by Elizabeth Richards
Reading level: Ages 14 and up
Hardcover: 384 pages
Publisher: Putnam Juvenile (November 13, 2012)
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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.
The Immortal Rules by Julie Kagawa, Legend by Marie Lu, Crusade by Nancy Holder and Debbie Viguie
- 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