Title: Black City
Author: Elizabeth Richards
Series: Black City
Book #: 1
Reading Level: YA
Goodreads Rating: 4.09
T.B.Published: Nov. 13th, 2012
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.
To put it in the simplest terms Black City is like Legend only mixed with vampires. This is not a bad thing; Legend is great, and so is Black City! It has some of the things Legend has, only heightened- ex. love becomes forbidden love. Corrupt government? Check. People being oppressed? Check. Two main characters, one from the government the other a normal person? Check. Adding to this delight Black City manages to have a plot that is original and not monotonous. Black City is that typical book you can't put down, it enthralls you with it's very complicated dark world,it makes your heart beat just a little bit faster. I bet If you were a half-darkling this book would kick start your heart right up.
It is a hot day in Black City (I can only imagine) when Natalie, the Emmisary's daughter (fancy term for a high ranking government official), and her remaining family move to the crappiest place in the world, Black City, from Centrum (a "better" city than Black City). On top of that she now has to attend public school along with the rest of the work boots (not so fancy term for people who actually have to work for a living). How will she ever survive?
"It's your bew identity bracelet. Do you like it?" I ask.
Martha nods slighly, not saying anything. She must be overwhelmed; it's a very expensive gift. She slips it on.
Some context on the quote, Martha is Natalie's maid and she is a Darkling (Darklings who live on the human side of the wall are made to use bracelets with their info on them). I thought this quote described Natalie great at the beginning of the novel. Natalie pissed me off at first. She was such a spoiled brat. It was hard to root for her, but then she grows up. It's so amazing, she went from someone who I wouldn't touch with a ten foot pole to a brave self sufficient heroine that doesn't need to be rescued. I respect her, I like her.
"I place a hand against the wall and slip my other hand between her thighs, gently easing her legs apart. Touching her doesn't turn me on, but I groan like it does, knowing she'll enjoy that. They all do, even the guys -it's why they come to me instead of the Haze dens."
Ash is a Haze dealer, and a half-Darkling. You can say he got the "short" end of the stick in life (though in fact he is really tall). He is an outcast, abondoned by his mother at a young age. It's clear that he has issues.But It is very hard NOT to like Ash, he is so conflicted. You just want to hug him, and help him. He is the one who drew me to the story beginning on Chapter 1.
The story evolves around these two characters with a backdrop of war, corruption, and danger. It's a very dark world, but then again which dystopian world isn't?
The characters, the world building, the intense connection between the characters, the customs of Black City and the Darklings, all of this and more is what I loved about this book. It was just a very good read.
Some things were hard for me to swallow, like how can the vampires (who are stronger, faster, PREDATORS) be oppressed by the humans? I would have liked some more information on the old war. What happened, and how? Were the humans always privy to the existence of this other race? How did they exactly beat the vampires and made them live in guettos? I have no idea! I missed that history lesson.
Another thing that bothered me was the romance, at first. Because the characters show this instant connection to each other without really knowing anything about each other. They meet, they dislike/are sttracted to each other, and on the next page they are bound together. This was something that bothered me, BUT it was completely addrssed and insta-love was succesfully avoided. And even though I could smell the twist to the romance a mile away I still enjoyed it (maybe I like being proved right).
But if you can look past the non existent/much needed history lesson you will really enjoy this novel. I liked the writing, I loved Ash, and I liked Natalie, as well as the rest of the characters. It's a very easy story to get sunk into, and I enjoyed every single page.
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