Black City by Elizabeth Richards is a unique and refreshing dystopian read. I was intrigued from page one and the characters drew me in.
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.
I loved Ash and Natalie’s story, the forbidden love, the drama, the PASSION. It was great. I was surprised at how unique and original this storyline was. It put a new twist on vampires and added another book to the list of well thought-out post-apocalyptic reads. I loved that darklings had two hearts and the implications of what that means. I really enjoyed the science behind wrath — the disease infecting the masses.
Another refreshing and original thing about this book was the love triangle and how it was the opposite of what we’re used to seeing in the Young Adult world. It’s two girls and one boy, which really drives the territorial and sometimes catty character traits in the female leads. I really enjoyed that aspect.
This story could have been breathtakingly awesome except for one thing — the writing. I can’t pinpoint what it was exactly, but the writing kept jumping from the page causing me to stumble, disrupting the flow of the novel. It was too much tell, not enough show, which is such a classic mistake. For example, the character would be sad, (seriously), not tears running down their face or pain in their heart, just sad. It was so distracting that it prevented me from being completely consumed by the story, which is a shame because the plot and characters are so well-developed.
Regardless, the ending made up for everything. I cried, oh did I cry. For someone who had trouble connecting due to writing issues, I still clutched my heart painfully as the suspenseful, heartbreaking ending tore into my aorta. So. good. The ending left so much story to tell with all the loose ends. I have to know what happens next! The sequel, Phoneix, is already out with the third book, Wings, coming out in 2014.
STARS: 4 out of 5