Thursday, February 7, 2013

Review: Black City by Elizabeth Richards

Author: Elizabeth Richards
Publisher:  G.P. Putnam's Sons BYR
Release Date: November 13th 2012
Pages: 375
Read in: 1 week, 2 days


A dark and tender post-apocalyptic love story set in the aftermath of a bloody war.

In a city where humans and Darklings are now separated by a high wall and tensions between the two races still simmer after a terrible war, sixteen-year-olds Ash Fisher, a half-blood Darkling, and Natalie Buchanan, a human and the daughter of the Emissary, meet and do the unthinkable—they fall in love. Bonded by a mysterious connection that causes Ash’s long-dormant heart to beat, Ash and Natalie first deny and then struggle to fight their forbidden feelings for each other, knowing if they’re caught, they’ll be executed—but their feelings are too strong.

When Ash and Natalie then find themselves at the center of a deadly conspiracy that threatens to pull the humans and Darklings back into war, they must make hard choices that could result in both their deaths.

Black City is about this alternate world (let's call it that), where the human race and the Darkling race are segregated. Darklings, for the sake of making this less complicated, are kind of a hybrid between a vampire and werewolf. Living in this city means four things: you either love the segregation, hate it, your parents support it - so you do, or you could care less. Zooming in a bit more -- Black City is told from the point of  view of two teenagers, Natalie and Ash. Natalie is fully human but the daughter of an Emissary for the Sentry States, meaning she should hate Darklings, and want them exterminated right down to the last limb. Ash is a twin-blood -- half-human, half-darkling. Throughout the novel, Ash and Natalie's relationship goes from hating each other, to somewhat dealing with each other, to LOVE. Forbidden love, of course, all while tensions between both races continue to exist/increase.Both sides of the Darkling argument begin to shift as the government uses heated and violent manipulation to keep Darklings out of the city, all while blurring of lines between right and wrong. Ash struggles with finding where his loyalties lie -- whether he's more human than Darkling  or vice-versa. Either way, he might still be considered a race traitor. Natalie, on the other hand, struggles with getting by everyday knowing her boyfriend is half-darkling, while her mother and friends, exterminate his kind for a living. 

I loved the dynamics of Black City. From the crazy, hectic, you-never-know-what'll-happen plot straight down to every character, scene, and interaction. I didn't feel as if the relationships between the characters were forced or rushed, and that aspect, alone, was something that really made me love the book. The forbidden relationship between Natalie and Ash, was so amazingly developed, that I found myself  rooting for them -- Day 1. I cried one or two times (as well as threw the book once - okay, maybe twice - not one of my proudest moments).  Nothing I say can stress how important it is for the author to get through to the reader. The fact that Elizabeth Richards was able to achieve that connecting point - I loved it. I had to. Did I forget to mention the last 100 pages? I completely blew off  anything pertaining to  my social life, or lack there-of, so I could finish Black City

It truly and honestly pains me to type what you're about to read but - while I loved the character and plot development one of my pet peeves were present. Absolutes! My wonderful YA authors - absolutes aren't ... likable.  Erm here's one; Black City pp. 168  :
"Being with Ash is as instinctive to me as breathing."
Oh, really?! Please Natalie, let's just "test" this theory. I'd just love for you to not see Ash - for one day. I wonder if your breathing would cease, then. Reading this sentence, makes me inwardly CRINGE. I mean, thank the heavens it wasn't insta-love, but with a few statements like these, it might as well be.

Absolutes, aside - Black City was an all-around five. The action-packed plot and forbidden romance was enough to make me order Phoneix, the sequel, the second I finished reading. 



  1. Moonlight Reading Reviews: CamFebruary 9, 2013 at 10:04 AM

    LOL, I know how you feel with those quotes. A werewolf/vampire hybrid? I think I might have to check this out (: Thanks for the amazing review!

  2. I've heard a lot of mixed things about this book, but the instant-love and the fact that it's a lot about romance are two things that make me hesitant to pick it up.. The Darklings sound great though and they might be the reason for me to give this one a shot after all. Great review.


  3. THANK YOU! About time someone gets it ... Cam, this book is amazing, honestly <3 Read it!

  4. I 100% agree with you. I'm all for romance, but I want some more action as well. Hope you like it as much as we did (:

  5. I love a good Dystopian/Paranormal Romance and this sounds really intriguing. Thanks for the great post!

  6. I agree. In terms of originality and standing out? Black City really made a mark. :)