Can’t-Wait Wednesday: “Bid My Soul Farewell” by Beth Revis

Can't Wait Wednesday

Can’t-Wait Wednesday is a weekly meme hosted Tressa at Wishful Endings, to spotlight and discuss the books we’re excited about that we have yet to read. It’s based on Waiting on Wednesday, hosted Jill at Breaking the Spine.


I have tremendously enjoyed Beth Revis’ Give the Dark My Love last year. (Here’s the link to my review for the book.) Nedra was a compelling antiheroine. She has certainly done a lot of questionable things but, underneath it all, she has good intentions.

I have been itching to have the sequel in my hands since the day I’ve finished Give the Dark My Love, especially with the way the last book ended (if you get what I mean.)

And now it’s here.

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Title: Bid My Soul Farewell
Series: Give the Dark My Love #1
Author: Beth Revis
Publisher: Razorbill/Penguin Young Readers
Release Date: September 24, 2019
Pre-order: IndieBound | Book Depository | Barnes and Noble | Amazon | Kobo | iBooks

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/39863498-the-gilded-wolves

Alchemy student turned necromancer Nedra Brysstain has made a life-changing decision to embrace the darkness–but can the boy who loves her bring her back to the light before she pays the ultimate price?
Lunar Island is trying to heal. The necromantic plague that ravaged the land has been eradicated, and Emperor Auguste, the young and charming leader of the Allyrian Empire, has a plan: rid the island of necromancy once and for all. Though Greggori “Grey” Astor wants what’s best for his people, he knows that allying himself with Auguste threatens the one person he loves most: necromancer Nedra Brysstain. Feeling like he already failed to save Nedra once, Grey becomes determined to help the Emperor rebuild Lunar Island while still keeping Nedra safe from harm.

Back at the quarantine hospital, Nedra’s army of revenants are growing increasingly inhuman by the day. Wracked with guilt for imprisoning their souls, Nedra vows to discover a way to free the dead while still keeping her sister by her side.

But, still reeling from the trauma of the plague, the people of Lunar Island are looking for someone to blame, and Grey can only protect Nedra for so long. And when Nedra and Grey are thrust into a battle with an even more terrifying adversary, Nedra will be pushed to the darkest depths of her necromantic powers. But can Grey let her go that far?

Beth Revis revealed Bid My Soul Farewell‘s cover in her latest newsletter. I wanted to do a cover reveal post, but wasn’t sure if that’s allowed, so I opted to feature it for this week’s CWW instead.

I’m really excited for this one. Give the Dark My Love left a lot of unanswered questions and a host of possibilities. I wonder what Nedra will do next. Will she go darker, or will be able to save herself? And what about Grey, what will he need to do to help Nedra? It’s still a few more months, but I’m both excited and scared for this duology to end.

💗💗💗

Rachel

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What book/s are you excited for this week?

 

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

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Title: Give the Dark My Love
Series: Give the Dark My Love #1
Author: Beth Revis
Publisher: Razorbill
Publication Date: September 25, 2018
Rating: ⭐⭐⭐⭐
Get it: IndieBound | Book Depository | Barnes and Noble | Amazon | Kobo | iBooks

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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:

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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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Review: “Strange Grace” by Tessa Graton

32824058Title: Strange Grace

Author: Tessa Graton

Publisher: Margaret K. McElderry Books/Simon & Schuster

Publication Date: September 18, 2018

Rating: ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

Get it:  IndieBound | Book Depository | Barnes & Noble | Amazon | Books-a-Million | Powells | iBooks

ARC provided by the publisher via Edelweiss

Three friends defy their town’s tradition in Tessa Graton’s newest YA Fantasy Strange Grace.

Long ago, a village made a bargain with the devil: to ensure their prosperity, when the Slaughter Moon rises, the village must sacrifice a young man into the depths of the Devil’s Forest.

Only this year, the Slaughter Moon has risen early.

Bound by duty, secrets, and the love they share for one another, Mairwen, a spirited witch; Rhun, the expected saint; and Arthur, a restless outcast, will each have a role to play as the devil demands a body to fill the bargain. But the devil these friends find is not the one they expect, and the lies they uncover will turn their town—and their hearts—inside out.

Strange Grace was one of the first books I got approved for months ago when I revived my blog last April. I have been excited to get to it, but since it releases late in the year and I’ve gotten other books with earlier release dates, I had to postpone reading it. The wait was certainly worth it though, as Strange Grace might just earn a place at my top fave reads this year.

Strange Grace has everything I want in a book – beautifully haunting writing, an intriguing, unique premise, twisty plot, great representation, and interesting and nuanced characters. It also tackles important topics such as gender expectations, and doing the right thing over the easy thing.

This story leans heavily on its main trio – Mairwen, a young witch coming from a long-line of Grace witches; Rhun, a beloved of the town and the expected next saint of Three Graces; and Arthur, the outcast. All three, though they all have their stories to tell, are so closely intertwined, so unapologetically complicated. Together they challenge their town’s tradition and force their people to look and examine their way of life, and I just couldn’t help but root for them to succeed.

At the beginning of this story, I thought the three will star in another love triangle – Mairwen is in love with Rhun who is in love with Arthur who is in love with Mairwen – but as the story progressed, the lines between the three began to blur and develop into a polyamorous relationship. This is not something I’d normally read, but Tessa Graton wrote Mairwen’s, Rhun’s and Arthur’s love for each other with much sensitivity and sincerity, and made it an integral part of her narrative without being a distraction.

The writing, oh goodness, the writing is another thing I loved about this book. Strange Grace has this fairy tale quality to it, though definitely not the type you see in Disney movies. Graton’s writing was so gorgeous and vivid that it just drew me into this dark, isolated small town she created. She revealed pieces of the story bit by bit as the characters themselves peel away the layers of secrets about their town. It may move a bit slow at first but, trust me, it only served to highlight the story even more.

Strange Grace is a one-of-a-kind book. I definitely recommend this to everyone, especially to readers who love dark fantasies. This is a perfect read for Fall.

🍂 🍂 🍂 🍂 🍂

About the Author:

tg2017_smTESSA GRATON is the Associate Director of Madcap Retreats and the author of the Blood Journals Series and Gods of New Asgard Series, co-author of YA writing books The Curiosities and The Anatomy of Curiosity, as well as dozens of short stories available in anthologies and on merryfates.com. Though she’s lived all over the world, she’s finally returned to her prairie roots in Kansas with her wife. Her current projects include Tremontaineat Serial Box Publishing, YA Fantasy Strange Grace coming in 2018, and her adult fantasy debut, The Queens of Innis Lear, from Tor March 27, 2018.

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