Black City by Elizabeth Richards

8:00 AM

Title: Black City (Black City #1)
Author: Elizabeth Richards
Release Date: November 13, 2012 (hardcover)
Publisher: Putnam Juvenile
Pages: 384
Source: Copy provided by

Overall: 3 Stars

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.

My Thoughts:
After hearing some hype for Elizabeth Richards' debut novel Black City, I was really excited to get my hands on a copy of the book. Unfortunately, the book didn't live up to the expectations I had set. I wanted to fall in love with Black City, I really did, but after reading the novel, I could only settle on a general sense of simply liking it and wanting more.

What annoyed me the most about Black City was the practically instantaneous romance and the inconsistency of the characters' actions and behaviours. I wish I could go into more detail about the latter, but I'm afraid it would only lead to spoilers... Natalie and Ash barely had a few conversations with each other (they weren't even cordial!) before they suddenly decided they couldn't fight their desire and just had to be together. I don't mind star-crossed lovers, but at least make it believable! The pair hardly knew one another, yet they were already declaring their feelings halfway through the book.

Natalie is the privileged daughter of the Emissary, leader of one of nine megastates in the United Sentry States, which is headed by Purian Rose. Unlike her cold mother, Natalie has a kind, warm heart and often feels lonely, but people are either too afraid of her powerful mother to get close to her or only want to use her to further their own positions. As a half-blood Darkling, Ash has grown up in Black City as an outsider among the humans, discriminated and feared by them. All too soon, Natalie and Ash find themselves swept into a conspiracy that will put their lives in danger... one that also nicely sets up the events to come in the rest of the series.

At a first glance, the concept of a city with a wall dividing humans and Darklings appeared to be fresh and unique... until I realized that Darklings were a glorified way of describing vampires. I may have been expecting more originality from this post-apocalyptic tale, but nevertheless, I was fascinated by the tension and power struggle between the humans and Darklings in this dark world Elizabeth Richards has envisioned. Usually, it's the vampires with the upper hand, but that wasn't the case with this book. While I did find some faults with Black City, I remain ever curious to know what will happen in the next novel, Phoenix

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  1. Ah, I hate it when a book doesn't live up to my expectations - but with so much hype it's bound to happen sometimes. I'm glad though that you're still curious about the sequel and hope that I'll like BLACK CITY once I get to read it. :)

    Fictional Distraction

  2. Aww, I'm sorry you didn't like it more :(
    But yeah, it sounds like it wasn't bad but didn't deliver as much as it could.


  3. This is the first review of Black City I've read so I can't determine whether I want to add this to the wishlist just yet. Sorry this didn't live up to your expectations. A nice thought out review. Thanks for the honesty.

  4. Ugh, the insta-love in here sounds pretty bad. I read another review today which was also less than favourable, so I have the feeling this book would not work for me. Sorry it didn't live up to your expectations, but thanks for your sharing your thoughts on it!

  5. "I could only settle on a general sense of simply liking it and wanting more."

    YES. THANK YOU- glad to know that I'm not the only one! :D

  6. i heard a lot about this book. and i'm really curious about it