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.
I’d been dying to read Black City by debut novelist Elizabeth Richards for ages but I had to wait for release day as although she is a UK writer, it has not YET (note, I did say yet) been published in the UK. Now that the movie rights have sold and a sequel is in the works, I fully expect to see this on British bookshop shelves in the near future though.
Now, admittedly it probably wasn’t the best idea to read this after reading Mystic City by Theo Lawrence as they had a similar theme running through them but it didn’t matter as thankfully, each book stood on their own merit. The funny thing is, I had an urge to read a vampire story and so I initially passed on reading this book as I didn’t realise that it was about vampires (or Darklings as they are referred to in the book).
Black City is a post apocalyptic place with a crumbling infrastructure and a corrupt government. There is a divide between humans and Darklings and you can kind of understand why but I think segregation has only made things worse and the Darklings now suffer in terrible poverty. As such, the city is on the brink of war and there’s a lot of political goings on. As Ash is a twin darkling (half darkling, half human) he is allowed to live with his family on the human side of the fence although he never quite feels like he fits in. Ash may be half human and whilst he does have a heart, it does not beat but meeting Natalie changes all that. What follows is a forbidden relationship of the very best kind with the most life changing consequences possible.
Black City is full of action and tension, full of plot twists and revelations with one particularly GENIUS idea that I can’t talk about for fear of spoiling it for you. I wasn’t entirely convinced by the romance at the end of the book because of a certain revelation (the GENIUS one) but I’m trying to keep an open mind about it. Ash does try hard to convince Natalie that he loves her FOR HER and not for other reasons so I guess I have no choice but to believe him for now.
I really enjoyed this book; I couldn’t put it down and practically read it in one sitting. The characters are compelling and the world building draws you into the story and won’t let you back out until the end. Speaking of which, I have to say that the ending made me cry (what a mean author) but it definitely sets up book two quite nicely and I for one, can’t wait to see what happens next.
Black City was published on 13th November, 2012. To find out more about Elizabeth Richards and her books, please click here to visit her website.