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Give the Dark My Love

Review

Give the Dark My Love

GIVE THE DARK MY LOVE is the first book in a new fantasy duology by Beth Revis. She previously wrote ACROSS THE UNIVERSE trilogy, A WORLD WITHOUT YOU and REBEL RISING. Her previous books have been mostly science fiction, so fantasy is a new realm for her.

It is hard to describe the world of GIVE THE DARK MY LOVE. It’s a high fantasy setting, similar to many other books out there, but that’s about the only thing that’s familiar. It begins within the rural northern territories of an empire that seems to be gobbling up the world. The main character Nedra then travels from her small town to Lunar Island, home of the prestigious Yūgen Academy. Lunar Island is a big city, but instead of suburbs, it’s surrounded by water.

"With a lot of fantasy books coming out this year, it can be hard to tell what’s amazing and what falls flat. GIVE THE DARK MY LOVE definitely falls on the amazing side."

Now on to the main character of Nedra. She is kick-butt, but not always in the ways you would expect. She gets into Yūgen Academy on a scholarship, which is incredibly hard to do. While she hopes to get better at medicinal alchemy, her main reason for attending is to find the cure for a plague that is scouring the countryside. She is determined to save her family before it reaches them. I absolutely loved Nedra. I got to slowly watch her explore darker and darker methods of alchemy as she delved deeper into herself. Nedra is a great example of possibly doing the wrong thing for the right reasons. She will do whatever’s necessary to save her family, no matter the price.

There’s also the character interest Grey. While he is technically the love interest, he falls by the wayside for me. Sure I liked him, but I much preferred exploring Nedra’s psyche as she discovers more about herself and her world. While Grey is still relatively optimistic, Nedra sees the world for as it is and isn’t afraid to match darkness with darkness.

There are also a handful of intriguing side characters in GIVE THE DARK MY LOVE. There is Nedra’s professor, who teaches her alchemy and eventually helps her along her descent intro Necromancy. He isn’t a bad guy, but he is similar to Nedra in that he is willing to do anything to find a cure. There’s also Nedra’s sister Nessie. She is incredibly sweet, and it is impossible not to love her. Nedra will do anything for Nessie, and that is shown time and again throughout the book.

The plot of GIVE THE DARK MY LOVE is incredibly strong. It starts with a prologue that you can sense takes place later in the book. While it is not directly stated, there are hints about who the characters featured in it are. It does take a while to build, but it doesn’t drag on. Nedra spends a lot of time volunteering a quarantine hospital, and by having some of the day to day problems tie in to the larger issue, it felt like the plot kept moving along nicely.

With a lot of fantasy books coming out this year, it can be hard to tell what’s amazing and what falls flat. GIVE THE DARK MY LOVE definitely falls on the amazing side. It is a dark and twisty story, great for fans of thrillers seeking out some high fantasy. If you liked REIGN OF THE FALLEN by Sarah Glenn Marsh, I would recommend checking out this book.

Beth Revis has created a great new world and I can’t wait to see where it goes next. Book two comes out next year, and I know I will be reading it. GIVE THE DARK MY LOVE ends with many questions unanswered, and Nedra’s fate is up in the air. Will she succumb to the darkness of necromancy or will she return to her healer roots? Only time will tell.

Reviewed by Isabel C., Teen Board Member on October 16, 2018

Give the Dark My Love
by Beth Revis