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Give the Dark My Love #1

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 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.

368 pages, Kindle Edition

First published September 25, 2018

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About the author

Beth Revis

46 books6,390 followers
Beth Revis writes books. She also eats too much chocolate, wishes she could travel more, and prefers puppies to people. Beth lives in rural NC with her boys: one husband, one son, two very large puppies.

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Displaying 1 - 30 of 858 reviews
Profile Image for chai ♡.
321 reviews153k followers
April 27, 2023
If you're hungering for something deliciously dark, the kind of story that forces you to interrogate your morals, your preferences, perhaps even your reality, and refuses to allow you any of the polite fictions and unspoken truths that will keep you unaware and comfortable—this is definitely the book for you.

Nedra Brysstain, our protagonist, earns a scholarship to Yugen Academy, which also earns her many enemies, including 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 soon an epidemic begins to ravage only the poor, and the emperor has largely responded with indifference, Nedra feels keenly her responsibility as a medicinal alchemist.Her efforts to heal the sick, however, quickly go awry and with the enormity of the plague looming over everyone’s heads, a new twisting certainty wedges itself inside Nedra: necromancy may be her only answer. Taunted with phantoms of the dead, many of whom are her loved ones, Nedra’s grief and anger begin to tear something open inside her. Can Nedra cling to the warmth of her humanity when all around her the cold darkness of death had little in it of hope or the promise of salvation?

At its heart, Give the Dark My Love is the darkly twisted tale of a heroine's descent into villainy. It's a story about how even our most well-meaning intentions can be warped into something ugly when we're not looking, how anything can grow an edge if you don't learn how to watch for it. Revis draws the reader’s into Nedra’s fog of a journey, which could transform one either into a hero or a monster, and she does it with such palpable intensity that Nedra's morally ambiguous choices feel as real and urgent as touch, and, at times even rational. At the end, Revis challenges the reader to identify where the deep gorge that pierces Nedra's life lies, the one that marks where her world had split, tearing her from the girl she'd been, filled with hope and seeking anything torn that she could mend, and hurtling her into what she’d become.

The scariest type of monsters, this novel hauntingly illustrates, are the ones who seem so human and familiar. Revis makes you root feverishly for Nedra, even as you shiver from the depth of horror that she becomes. Survival for Nedra comes with the price of losing whatever vestige of goodness remained after the world sought to cheat, backstab, and brutalize it out of her. With every new tragedy, Nedra lost the ability to see herself through her own eyes, and so this became the new mirror in which she knew herself: hero, monster, something else, something far worse. Who might Nedra be if she hadn’t borne that burden, the novel asks? Who would she become if it were 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 that of Greggori “Grey” Astor, one of Nedra’s classmates whom she falls in love with. Grey is beautiful and rich and was raised with the privilege of not being accustomed to fear. The things he chooses to deflect with the mundane mantra “it will get better”, Nedra faces without flinching. And soon, she comes to realize that she can no longer retreat into her old, comfortable belief in his love and faith. At one point, Grey 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.

All in all, 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!
Profile Image for Elle (ellexamines).
1,084 reviews17.5k followers
August 7, 2019
“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:
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!

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Profile Image for Emily May.
1,962 reviews293k followers
October 5, 2018
“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 , 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 ; grief/loss.

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Profile Image for Chelsea Humphrey.
1,438 reviews78k followers
September 30, 2022
"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.
Profile Image for ✨ A ✨ .
427 reviews1,699 followers
November 13, 2020
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.
The hype better be real y'all.
Profile Image for Kai Spellmeier.
Author 6 books13.6k followers
October 19, 2018
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.

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Profile Image for Samantha.
417 reviews16.7k followers
January 26, 2019
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.
Profile Image for Irena BookDustMagic.
616 reviews498 followers
January 23, 2021
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!
Profile Image for Carrie.
3,154 reviews1,513 followers
August 28, 2018
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/
Profile Image for Nina.
754 reviews278 followers
September 25, 2018
*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.

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Profile Image for Emma Giordano.
317 reviews116k followers
December 14, 2018
Rating & Review to come! (I promise, let me finish my semester lmao) Overall, really enjoyed this one.

cw: death, grief, animal cruelty
Profile Image for Cinda.
Author 52 books11.1k followers
April 17, 2018
Breaking Bad meets The Walking Dead in this twisty thriller.
Profile Image for Julie.
Author 11 books1,230 followers
June 7, 2022
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."
Profile Image for Roobie.
670 reviews88 followers
August 23, 2019
3 stars

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.

Grey was the worst part of this book. Without the ridiculous romance this would have been an awesome read.
Profile Image for Angelica.
805 reviews1,122 followers
May 14, 2019
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!
Profile Image for h o l l i s .
2,403 reviews1,850 followers
September 14, 2019
I've had this book literally sitting on my nightstand for almost a year. I guess it's better late than never but wow. I feel pretty accomplished and satisfied right now — calm down, Hollis, you tackled one book on your backlist. One.


This book was so good. I didn't know what to expect beyond necromancy and a girl crossing over into darkness. I didn't know why or how or what. What are those details, you ask? Plague. The desire of one small-town girl wanting to help. And then heartbreak and desperation pushing her to the brink.

".. your path has always been longer than this little road. You were meant for the city streets, for ships across the sea, for places where there are no roads. I don't want you to take my book cart. [..] I'd never fold you up into books sold to strangers. You're going to live your own story."

This isn't quite the anti-heroine story I thought it would be but that might very well change in book two; particularly considering how this ended.

Everything I'd done since arriving in Northface Harbour had been just a little off. I longed to fit seamlessly into a world with no openings.

The only thing that really knocked this down for me, which will explain my rating considering all the above buzz, is the romance. I saw book two pitched in a way that it was about the boy who loved the MC trying to bring her back from the darkness. I guess I expected a strong romance in here to be that backbone for what was to come. And I didn't really get it. Sure, he's a nice, kind, soft boy.. but he is really only those words. There wasn't really any meat or substance to him. There was some connection, a good reason for them to have drawn to each other, pushed together, but I wish instead it had just been a case of strong, beautiful, friendship. I think we need more of those in YA. And it would've made this book pretty damn close to perfect for me if it had been present in this one.

I wondered if it were possible to remove myself from politics, or if my silence had been its own choice.

Alas, I still enjoyed it. This book is.. not depressing, but hard, maybe? For the characters. There is a bleak kind of desperation in this world's conflict. There is a tirelessness to fighting something that can't be stopped. And then the tragedy of losing one's whole world. Before the rage that steps in to take its place, to do what shouldn't be done, to fight back.

"I guess sometimes it's just easier to keep things they way that they are."
"I think that depends on what your now looks like."

I loved the last minute twists, the turns, and I'm so keen to read on and see where Nedra goes next — and boy am I glad that I have an ARC of book two, I don't need to wait to find out.

** I received a finished copy from the publisher (thank you!) in exchange for an honest review. **


This review can also be found at A Take From Two Cities.
Profile Image for Jade Ratley.
192 reviews2,914 followers
January 24, 2019
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.
Profile Image for Cindy ✩☽♔.
997 reviews780 followers
Want to read
March 19, 2018
Hmm...I'm actually feeling this cover and the title is still one of my favs
Ooo necromancy sounds interesting...
Profile Image for Cesar.
353 reviews236 followers
April 12, 2021
3.5 stars.

Give the Dark My Love is a book that will leave a lot of people mixed. I know I felt that way throughout my reading and when I finished it. It's not a bad book per se, but the problems are evident the more you read. Even after finishing it, I still found some things I did like and some things that prevented me from giving this a higher rating.

Give the Dark My Love takes place on an island that is experiencing a plague. Our main character, Nedra, is accepted to a school under a scholarship to practice alchemy in the hopes of understanding the plague and finding a possible cure. However, the plague is proving to be difficult as the body count is rising rapidly and Nedra starts dabbling in the forbidden art of necromancy.

Where I think Give the Dark My Love suffers is the uneven pacing, structure, and character development (and lack of character development for Grey).

To start off with the positives, the story can be dark at times especially dealing with death and sickness. It doesn't shy away from showing the ugly, horrific truth that people are going through in an epidemic. Dirty politics play a role in favoring the rich than the sick, and people turning on each other as soon as one of them is sick. It's a very difficult thing to understand but given how we're going through a pandemic at the time of me reviewing this book, I would say that it's very much grounded in reality.

The necromancy (when it was starting to play a role in the story) was probably what drew me into the story. I've always liked books that deal with necromancy. The description of the steps of performing necromancy was dark and I love those dark moments.

Now onto the negatives. The first is the romance. Nedra's and Grey's romance, unfortunately, suffers from insta-love. It happened too fast and was forced for the most part. Their interactions at the beginning started off as friendly but when we read from Grey's perspective, he started falling for her way too quickly. There was no spark or even development.

Speaking of development, there's Grey. While I can see why he was involved, he was very bland in terms of being a character and love interest. Sometimes, when reading from his perspective, I often confused him for Nedra only to be reminded when he mentions her. Which, I have an issue when books have multiple POV's and they're in 1st person. There is no distinction between the two until the latter half of the story. Grey might as well be a side character instead of a main one because of how bland he is.

Then there's Nedra. I'm going to compare her development to Adelina from The Young Elites trilogy. Nedra goes through a personality change and starts becoming more of an anti-villain in the same way as Adelina. However, Adelina's anger and hatred makes sense whereas Nedar, her shift in personality was too quick. Going from a girl who wants to help people to perform necromancy had so much potential. But her sudden change in personality did not help.

The pacing and overall structure of the story were all over the place. You get parts that go smoothly but then it shifts quickly into fast-paced and lots of scenes that passed by too quickly. I think the structure was there from the beginning but with the sudden shift in pacing and a few awkward scene changes, it makes for clunky reading.

Give the Dark My Love, even with its flaws, was an OK book for me. It is also my first book by Beth Revis. Had there been more focus on bettering the pacing and structure, more development of Grey's personality, and a more believable change in character for Nedra, it would've been a fantastic read. Even though it wasn't, my time reading it was fine and I'll be finishing the duology soon.
Profile Image for Beatrice in Bookland.
447 reviews838 followers
December 22, 2018
“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.
Profile Image for Stacee.
2,709 reviews703 followers
September 19, 2019
Oh man. Why did I take so long to read this? Past Stacee needs to be shoved so hard because THIS WAS AMAZING!

I loved Nedra. She’s so loyal and loving, hardworking and determined. I loved seeing the sides of her as a daughter and a student. Grey was intriguing and even though we had some chapters in his POV, it felt like we didn’t get to know him entirely.

Plot wise, it was a bit of a slow start and at times maybe a bit repetitive, but I was so invested, I was able to overlook it. By the time the necromancy parts started happened, I was full blown captivated. Added bonus: the mystery of everything kept me guessing.

Overall, it was a unique to me story with every aspect I could possibly want. I cannot wait to read book 2.

**Huge thanks to Razorbill for providing the arc free of charge**
Profile Image for Chelsea.
316 reviews2,769 followers
October 2, 2018
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.
Profile Image for Jessica Khoury.
Author 27 books2,431 followers
August 4, 2018
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!
Profile Image for Lisa (Remarkablylisa).
2,253 reviews1,811 followers
September 3, 2018

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.


Skip it. The book is too thick and bland to sit there for a day to read
September 20, 2018
*ARC Provided by Penguin Teen and Razorbill for an honest review*


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.


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