s a sequel to come... could have done without the romance, it was very unnecessary and added nothing to the story, but I did love the main plot, I was enthralled. The atmosphere of this was gripping and sickening, loved it. Edited: deducted a star a couple of weeks after reading it, letting it sink in I think there were more mediocre parts than I initially thought, that doesn’t take away Very entertaining, dark and twisted, kept me hooked throughout. The ending was abrupt, but I understand there’s a sequel to come... could have done without the romance, it was very unnecessary and added nothing to the story, but I did love the main plot, I was enthralled. The atmosphere of this was gripping and sickening, loved it. Edited: deducted a star a couple of weeks after reading it, letting it sink in I think there were more mediocre parts than I initially thought, that doesn’t take away from how much I enjoyed it at the time though - just a reflection.

  19. 5 out of 5

    Cindy ✩☽ Savage Queen ♔

    3/19/18 Hmm...I'm actually feeling this cover and the title is still one of my favs --- Ooo necromancy sounds interesting...

  20. 5 out of 5

    Beatrice in Bookland

    “If love will not stop for death, time should.” This book creeps up on you in the best possible way. I recommend not reading other reviews and buy the book without knowing what is actually going to happen. You'd be in for a surprise, that's for sure. Just know that the first half is boring af and it's the typical ya plot: girl goes to a prestigious school, everyone hates her except one guy who's into her and nobody (me included) knows why. But oh my god the second half. The second half is amazing. “If love will not stop for death, time should.” This book creeps up on you in the best possible way. I recommend not reading other reviews and buy the book without knowing what is actually going to happen. You'd be in for a surprise, that's for sure. Just know that the first half is boring af and it's the typical ya plot: girl goes to a prestigious school, everyone hates her except one guy who's into her and nobody (me included) knows why. But oh my god the second half. The second half is amazing. Dark, gory and full of plot twists. Trust me, read this book.

  21. 4 out of 5

    Emma☀️

    Damn, this book was dark. So naturally, I loved it.

  22. 4 out of 5

    Jessica Khoury

    Nedra shines as an innocent, hopeful girl who dreams of helping her people as a healer and alchemist, but who instead finds herself on a dark and forbidden path that will cost her her innocence and so much more. Watching Nedra's descent into darkness was truly thrilling; THIS is how you write an anti-hero. Brava!

  23. 4 out of 5

    Chelsea

    This book is bleak and dismal and pushes moral ambiguity a bit. So basically this is my kind of book. Main plot points that suck me in: takes place in a school of alchemy, a plague sweeping the nation, necromancy, pretty graphic medical lessons, seemingly strong moral values that get flipped on their heads. Well, apparently I like reading about all the dark and gritty stuff that most people stay away from. But if that seems like your jam, definitely check this book out. It’s a slow burn plot of This book is bleak and dismal and pushes moral ambiguity a bit. So basically this is my kind of book. Main plot points that suck me in: takes place in a school of alchemy, a plague sweeping the nation, necromancy, pretty graphic medical lessons, seemingly strong moral values that get flipped on their heads. Well, apparently I like reading about all the dark and gritty stuff that most people stay away from. But if that seems like your jam, definitely check this book out. It’s a slow burn plot of life, death, morals, politics, and medicine. Highly recommend to you sickos like me who love that stuff.

  24. 4 out of 5

    Mimi 'Pans' Herondale

    Omg, this book is beyond amazing!!!! Happy 2019 everyone!

  25. 4 out of 5

    Irena

    Trigger warning: this book contains graphic surgical operation scenes, talks about deathly disease and also has some scenes with animal cruelty. Give the Dark My Love was one of my most anticipated books this year.  In all honesty, the first thing that appealed to me was this gorgeous cover, then the synopsis. This was my first time consciously reading an anti-hero story, and God I loved it so much! I've heard before from many readers how anti-heroes stories are the best ones, but I guess it takes o Trigger warning: this book contains graphic surgical operation scenes, talks about deathly disease and also has some scenes with animal cruelty. Give the Dark My Love was one of my most anticipated books this year.  In all honesty, the first thing that appealed to me was this gorgeous cover, then the synopsis. This was my first time consciously reading an anti-hero story, and God I loved it so much! I've heard before from many readers how anti-heroes stories are the best ones, but I guess it takes one to read until he's proven right! I'll tell you this, and I mean it wholeheartedly: Give the Dark My Love is one of the best (if not even the best) books I read this year and it will surely be in my top 10 books I read in 2018. I loved so many things about it, and I am on a mission to tell you everything, so you'd pick it up and hopefully love it as much as I did. First of all, character development: I loved, loved, loved how the characters we met at the beginning of the story were totally different persons at the end. There is nothing that I love more in my books then a good character development, and this novel has it at it's best. Second: It explores grief and human relationships on such a strong level that even though this world our characters live in is so different from ours, we still empathize with them, understand their feelings and grief with them. This is fantasy, but still it feels real in a way. Third: The world is unique, different, dark and gives you creeps. It is perfect for those who like dark fantasies, but it is also perfect as a pick for a spooky read, especially in this time of the year when everyone wants to have that Halloween feeling. Fourth: Exploring alchemy and necromancy is very interesting in this book, that I even had a feeling I was learning something new. Fifth: Political games also play part in the story, as one fantasy wouldn't be complete without it. Sixth: What kind of story set in high school would it be without little high school drama? Give the Dark My Love has little drama in it, but it is nothing too big and it has it's reason, but it's also entertaining at time. And seventh and final: The writing style is sooooooo good, you will fly through this book and it will keep you interested from the start to the end. Overall, I am so pleased I have read this book. I had so much fun reading it, but it also made me emotional and I can't even tell you how many times I have said "OmG, this book is so good!" while reading it. The start and the first half are pretty good, but the second half is what made this book exceptional! I would recommend this book to lovers of dark fantasy, adult and young adult. I would also recommend it to readers who would like to try to read fantasy and to those who like stories about anti-heroes. I can't wait for the second book to come out!

  26. 4 out of 5

    Chelsea ❤Peril Please❤

    *ARC Provided by Penguin Teen and Razorbill for an honest review* DNF This book was just too....Trigger happy for me. As much as I ADORE this author, I chose not to finish this because of how many things bothered me. I don't mind dark, but sometimes an author can get too dark, and that's what happened here. :( For more of my reviews, please visit:

  27. 5 out of 5

    Nastassja

    It was dark and twisted and exactly what an antihero story should be. Before I dived into the Give the Dark My Love (does anyone else think the title is gorgeous!) I read some reviews and I was seduced by the notion of an antiheroine. It is not so often when books show us full descent of leading character into the darkness. But Give the Dark My Love does it unapologetically and with a brazen flare. I shuddered every time I had to read about the monstrosities the heroine had to endure. The world It was dark and twisted and exactly what an antihero story should be. Before I dived into the Give the Dark My Love (does anyone else think the title is gorgeous!) I read some reviews and I was seduced by the notion of an antiheroine. It is not so often when books show us full descent of leading character into the darkness. But Give the Dark My Love does it unapologetically and with a brazen flare. I shuddered every time I had to read about the monstrosities the heroine had to endure. The world she is living in is dark and somehow hope is such a corporeal and illusional thing. And by the end of the book, it is shuttered and stomped into the dirt without looking back or having any regrets. Evil is not born, it's made, plays inside my brain after I finish the last page. But is giving into the Darkness makes one a full-born villain? I don't think so; things are so much more complex. Give the Dark My Love might pose as your average young adult fantasy we have read so many times before, but it's for sure have a subtext that is visible almost from the start: you still don't know but you can feel that it's not going to be easy and fluffy read. And I believe it's the first book I've read that introduces triple twists in one chapter. Don't get we wrong, the plot is quite predictable but the path you need to follow through that plot is a hell of a ride, and even, though, things are predictable, you don't feel less shocked at the realization that 'she actually did it'. Oh my, do I need book 2 in my hands right now? I sure do. Necromancy is quite addictive, it turns out. “If you do this, Nedra, if you choose necromancy . . . I will not follow you into that darkness.” “Oh, Grey, what do you know of darkness?”

  28. 5 out of 5

    Khadidja ~on hiatus~

    NEDRA HONEY GO GET THEM!!!

  29. 4 out of 5

    Jenn

    Well hello darkness, my old friend. Y'all this book was dark. There was death and plagues and I never thought I'd feel sorry from rats... But Beth Revis has created a gem here and I loved it! All Nedra wants to is to study medical alchemy at the Yugen Academy so that she can find a way to help stop the spread of the Wasting Death - a horrible plague that is fastly ripping through her nation. When she gets accepted, her natural talent is noticed by the leading teacher at the school and he soon take Well hello darkness, my old friend. Y'all this book was dark. There was death and plagues and I never thought I'd feel sorry from rats... But Beth Revis has created a gem here and I loved it! All Nedra wants to is to study medical alchemy at the Yugen Academy so that she can find a way to help stop the spread of the Wasting Death - a horrible plague that is fastly ripping through her nation. When she gets accepted, her natural talent is noticed by the leading teacher at the school and he soon takes Nedra under his wing all in hopes of stopping the plague. Mixed with political drama, this book surprised me right and left. This wasn't my first read from Revis. I had read her Across the Universe series and enjoyed it, but wasn't blown away. This book was completely different from that and I'm kind of wondering where exactly this darkness came from. Necromancy isn't often used in YA books because of its nature, but Revis found a way to bring it in subtly while keeping us away of the dangers surrounding it. Unfortunately for Nedra, she doesn't have the same forewarning that we as readers do and she finds herself fascinated with the practice. When tragedy strikes close to her, all of her common sense flees and we're left with a broken girl who doesn't know how to make things right again. There was a love story but I like that it didn't overpower the story. Grey was adorable and really the only one to support and accept Nedra when she arrived at the school. I like that the author took the time for these two to really develop their bond and it just broke my heart when Grey sees what she's become. I cannot wait to read the conclusion. I'm just sad that I have to wait until September!

  30. 5 out of 5

    Lisa (Remarkablylisa)

    MY RATING: 3/5 STARS I received an arc from Penguin Random House Canada in exchange for a honest review. When I first saw this book, I expected a high fantasy tale infused with an intoxicating love that would sure leave me to be gripping the pages. Instead, I was left with an insta-love story involving a strong heroine that later turned out to be the villain and at least 200 pages of her going back and forth to treat patients at the hospital with little to no supernatural powers. So, to say that t MY RATING: 3/5 STARS I received an arc from Penguin Random House Canada in exchange for a honest review. When I first saw this book, I expected a high fantasy tale infused with an intoxicating love that would sure leave me to be gripping the pages. Instead, I was left with an insta-love story involving a strong heroine that later turned out to be the villain and at least 200 pages of her going back and forth to treat patients at the hospital with little to no supernatural powers. So, to say that this was high fantasy would be an understatement. It's more of a paranormal story featuring necromancy and rituals. Our main character, Nedra, really wanted to be a alchemist. She wanted to find a cure to treat the ongoing plague that has spread across parts of the country. People were dying all around her. A sickness that ate away limbs, seeped through the veins, and claimed hearts and brains of many innocent. Nedra was an extremely dedicated character. She devoted most of her time while at the prestigious school to help alleviate the pain of those who were suffering through what she learned during lessons. Like I said earlier, it was 200 pages of it. 200 pages involving her getting verbally abused by her elitist classmates and her going back and forth to hospitals getting abused by delusional patients. It was interesting because I knew there had to be something more to the story. The more and more Nedra studies to find a cure, the more she studies necromancy--something very illegal and will lead to execution. When the closest members in her family fall ill, she became so absorbed into finding a way to save them that she tampers with life and death. Nedra also has a love interest who was named Grey. It was told in dual perspectives but 95% of the book was Nedra. And to be honest, Grey didn't need any more extra pages. He was just not that interesting and nor did he have a complex background as Nedra. Grey was more of an perfect character that just existed to look pretty. His problems were following the footsteps his father laid out for him while Nedra went out and actually tried to fix the problem. He was cute but boring in the end. I also didn't appreciate the fact that it involved a very obvious insta-love. In the end, I had to force myself to finish the last 100 pages of the book. It was just getting frustrating that nothing happened or the thing that I knew was going to happen would only happen so very close to the end which left an unsatisfying ending. The book would have been better if it focused more on the plot-twist rather than bedside nursing lol. MY RECOMMENDATION: Skip it. The book is too thick and bland to sit there for a day to read

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