Review: “Give the Dark My Love” by Beth Revis


Title: Give the Dark My Love
Series: Give the Dark My Love #1
Author: Beth Revis
Publisher: Razorbill
Publication Date: September 25, 2018
Rating: ⭐⭐⭐⭐
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ARC provided by Penguin through their First to Read reader program.

How far would you go to save the ones you love? Beth Revis’s newest dark fantasy asks that question as one country girl looks for a cure to a mysterious disease that’s fast taking over her people and her home island.

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.

I know I’ve said it a hundred times over, but I’d say it again. I love antiheroes and, most especially, antiheroines. You know, those characters who are in the grey, neither good or bad or, and this most likely, part good and part bad. I just think they are closer to people in real life, complicated and simple at the same time. And this, the promise of another antiheroine for me to love and root for was what drove me to request for an advance copy of Give the Dark My Love.

And, oh boy, did it deliver!

Give the Dark My Love is a compelling and intriguing opener to a brand new series that will surely draw readers in. Beth Revis is back at what she does best, writing atmospheric fantasies. The prologue perfectly sets readers up for the forthcoming horrors this book has in store. Things build up from there, escalating and only getting darker as the story progresses.

Now, let’s go to the bit I loved the most in this book – the main character.

Nedra, oh my baby Nedra, I just wanted to hug her when I finished reading, but I have a feeling she won’t let me. She is an interesting character, morally grey and complicated. Her transformation was certainly the best part of this story. She starts out empathetic – a poor girl from a rural town who wants to find a cure for this mysterious disease that’s plaguing and killing her people – but, betrayed and used, she emerges as this fierce commander of an army of her own making. I’m certainly excited to read more of her in the next installments.

There are still a couple of things that could be improved in the next books. Pacing for one. There were points in the novel where I just can’t help but turn the pages one after the other, the pacing just flowing so well; then there are also points where things just seemed to crawl, Revis dwelling on certain scenes too much than she needs to.

Another thing that comes to mind is Grey’s perspective. While the story is mostly told from Nedra’s point-of-view, there are a handful of chapters written through Grey’s eyes. These parts are supposed to provide readers insight on the politics of Lunar Island, which is fine and dandy if only the information he provided was utilized.

There is certainly some chemistry between Nedra and Grey, but I’m only partway sold. I thought things progressed fast, mostly on Grey’s part. I’m willing to let it slide though, and wait and see how things go for these two in the next books because they have potential. I love that Grey, though he doesn’t agree with Nedra, is willing to hear her out and understands where she’s coming from. He can help Nedra pull herself out of the darkness she plunged herself into.

Overall, Give the Dark My Love is an exceptional dark fantasy. Readers will find themselves rooting and empathizing with Nedra even as she acts on desperation and goes dark in the end of this installment. I really enjoyed this one and will certainly be waiting (impatiently!) for the next book to come out.

🍂 🍂 🍂 🍂 🍂

About the Author:


BETH REVIS is a New York Times, Publisher’s Weekly, and IndieBound bestselling author of novels and short stories for teens. Her works have been translated into more than twenty languages.

Beth worked as a high school teacher prior to becoming a full time author, and she till keeps in touch with many of her former students (who often begged to be killed off in her next novel). She currently resides in rural North Carolina with her boys: two massive dogs, one small son, and one average-sized husband.

Beth splits her time between writing, reading, and traveling.

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