Title: Black City.
Author: Elizabeth Richards.
Series: Yes, #1.
Publisher: G.P. Putnam's Sons BYR.
Published Date: 11/13/12.
Barnes and Nobles.
"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."
Uhh, beautiful, majestic, enticing, and unique!! I don't even think those words can describe just how amazing this cover looks. I love the rose, and the way it explodes into tiny a million little shards. It's interesting and I've never seen anything like it before!
In Black City, Elizabeth Richards introduces her readers to a broken down and damaged society, that is in constant battle and complete shambles. Humans and Darklings live together in Black City. While the Humans reside within the city limits, the Darklings are forced to live in the ghettos outside of the city walls.
Black City is run in an almost cult like fashion, by a scary and intimidating man, named Purian Rose. Though most citizens or Darklings have never even seen the man, fear strikes them by just hearing his name.
The story follows two very opposite teenagers, in this society. Natalie, the daughter of a Emissary of Black City and Ash who is a halfling (half human, half darkling) who is allowed to live inside of the city walls, due to his father being human. While Natalie is used to living a pampered life, and almost never finding herself in any trouble, no matter how rebellious she can get, Ash is dealing haze (a drug found only in darkling fangs) just to earn extra money to give to his father.
Being rebellious Natalie is surprised when her mother enrolls her into a working class school. Where she then runs into the same guy she witnessed dealing haze a few nights ago; Ash. Upon first meeting one another, the two couldn't be more different, and because of that bump heads. But soon both start to feel something strong for the other, but neither wants to admit it.
Knowing the relationship between them would never work out, the two try to resist any feelings they might have for each other. (But really, when does this ever work out?) A human/darkling couple would never be accepted and is looked down on, in the society that Purian Rose has established. Darklings are exactly what Purian Rose is trying to get rid of. Even if it means starting a war, or bombing up a school filled with students..
Okay, before I start to fan-girl about this story, the characters and especially the ending, I want to get the negative out of the way. The one and only thing that truly, and utterly bothered me, was the insta-love between Ash and Natalie. I really enjoyed seeing how two people so different, and from both sides of the issue dealt with one another. But within a couple of chapters, the two couldn't stop thinking about each other, keep away from the other, and already planned to get together.
I like seeing a little bit of conflict between the two, I wanted to see them fight, and hate each other. Then I wanted to see them be forced to get together and work together, to solve whatever it is they need each other for. And then they fall in love...I'm just unsure of how Ash and Natalie, could of a sudden love each other, when ten pages ago, they wanted to claw each others eyes out..
Now that I got that out of the way!!
I found the characters in Black City to be real, deep and have substance behind them. Ash is battling within himself, unsure of where he belongs, or who he belongs to. While he lives with his human father, Ash also has Darkling family on the other sides of the walls. Ash doesn't feel accepted into the human community, but also feels deprived of his darkling side.
Natalie on the other hand is having mommy issues. And dealing with a obsessive ex-boyfriend, who is also her bodyguard; so it seems that she can never get away from him. Unlike Sebastian, Natalie is ready to move on in her life, and to find someone new.
Purian Rose is the "cult" leader, that the community never really witnesses, but still brings fear to many. Though he may seem him might be trying to do the right thing, he isn't.
Without giving anything away, the only thing I can say about the ending, is I'm happy it wasn't a cliffhanger! After reading Black City I was satisfied, and ready for the next book. Overall Black City put a whole different spin on vampires. When I heard this one included blood suckers, I realized an unimpressed sigh escaped my mouth; I can't take anymore vampires. But Richards, doesn't boldly put forth the idea of vampires, she adds that in almost like background knowledge. I really liked the way she didn't focus her story too much on it.
Elizabeth Richards' writing style was dark and scary. She didn't leave any room between action scenes and kept things moving; which I liked. If you haven't read this one, or the second book, Phoenix, you need to ASAP!