Give the Dark My Love by Beth Revis

TITLE: Give the Dark My Love

AUTHOR: Beth Revis

LENGTH: 368 pages

PUBLISHED IN: 2018

GENRE: young adult fantasy (alchemy, plague, undead/zombies)

ISBN: 9781595147172

REASON FOR READING: love this author

RATING: 4/5

SUMMARY (Goodreads Summary):
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.

MY THOUGHTS: Okay, honestly within the first few sentences, I was like, “Ugh, really? A zombie book?” But it didn’t take long for me to realize the zombies weren’t as big a thing for the whole story as I anticipated. Yes, by the end–which is actually revealed in part in the prologue–the undead are important to the story. But they gradually become important as the story progresses.

I’m no expert on the history of alchemy, but I always thought it was the quest to change other elements into gold. If that’s the kind of alchemy you’re expecting in this book, well, you’ll be introduced to another version.

After the beginning, I was skeptical, but I’ve loved all four of Revis’ books I’ve read before so it was worth giving it a go. The four other books are sci-fi–this introduction to her fantasy world turned out quite gripping. I found the book harder and harder to put down the further I read. It appears to be the first in a series, and I’ll definitely be reading future installments.

Also, I’d like to give a quick nod to Revis for including a female general, a female governor, and a lesbian/bisexual (I’m not sure one or the other was specified–I know they’re not the same) as characters very nonchalantly. Small details that you might not even realize, and weren’t made to appear out of the ordinary at all, just like they should be.

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