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review 2019-01-19 04:03
Give the Dark My Love by Beth Revis - audiobook
Give the Dark My Love - Beth Revis

I was super excited to read a book about a magical healer facing a plague – even if they call alchemy ‘science’ in this book, it’s totally magic – and this one definitely delivered.

 

It’s about a girl called Nedra (narrated beautifully by Mhairi Morrison with a lovely soft Scottish accent) from a small northern village who manages to get a scholarship to a medical school in the big city of an island colony ruled over by a young Emperor. An incurable plague has been ravaging the population and making its way towards Nedra’s village. She’s dedicating the next year of her life to finding a cure, and must adjust to a very different life in the school, having left her family (including a twin sister) behind.

 

I really enjoyed this story. It delivered as promised a dark fantasy where Nedra must confront the reality of illness and death, how illness tears families apart, and the sacrifices Nedra must make to become the as-promised necromancer we see in the opening pages. I liked seeing Nedra study and make friends with Grey, the other point of view, a fellow student who has gone into alchemy for possibly less-than-honourable reasons. Grey has just kind of fallen into alchemy because he comes from a rich family, and I guess this is why his narrator,Bruce Mann, used such a pompous sounding voice I found really annoying to deliver his narration. I thought Grey was an OK character – he certainly wasn’t perfect and I liked that, sometimes seeming almost coward-like in his unwillingness to rock the boat from his high level of privilege. I also thought his romance with Nedra was lacking in chemistry.

 

But honestly, I really did enjoy Give the Dark My Love. I loved seeing how Nedra interacted with the other characters and how she came to the conclusion to use necromancy, which was punishable by death, and there’s only two things that reduce this from a 5 star read to a 4 star read for me.

 

One is that Nedra is just so insufferably good, and everyone around her are shits. Nedra is literally the only medical student to care about the plague. She’s a bleeding heart, so stuffed full of selfless good intentions it practically leaks out of her orifices. This is juxtaposed by the fact that literally no one else gives a shit. None of the other students volunteer at the hospital, not even her love interest. None of the other students are into medicine to help others, but for selfish reasons, like advancing in politics or making a good wage. I liked Nedra, but I hate this aspect. I think the story could have had a whole other element added if there was at least one other student who volunteered – then Nedra could discover him or her at the hospital, they could become friends and study together so Nedra’s not such an outsider and Nelly No Friends, maybe they could explore necromancy together and something goes tragically wrong and the friend is unfortunately killed. But no, it’s just reinforced that Nedra is literally the only one who cares, the only one who is selfless and works herself to exhaustion with her caring and selfless acts.

 

The other factor reducing this from a 5 star read is that the particular magi that Nedra uses, medicinal alchemy, is basically magical anaesthetic. Using a crucible and a rat (warning to anyone sensitive to animal cruelty) she can siphon off the pain from her patient, and transfer it to the rat through herself. Considering Nedra experiences amputations through this magic, the descriptions of what the pain actually felt like were really lacking. For most of the book it was simply something like ‘pain roared through me’ but couldn’t describe anything more than that, and honestly I found it a little disappointing, especially in something touted as a ‘dark fantasy’, and especially considering what comes later.

 

Apart from these issues, I really enjoyed the audiobook of Give the Dark My Love and I’m really looking forward to what Nedra has in store in Book 2.

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review 2018-10-31 21:44
An Anti-Heroine that shines in her darkness...
Give the Dark My Love - Beth Revis

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

~BOOK BLURB~

Give the Dark My Love

Beth Revis

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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.

 

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~MY QUICKIE REVIEW~

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Give The Dark My Love is the kind of book that is not easily defined.  For me, it was part Dark Fantasy, part Alternate History and also part Supernatural with a splash of romance.  The romance in no way interferes with the storyline or dominates it either…just enhances it. 

 

In the beginning, I had an overwhelming feeling of depression… the disease or plaque that does dominate the story, just left me saddened.  But around the half-way point, this takes a decidedly dark turn and that's when this story evolves into something most compelling…the darkness and the necromancy sucked me right into the story.  Despite the slow start to the book and my not having read too much about necromancy, to say yay or nay on it…I still feel like this is executed smoothly and poignantly.

 

๏๏๏๏๏๏๏๏๏๏๏๏๏๏๏๏๏๏๏๏๏๏๏๏๏๏๏๏๏๏๏๏๏

~MY RATING~

4.2STARS - GRADE=B+

๏๏๏๏๏๏๏๏๏๏๏๏๏๏๏๏๏๏๏๏๏๏๏๏๏๏๏๏๏๏๏๏๏

 

 

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~BREAKDOWN OF RATINGS~

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Plot~ 4/5

Main Characters~ 4.2/5

Secondary Characters~ 4/5

The Feels~ 3.8/5

Pacing~ 4/5

Addictiveness~ 4/5

Theme or Tone~ 4/5

Flow (Writing Style)~ 4/5

Backdrop (World Building)~ 3.8/5

Originality~ 5/5

Ending~ 4.3/5  Cliffhanger~ Not really, but there is a second book.

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Book Cover~ So gorgeous…

Narration~5 for Mhairi Morrison, she reminded me of the girl in the Disney Movie Brave…I quite loved her accent. 4 for Bruce Mann…meh, he was all right.

Series~ Give The Dark My Love #1

Setting~ Lunar Island

Source~ Audiobook (Library)

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review 2018-08-09 20:18
Review: Give The Dark My Love
Give the Dark My Love - Beth Revis

Review - Give The Dark My Love

 

I received a copy from Penguin's First to Read.

 

Initially I had mixed feelings about this book, mainly as the beginning was rather boring and seemed to have some fantasy tropes that are starting to seem rather overdone.  However the latter half of the book took a darker turn and the end was pretty damn good and unexpected. 

 

It starts off with the story's heroine Nedra is leaving her twin sister and her parents to head off to a posh academy she has earned a scholarship to to study alchemy. She comes from a poor village, and despite her reservations about leaving her family they all tell her it's the right thing to do and of course she's destined for greatness. 

 

We learn there is a terrible plague sickness sweeping through the lands and there appears to be no cure, once the symptoms are spotted the sufferer is doomed. There are quarantine hospitals for the sick, the disease spreading mostly through the poor people. 

 

Nedra didn't seem to have much of a personality at all really. She was nice enough, ready and willing to learn, and of course all the fancy rich students who attend the school look down their noses at her. Right away she manages to make a friend with a very rich handsome boy, Greggori And gains the attention of one of the most difficult professors to please. 

 

It's just a tad bit eye rolling. And of course before long it's abundantly clear Nedra is far more talented than anyone initially thought she would. Much to the chagrin of some of the students. The plot is interesting enough as Nedra learns more about the plague and how alchemy can help the victims. The way the alchemy works a little stomach churning. But it seems to be the only thing doing some good. 

 

There's a subplot going on along the lines of some of the wealthy rich men (including Greggori's father and his best friend and their family) don't like the fact that the island they live on is under rule by one Emperor who governs countless lands and empires. They want the island to be free so they can make their own laws. Doesn't help that the emperor is only a teenager. Nor do they like the new governor he has appointed to rule their island is a woman. (This comes into play much more later on the novel).

 

Nedra finds herself caught up in a search to find the cause of the plague which is becoming worse by the moment, and not just affecting poor people throwing everyone's theories on the origin out the window. This is becoming the sole focus of the plot. Along with Nedra's relationship with Greggori is of course growing into something more than friendship. Greggori is slowly starting to realise there's more to Nedra. And his own views on the side plot are changing. 

 

The Governor makes a few appearances in the novel helping the sick at the hospital Nedra is working in and appears to be nowhere near as bad as the press and everyone else is making her out to be. 

 

Biggest problem for me was Nedra is just so dull as a main character. Both she and Greggori are so wooden and uninteresting. I had no interest in their barely there slow burn romance (which is usually one of my favourite romance tropes) Nedra becomes almost dangerously obsessed with stopping the plague. 

 

She finds herself using darker and more forbidden forms of alchemy - necromancy. This was where the plot really started picking up and I just didn't want to put the book down. I needed to know. Nedra becomes much more interesting and so meticulous and careful about her planning. Faced with a personal tragedy  that seems to define a turning point for her. 

 

I can't say I particularly liked her any more as a character but I could certainly empathise with her and completely understood her determination to find a cure, no matter where it took her. Though there is a fine line between using alchemy to help a greater cause but then finding something darker that works to a personal gain. There's definitely an interesting grey area that all logic seems to vanish over once things become more dangerous and intense. 

 

There were some pretty epic twists towards the end that I did not see coming at all. And left at one hell of a cliffhanger. At one point I wasn't even sure I was going to bother finishing this book, but now I have to know what happens next!

 

A bit of a slow start but definitely worth sticking with. 

 

 

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review 2018-03-09 00:03
Rebel Rising
Star Wars: Rebel Rising - Beth Revis,Lucasfilm Ltd

A super short review because I haven’t got much to say:

 

I don’t know if anyone was really clamoring for a YA novel about Jyn Erso’s life in the years between Saw Gerrera rescuing her from Lah’mu and the Rebels breaking her out of prison on Wobani, but we got one anyway. It was entertaining (I enjoyed it a lot more than my last book by Revis, that’s for sure), but it wasn’t necessary. I didn’t feel like I got much more out of this than Freed already gave me in the Rogue One novelization.

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review 2017-06-14 04:08
Star Wars: Rebel Rising
Star Wars Rebel Rising - Beth Revis

Confession: I didn't particularly like Rogue One when I saw it in theaters. I just didn't care about any of the main characters in it, and I'm not a big enough Star Wars fan to have caught a majority of the references in the movie or recognize names of characters beyond the really big ones like Darth Vader. I knew nothing about this book other than it involved Jyn Erso in some way (I recognized her on the cover). I didn't really plan to read this, but my library got the audio book, and I was looking for one really fast to download. This was the only available book in the section I was browsing that I hadn't read and that wasn't a sequel to something I hadn't read or that wasn't a book I had no intention of ever reading. And I'm glad I ended up picking it.

 

Rebel Rising managed to do what Rogue One failed to do which is make me care about the main characters. It tells Jyn's story prior to the movie and gave me a better idea of who she is and why. Her story's not a happy one. She was forced to learn how to fight and survive from a young age under the guidance of Saw Gerrera who took her in after her mother was killed and her father joined the enemy. I loved her complex relationship with Saw who became her surrogate father. And I loved Jyn in general and how she kept trying to keep to herself and not care about others for her own sake, but kept caring despite herself, even when it often led to the very pain she was hoping to avoid.

 

It's a shame this book came out after the movie. I think I would have enjoyed Rogue One if I had read this before seeing it. I would have gone in already caring greatly about one of the main characters.

Even if that would have made the ending hurt more.

(spoiler show)

This book made me a Jyn fan and has made me consider giving the Rogue One novelization a shot just to see if I do enjoy the story (and Jyn) more.

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