Black City #1
Author: Elizabeth Richards
Reading Level: YA
Release Date: November 13th 2012
Review Source: Penguin/Putnam Juvenile
Summary: (from goodreads) 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.
Black City is a fusion of genres that worked well together. Books are usually a specific genre, so when I read a story that brings so many flavors to my reading palette, I definitely enjoy it. Black City has so much going on but at no time do I feel that's its to much or I can't follow. On the contrary, the story flows at a perfect pace. The highs and the lows are well balanced for all the dramatic effects they entail. Elizabeth created such a vivid world that when your reading you feel as you are there.
Black City is told in 2 point of views. You have Natalie, she is human and daughter to a very import ranking government official. She is the daughter of the Emissary. Then you have Ash, he is a twin-blood Darkling. One of the very few left of his kind. Both these characters are so different and from such different upbringings, yet they share one thing in common. The war that is going on between humans and Darklings.
Natalie has recently had to move back to Black City after being in hide out. Black City is part of the United Sentry States and in Black City a wall has been put up to separate Darklings from Humans. Natalie lost her father while he was trying to help and bring the Darklings and Humans together. This is not the first time though that their family has been attacked. Natalie sister Polly was sacrificed so that they could be spared, she was tortured after being picked by their own mother. So you can say Natalie and her mother have a conflicting relationship. Natalie has never understood why her mother did that. So now Natalie is in Black City and thanks to her mother has been enrolled in a lower class school, that requires security following her at all times.
Ash is a twin-blood meaning he has a human and Darkling parent. So this has given Ash the privilege to stay on the human side of Black City. Ash misses his Darkling side of the family every day, especially when he walks by the wall. He can here the Darklings song of misery and grief. Ash is wanted by most for a few reasons. First is being a Darkling, humans can get high off him when he bites them and injects his haze or venom. So he is really popular amongst the Hazers. Second are those that hate him for being a "Nipper" and living on the human side, they feel he should be with his kind. All Ash wants is to be able to make the little bit of money he gets from selling haze so he can provide for his family, as his mother dies. Not an easy task to do when everything you do, he has to look over his shoulders.
The things about war and conflict, sometimes something strange and magical does happen from such an awful time or place. Ash is shocked to find one day when he passes a human, that his heart begins to beat. This is surprising since Ash is a twin-blood and doesn't need a normal heart beat. His genetics, keep him alive without one. Now that person Ash walked by happened to be Natalie. Even stranger thing is Natalie can tell when Ash is around its like she can feel his heart beat, which is strange to her since she know he doesn't have one. Natalie and Ash will eventually come to find out what jump started a dead heart and what will they do after the flood gates have been open literally.
You will be deeply immersed in this story. Its like Romeo and Juliette meet Hunger Games. The amount of intrigue, suspense and mystery keep you turning page after page. Then just when you think you have handled it all, the ending will make your heart skip a few beats. I can't wait till the sequel is out.
p.s. How captivating is that cover. After reading the story, I can see how the shattering of the rose represents the book.
Until Friday 9/28 - I am giving away a ARC copy of Black City over in Instagram HERE.