Black City by Elizabeth Richards

Black City
Author: Elizabeth Richards
Genre: Young Adult
Format: ARC
Publisher: Putnam
Release Date: 11-13-12
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. – Goodreads

When I picked up this book, I had no idea that it was about vampires.  Although I am not usually a fan of this genre, I found myself completely drawn to this particular spin on the vampire story.  Yes, there are vampires (called Darklings) but this story was also a brutal, post-apocalyptic tale of a society that is fractured by racism, fear and evil leadership. The book focuses on Ash, a half Darkling teen, and Natalie, the human daughter of the local emissary.  Through a series of events, Ash and Natalie are drawn together and discover that they have a bond. It would have been very easy to do a love at first sight storyline here, but  despite that bond, there is no instalove, which made the eventual romance much more satisfying to read.  As with any forbidden romance, there were terrible choices to be made on either side and Elizabeth Richards did a really good job of making me, as a reader, feel very conflicted about what might happen.

The world building in this book was excellent.  Through the characters and setting I really got a feel for the stark differences between the lives of the humans in power, the Darklings in exile, and the half-bloods that are forced to live in secret.  The leadership was truly evil and the way that Natalie slowly realizes exactly what is happening and how change will be extremely difficult added to her appeal as a heroine in this story.  The book flowed very well and there didn’t seem to be any part of the story that dragged.  Black City used deeply romantic scenes and contrasted them quite effectively with a violent society in a way that gave me a sense of the love between Ash and Natalie, as well as the imminent danger they faced.  Combine all of that with a cliffhanger ending and it was a book that I could not put down. I think Black City will appeal to both teens and adults, as well as people who might not be immediately drawn to vampire story lines.  I am certainly adding book two to my watch list because don’t want to miss out on the next installment! 

This book earned 4 birds:
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Kate @ Ex Libris

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3 responses to “Black City by Elizabeth Richards

  1. No insta-love, that makes me so happy 😀 A well-developed romance is so nice + a good world-building is great. I’m already a huge vampire fan, so I can’t wait to dive into this story! Gorgeous review 🙂

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