Friday, November 30, 2012

[Review] Black City by Elizabeth Richards

Black City
Elizabeth Richards
[Black City #1]
YA Paranormal Dystopian
Published: November 13th 2012 (G.P. Putnam's Sons BYR)
Format: Hardback
Pages: 384
Source: Bought
Rating: 4 of 5

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.


There are numerous reasons as to why I read this book, the main one being that I envied all the people that had read it and raved about it. I had to get my hands on it! So after the first failed attempt at Sam's due to a pre-shelving incident, I got it a few days after the release date. My sister was even nice enough to buy it for me.

Black City is a mesmerizing story about Natalie Buchanan and Ash Fisher. There meeting was an unlikely one, yet for them it was the beginning of something to be desired.
Natalie's family had once lived in Black City, during a time when her father was still alive. After his death they moved to a richer city. Due to her mother's job they return to Black City. In those first few days back, Natalie has a chance encounter with Ash. They meet for the first time under a bridge as he is dealing Haze, a potent drug that comes from the venom of Darklings. It was here, under that bridge that their story began.

Natalie and Ash are both very interesting characters. I was not at all surprised that Natalie was not a stuck up character, even with her rich status. She is actually easy to relate to, as well. She reacts to situations normally.
Ash is a half-blood, or a human-Darkling offspring. For this reason, he is often ridiculed and looked down upon. It is almost too easy to sympathize with him. In a way, it reflects the way of society today and how race carves out people's opinions of others. Due to the alternating points of views, both Natalie and Ash are well shaped characters. The style casts a better look into each characters thoughts and values.

Beetle and Day are what I consider major-minor characters. They are the best friends of Ash and Natalie respectively. Beetle is addicted to Haze and is part of an organization called Humans for Unity, which fights to eliminate the segregation of humans and Darklings. To me, Beetle was just kinda there. You know Ash and Beetle are best friends, but you didn't get the interactions. The opposite can be said about Natalie and Day. The relationship building between is there and it makes sense. Day is a smart girl, but she is on the poorer side, meaning she will have to work incredibly hard to get anywhere on intelligence alone. She is also very opinionated. She feels strongly and expresses her feelings fairly clear. On criticism I have is that sometimes her actions don't seem to match up with her character. For example, Day would tease Natalie about liking Ash, but then when they got together, she was personally offended. It made no sense at all. I like that she felt betrayed, as it fits her personality, but I hate that she was a hypocrite about it.

The plot takes you on a nice ride that keeps you turning the pages. I think I only got bored once during the whole course of the story, but it wasn't long lasting and the next chapter staved it off. K enjoyed the interactions and the twists. I have very few problems with the book, but the ones that I do have can be a major make or break.

For one, the love between Natalie and Ash struck me as fast paced. It was going good at first, then it was like someone stepped on the gas pedal at a caution light. That deserves a warning! They seemed to be weary of each other to begin with, then Ash has a sudden revelation and decides that he wants her. Natalie had little qualms to that little tidbit. After that, the love takes an even faster pace. At times, it seemed as though Ash forgot about Natalie when they weren't together, then other times he wouldn't stop thinking about her. Confusing, really. Also, there is this part about Blood Mates that seems like an excuse to me. The funniest part about that once Ash explains it to Natalie, she know the rituals and seems to understand what's going on. Personally, I don't think she does know.

Overall, I liked the book. To me, the flaws can be overlooked. I figured, seeing as this is a review, I still needed to call them to attention. Even so, I plan on reading the second book and encourage everyone to give this one a try.

Final Rating:
4 of 5

stars