Review~ Black City by Elizabeth Richards

Review~ Black City by Elizabeth RichardsBlack City by Elizabeth Richards
Series: Black City #1
Published by G.P. Putnam's Sons BYR on November 13 2012
Genres: Dystopian, Young Adult
Pages: 374
Format: Hardcover
Source: Library
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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."


My first attempt to read this back in December failed miserably. I wasn’t able to get into the story and I was reading the same paragraph more than once, so I quit. I picked it back up for a second go (not really sure as to WHY).. and I am all kinds of mixed up and a mess over this book. 

This book does have a lot going for it. It’s very appealing and has an intriguing– albeit not original– plot and I can see a lot of people liking it. It’s disturbing. Dark. Scary. And has a feel of desperation that you can’t help but cling to. With Politics and mind-blowing twists. Plus we have a little forbidden romance as well. This, coupled with a few other things– is just one example of how it failed for me. *goes and sits in the minority corner*

Black City is still in devastation from the war that had previously ended. Tensions are still high, with both sides still in disagreement and with the return of the Emissary. On top of all that, the “Religious Leader” is trying to pass a law to ban the Darklings entirely. It was a little hard to follow at first, I was confused about several things. I’m still not sure if this is a case of bad execution or my slow brain at the time. Eventually, I got the in the swing of things and it all started to make sense.. Kind of. The different types of Darklings were fascinating. More or less different “breeds” of them–all with obvious, distinguishable physical features to tell them apart. They had their own.. culture, which was interesting to learn about.

The books alternates between Natalie and Ash’s POV. Though you can tell small distinct differences between the two, their voices were pretty similar. The two meet early on and the tension and dislike was palpable. Which is why I think I had a hard time with their “romance”. I’m sure a lot of people found it swoon worthy and romantic, I found it reeking of insta love. After Ash’s little epiphany about their physical reaction to each other- which was just shrugged off and accepted too soon for my liking- they acted like love-sick children. It was odd to me, that he would even have a human blood mate. Then when that little twist was thrown in, it explained a little, though I feel like it’s too vague and doesn’t make sense to me. If their attraction was because of the heart thing– why did he still have “feelings” or whatever for Evangeline? Because it was HERS? Or because it was just the heart? I don’t understand. 

Their relationship is already taboo, so I was a little put off by Evangeline’s role. I suppose it isn’t a full-out love triangle but still. It’s irritating to make a couple “soul mates” or something or other, with so much standing in between them. When you throw obstacle after obstacle on a couple, it doesn’t do ANYTHING for me but cause irritation. No, it shouldn’t be easy because NOTHING is that easy. But there are trials and truths every relationship goes through, without all that added bull shit. Then, Ash’s little test theory to “make sure” he had no feelings for Evangeline pissed me off. AND- goes to show he didn’t (at least at the time) “love” Natalie because he would NOT have done that. Natalie was way too forgiving and accepting with everyone, especially with Ash and Evangeline. Evangeline was psycho. Plain and simple.

Of course, you can’t have a political figure without twists and deception. And these are there ten fold. Natalie’s mom is one twisted witch. She explains her actions in a way to expect pity, but I didn’t. AT ALL. There are plenty of other things that could have been done but she choose to do what she did. Which in turn, might be the point. The scientist; man, not only is what he does SICK he has a sweet and charismatic tone towards Natalie. ANYONE that is that twisted and sweet at the same time is S-C-A-R-Y. Although we don’t get to see much of this Rose guy, he sounds like a freaking winner too. 

Aside from disliking the romances, the Religious aspects make me uncomfortable. Squirm worthy uncomfortable. Not a fan. The implications, ways they execute the people and Darklings alike– just NO. As well as the whole segregation part. The ending too, had me scratching my head. It didn’t follow– maybe because I was seething about Ash’s “Resurrection”. *snorts*

Overall- I really liked the idea of this sad, destructive world. With the Darklings and all. Everything else, NO. The romance, the religions implications and segregation make me uneasy. No, I wont read Phoenix.


More like 2.5 stars

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