Black City (Black City #1) by Elizabeth Richards
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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.
This review was completed by Michaela from The Pied Piper Calls! Thanks to her for this wonderful guest post (which I made her do because she stole this off my bookshelf because what else are roomie’s bookshelves for? But I digress)…!
Well, it wasn’t a bad book, but it wasn’t mind blowing.
I had the enormous revelation at the beginning of the novel that it was a less tragic Romeo and Juliet but with vampires, well “darklings”. I wasn’t far off. (Calling back memories of Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are Undead: a movie filled with terrible literature puns involving vampires)Of course we have our star crossed lovers. The daughter of the cities emissary the son of the king of the darklings.
I will say that there was a strong point in the characters. I had emotional attachments to almost all of them. If I didn’t love them for their quirk or their humor I hated them because they were ignorant sheep being led to a slaughter by their government. Personally I have an affinity to love the secondary characters more than the protagonists. No offense to the protagonists they still kick butt but I would rather curl up with their best friends. The same is true for this novel.
While Ash our dashing darkling is suave even in the times when he is imbecilic, his best friend Beetle’s struggle with drug addiction and his choices in the past interested me far more. Likewise, while I could relate completely to Natalie in many ways and was utterly confused in others her best friend Day and her sister Polly were more heart warming. All of the characters were well developed and showed growth. They were realistic and both lovable and hate-able in all the right ways. Let’s leave that be for a moment and talk about the other aspects of the novel.
The world building was alright. It has some of the classic dystopian elements: a world ravaged and scarred by war, the people divided, a government the performs atrocious experiments on their citizens, a courageous group of youngsters ready to stand up in arms against oppressive government that doesn’t care about them, you know, the usual. None of the themes here were particularly alien to me so it was a comfortable environment to be in. You knew pretty much what to expect.
The one problem I found with this book is that it was extremely predictable. I saw all of the little signs left for me to connect the dots. The problem with this style of writing is I always get the feeling that the author thinks their readers are dim. Thinking that the readers wouldn’t get the idea if all of the signs are lain out in front of them with flashing neon lights surrounding them. Ooh ooh look this is important, Chekhov’s gun. While she does indeed tie them in to the story, it was slightly distracting to sit and wait for them to become important.
There were a few other things that took me off guard. Small things that were distracting but not really important but could have been easily mended. Those of course are just knit picky things.
Overall I enjoyed the book, and I did call out shenanigans when one character decided to be a dumb ass. It was a good read in an interesting world even if it was predictable and dare I say it unoriginal. You can read this book in countless other books in the genre, of course then you won’t get to know the beauty that is Beetle and his Aunt Roach. Give it a go if you like paranormal romance of the temperate nature.