A Deliciously Dark Conclusion – Arc Review: Bid My Soul Farewell by Beth Revis

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Release Date: 9/24/19

Genre: YA Fantasy

POV: Dual 1st Person POVs

Rating: 4.5/5

Synopsis:

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?

Review:

*This review will contain spoilers for Give the Dark my Love by Beth Revis.*

Last year, I read and practically devoured Beth Revis’s Give The Dark My Love, which was the start to an amazing fantasy duology involving an aspiring alchemist named Nedra who turns to necromancy when a deadly plague wreaks havoc on her island, even stealing the lives of her beloved family. I was so lucky to receive an ARC of the final book in the duology, Bid My Soul Farewell, and I devoured this one just as quickly.

Bid My Soul Farewell was beautifully written, and my ARC copy is filled with so many flags marking beautiful and impactful quotes. I loved that we got to learn about necromancy along with Nedra, because we only just skimmed the surface of her necromancy at the end of the first book.

As with the first book, I really felt that Nedra was our strongest character with the strongest story. Grey, on the other hand, always felt like more of a side character who didn’t really need his own POV. It felt more like things happened to him rather than him actually doing things on his own. While I liked that he added a different perspective and showed the “political” side of things, I definitely felt like those parts of the book was lacking. The politics weren’t really as sharp or cunning as I would have liked.

Unfortunately, after bawling my eyes out while reading Give The Dark my Love, I didn’t find this one to be as emotionally impactful. Much of this is definitely due to the fact that the most emotionally impactful moments, like her family’s deaths and Nedra’s turn to necromancy, happened in the first book, and this one is more about the aftermath. I did find myself tearing up at the certain parts though, so the emotion is definitely still there.

I think that another reason why this one didn’t resonate as much with me was due to the pacing. The novel was shorter than the first novel, but I feel that it should have been much longer, as it holds the responsibility of wrapping up the whole series. (More on that later.) The first part of the novel, while definitely important, seemed to drag on for a while, and things only got really interesting and suspenseful toward the last quarter or so of the novel.

The book ends with an epilogue, and I’ll honestly admit that it wasn’t my favorite thing. It felt a bit too clean, too perfectly summed up. I would have preferred to get closure in actual chapters, or maybe to have had some things left a bit more open ended. To bring up the classic “Freytag’s Pyramid” plot model, we really don’t have much falling action at all. We hit the climax and then immediately go into the dénouement. I think that there could have been more between those two parts. I won’t spoil anything, but I was hoping to see the aftermath of the very intense climax scene.

In the end, I still really enjoyed Bid my Soul Farewell. Did it live up to Give the Dark my Love? No, but I think it still served as a much needed and effective conclusion to the duology. The suspense was there, the emotion was there, and the darkness was definitely there. I’d give it 4 stars due to the pacing issues, but rest assured, it’s totally worth a read, especially as the spooky Halloween season approaches.

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