Series: Give the Dark My Love #1
Genre: Urban Fantasy, Young Adult
Published by Razorbill (9.25.2018)
ARC, 456 pages
Source: For Tour
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.
The dead don’t lie.
I have loved everything I’ve ever read that Beth Revis has written, so this was one of my most anticipated 2018 releases. And holy WOW, it did not disappoint!!!
I’ve gotta say, the beginning of this book was a major struggle for me. It started off horrifically, painfully slow – to the point that I had thoughts of DNFing! I spent about 50 pages forcing my way through on blind faith that it would get better because it was written by Beth Revis. And I’m SO glad I did!! I got a little more interested close to 100 pages, and it was decent for the next 100 after that. It took nearly 200 pages for me to become fully invested, but when the necromancy came into play I was HOOKED! I don’t think a book has ever turned around so drastically for me!
And HOLY FLIPPING CRAP the last half!! The necromancy and alchemy aspects were amazing. Things got super intense, and SO intriguing!! I was drawn in by the dark elements of this book. The title was spot on! This book is SO dark, and depressing to be honest. Because of the plague, there is lots of death and dismemberment. In detail. This book is not for the faint of heart! It even had me cringing at points. It was also a very emotional read. There’s loss and hardship at every turn, and it doesn’t shy away from the truth of the plague. View Spoiler »I also love that Beth doesn’t spare her characters. Holy CRAP I felt so terrible for Nedra!! The loss of her parents was fucking hard, you guys. That part hit me so hard. The fact that she had to sit trapped in a tiny house with her parents’ dead bodies, for days…I can’t even imagine. And to go through so much to save her sister, only to lose her to the plague, too. Wow. « Hide Spoiler
“Does it really matter what I do if it will stop the plague? If it will save people from suffering? From dying?”
It’s been a long time since I connected with a main character as much as I connected with Nedra. She was such a great lead! She does things for other people without thought or consequence, just because they need help and it’s the right thing to do. She’s a very selfless person, and I think that selflessness is part of what draws her to the darkness. There’s not much she won’t do to stop the plague and save her family, even if it means doing the unspeakable.
“Would a man commit a crime if he never had access to a weapon?”
I can’t stress enough how amazing the alchemy was!! I loved how there were different crucibles for different alchemies, and how necromancy was basically the dark arts version of alchemy! Ahhhh it was SO. AWESOME. I’ve never read anything like it!!
If love will not stop for death, time should.
“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.”
“‘Nice,'” Ernesta mocked me. “Handsome?”
I shrugged dismissively. “I don’t want to stab my eyes out when I look at him.”
“Oh, be still my heart!”
Love wasn’t sweet and pure. Love crept slowly, like a river rising, seeping into the earth, saturating it, spilling over the banks, drowning everything in its wake.
Writing style: 4.5/5
Overall rating: 4.5/5