Google+ Reading Teen: Black City by Elizabeth Richards

Monday, October 8, 2012

Black City by Elizabeth Richards

Black City
by Elizabeth Richards
Reading level: Ages 14 and up
Hardcover: 384 pages
Publisher: Putnam Juvenile (November 13, 2012)
Language: English
Mark on Goodreads
Buy the book:  Amazon
Read an excerpt here
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.
At a Glance:

Black City starts out with a bang and the action doesn't stop until the last page.  Although somewhat disappointing and awkward at times, the story still kept me interested.  This is a whole new take on Vampirism, and one I'm glad I read.

The first 150 pages:

I was in love.  I mean honestly, on page two I was ready to profess my forthcoming 5-star rating.  The world-building was amazing, the characters were dangerous and mysterious, the government was twisted, the Darklings were horrific yet fascinating.  I.  Was.  Sucked.  In.

So Much Intrigue:

There is a long list of things that I found utterly compelling about this book.  The tone of the book was bleak, but in an "I want to read more of this" kind of way.  Natalie was flawed, spoiled, and naive, but still kind and open to change.  I loved this about her.  Ash was so dark and dangerous, but also obviously good.  The storyline was thrilling and intense.  With Mother against daughter, families on different sides, betrayal, bloody fights, heartbreak, torment, a crazy-ex-boyfriend-stalker-creep, torture, death, experiments, segregation, crucifixions, suspicion and plot twists, there was just so much to love.

And then something happened:

Insta-love.  Now, don't get me wrong, I'm all for instant attraction, and I don't even mind two people being drawn to each other by some supernatural force, but I swear, this insta-love changed the entire tone of the book.  I almost felt like the first half and second half were written by two different people.  Natalie and Ash became these two awkwardly, fickle, moody junior high kids who were completely in love one minute, and never wanted to see each other again the next.  Throw in a second insta-love, for an insta-love-triangle, and there's just a whole mess of hormonal stomping off happening.  There was no build in their relationship, and it never seemed like they were trying to actually see if they had a real connection.  Their choices were either, I hate you, or we're going to be together forever and ever, and forget everyone else.  It was over the top, and just really awkward at times.

Don't get me wrong:

I still liked the book.  I really did, and I believe other people are going to absolutely devour it!  I think it just started out with SO MUCH POTENTIAL, that it was disappointing when I got half way through and didn't feel the same way.  However, it's obvious that Richards is a fantastic storyteller, and there were a lot of little nuggets dropped here and there that lead me to believe there is going to be much more to this story in future books.  And I definitely will be reading them. 

Book Doppelgangers:

The Immortal Rules by Julie Kagawa, Legend by Marie Lu, Crusade by Nancy Holder and Debbie Viguie
Content:
  • Sexual Content: Heavy
  • Profanity: Moderate (with heavy use of the word "fragg" which replaced multiple profanities including the heavy ones)
  • Violence: Heavy
  • Other Notables: Vampires 
For more details, check out Black City on Parentalbookreviews.com

52 comments:

  1. That's so disappointing about the insta-love and love triangle. Haven't people caught on yet that most readers don't like those two trends??

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  2. Can you give the details about the content? I couldn't find it on parental book reviews.

    I'm sorry to hear about the inta-love stuff. Why must authors do that?

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  3. Such a wonderfully honest review, Andye! I've seen both positive and negative reviews of this one and from what you've said about the insta-love and love triangle, I know both those qualities would make me lose any connection with these characters and consequently make me dislike this book, which is a shame as it has a gorgeous cover and truly intriguing premises. *sigh* Still, thanks for this fabulous review, dear!

    ~Keertana
    Ivy Book Bindings

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  4. I am not a fan of the insta-love at all, but I do still want to read this book. I've heard a few things about the book, but I really like your review of this, even though you are forcing me to comment because I want to win the book (total joke!) I do like the review ;) XOXO - PJ

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  5. It seems nowadays that I only read books with a character named Ash or want books with a character with that name LOL

    Even though you really slightly disappointed, this book sounds pretty cool and having a character that has flaws really interests me. I guess I'm used to read characters that are almost perfect but Natalie sounds amazing.

    Hope to read it one day :)

    XX Ner

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  6. I *love* bleak voices, so I'm sure I would love this. I struggle with the insta-love thing, too, but maybe it could work for me. :)

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  7. I'm not usually into insta-love but it always depends on how it's done. I've read the first couple chapters of this one in the Breathless Reads sampler and I still think I'm going to love it. Thanks for your honest review!

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  8. This sounds like a really good read to me! Thanks for the review, hope I can read it soon. :)
    -Hanka Trskova

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  9. I've heard a lot of mixed reviews about this one, but I still want to read it. Also, I had no idea it was about vampires until a couple days ago. I just thought it was dystopian.

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  10. :) I can handle insta love in exchange for horrific Darklings and amazing world building.

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  11. Same here lol. I'll gladly deal with insta-love in exchange for the not stop action and all the other awesomeness you described! Is it okay if I suddenly developed *insta-luv* for this book?! <333
    Mary DeBorde (M.A.D.)

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  12. Hmm, interesting review. I've heard people LOVING this book and then not so much. I really would like to read it, even with insta-love. :)

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  13. Great review, its one that I am so intrigued by. Hope I enjoy it, when I eventually read it!!

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  14. I want to read Black City so so bad! And I just find out about the sequel! :OOOOOO Hopefully I can read this one soon! Thanks for the review!

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  15. i have heard so many great things about this book...i can't wait to read it!

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  16. I loved the honest review. I am excited to see what my take on the book will be! Great Job!

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  17. I've read a lot of mixed reviews about this one. Loved your honest review though. I don't really like Insta-love, but would love to have a chance to read the book. =) Thanks for the giveaway.

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  18. Great review, not a fan of inst-love either. :P Though I didn't really know that this had a vampire element to it, I just thought it was a dystopian. I hope to check it out at least because I'm a fan of the Crusade series by Nancy Holder, so thanks for your honest review!! :D

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  19. I can definitely understand how the insta-love can make a book seem not so amazing. It's probably because of how every single moment it seems like the characters have their minds on each other. Though I'm not really a huge vampire fan, I'd like to read Black City soon and see how I feel about the book. Thank you for your review!

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  20. Great review!! I don't like insta-love, love triangles or vampires...but despite all this I still really want to read it! Maybe I'll wait for my library to get it when it comes out instead of buying it. Thanks for the review!

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  21. I'm still really excited to read it but it really does depend on a person's taste. :)

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  22. In sounds great! Not a big fan of insta love or love triangles, but I'm looking forward to read this one!

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  23. Really looking forward to this one! Thank you Thank you for the giveaway. :)

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  24. I been dying to read this one I read the sample chapters and it was so good. I am not big on insta-love though, I think it just too predictable. I like to read more of challenge in the romance department. But I will still read it.

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  25. Sounds like a book I can't pass up. Enjoyed your take on Black City!

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  26. Love your review anything with vampires I'm in. I thinks I'll enjoy reading this book.

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  27. *sigh*, why must there be insta-love in an awesome-sounding book like this!?
    That is really disappointing, but hopefully I'll be able to overlook the insta-love when I read this.
    Great review! ^__^

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  28. I'm still really interested in reading it!

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  29. DefiniThe cover alone made me want to read this one (yes, I do fall for pretty covers). I still want to give it a try, if only for the sake of the beautiful cover :P Thanks for the review!!

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  30. Cannot wait to read! I absolutely love the storyline to it. Why must we wait so long!

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  31. I'd read this one for the cover. Yes, I do judge. I've read mixed reviews, but I am interested enough to read it for myself.

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  32. I'm pretty interested in reading this. I think sometimes authors struggle to write about a love connection and make it overly swoon-y.

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  33. Very interested in reading this one, insta-love aside. But thanks for the heads-up!

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  34. great review. this book looks really good and i cant wait to read it

    kmichellec87(at)yahoo(dot)com

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  35. Not really excited about the love triangle instant love aspect but I have read other reviews and heard about the movie news so I am going to give it a try. Thanks for the heads up.

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  36. Of course there's going to be a love triangle lol. What book these days doesn't have one. Great review. Can't wait to read it!

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  37. I love vampire novels but I've read so many that I need one with a new take on them. This one looks good.

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  38. Great review! I love action and intrigue and hoping that will take away from the whole insta love. It's sometimes over done, but I seem to be able to overlook it if I feel like it's done right and the rest of the story isn't just centered on it. Great review!! Can't wait to read this!

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  39. And I just thought that song was out of my head....

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  40. I have heard such amazing things about Black City, and I can't wait to get m hands on a copy so I can see just how great it is for myself. I love the cover, the synopsis. It sounds and looks amazing. Phoenix has a beautiful cover too. I can't wait to see if there is any significance to the images on both covers!

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  41. this book sounds really good, and i love the cover :) thanks for a wonderful review :)

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  42. thanks for the review.. been wanting to read this book..for a long time now.>:D

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  43. Even though you only gave it 4 chess pieces I still cant wait to read this. Sounds so good and the cover is fantastic.

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  44. I wanna know more about the darklings :)

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  45. I don't like insta-love but I love the cover and the story and I like vampires too. So I wanna read this book so bad. :)
    Thank you for your review and the giveaway. :)

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  46. You must read this book. That's all I'm going to say. I don't want to give away any of the marvelous twists this book reveals, and I read the book from cover to cover in a day. The characters are terrific, and I love the dark setting of Black City. This isn't a perfect book, but it is an extremely compelling one. I know Richards is only going to get better and better with each installment.

    Overall, one of the most intriguing and pulse pounding dystopian books I've read this year.

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  48. Black City is a favorite of mine that I must recommend. Dystopian fans HAVE to read this one. And romance fans because it is one steamy romance. Really everyone should just read it!
    Top Recommended Website Design Indianapolis Information

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