Saturday, September 22, 2012

Review: Black City by Elizabeth Richards

Book Description via Goodreads:

ARC, 372 pages
November 13, 2012, G.P. Putnam’s Sons BYR

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.

Source: Elizabeth Richards (Thank you!)

My Thoughts:

Aside from the Darklings, the story world of Black City was an echo of our present world: corrupted, highly political, infested with power hungry individuals, has class struggle, civil rights activists, and burdened with drug addiction and impunity. I liked how the author assimilated these elements of the real world into her story world. This is the reason why despite the existence of non-human creatures, Black City appealed to me the same way that Article 5 did. As the setting of the story, Black City being the witness of bombings, violence and deaths, was a place of a thousand hauntings and bad memories. It definitely gave off a sinister vibe.

Natalie was a pretty, rich Sentry who was used to the comfort and luxury of life. More importantly, she was the Emissary’s daughter. In the span of a month, she would go to a Workboot school, defy the authorities and fall in love with a twin-blood boy. I like her! She’s not like the other Sentry. She was brave, has heart, and understood what loss, pain and helplessness meant.

Ash was neither a mundane human nor a full-blooded Darkling. He was a twin-blood. Despite his human half, he was still treated like a full-blooded Darkling – an outcast. His only friend, Beetle, was a Hazer and an activist fighting for the Darkling cause: for the government to bring the wall down and let humans and Darklings coexist. He needed to engage in illegal activities to bring money in for his dad and himself. I found his vulnerable side – along with his past, his pain, his burden and his secrets – extremely interesting and endearing. I couldn’t really hate him despite him being a moron in the first part of the novel.

Natalie and Ash shouldn’t have fallen in love for many reasons. But it seemed that they were meant to. Richards gave love-at-first-sight a new twist. I melted right into the romance that she weaved. It was filled with hesitation and denial at first but it steadily built up, growing sexier and more intense with every page. These two are officially my favorite YA couple! Richards wrote scenes with such gentleness and intensity that brought life to hot scenes that took my breath away and made my heart hammer.

However, one of the many characters against their relationship was Sebastian, Natalie’s bodyguard and ex-boyfriend, had a practical mind. At first, I felt bad for him because he seemed persistent in pursuing Natalie and winning her back again. By his looks and charm alone, it wouldn’t be hard to fall for him. He was Sentry, influential and hot. But unfortunately, he followed his brain, not his heart. I liked how Seb’s character represented the practical, career-oriented sort.

Politics and manipulation came into play a lot. Purian Rose, the head of the state and the church, moved his people like pawns in a chess game. This affected the lives of all the characters in Black City. They have lost, suffered and endured living a life of fear and being controlled.

The tension between Darklings and humans – mostly Sentry – was palpable. I enjoyed reading about the Darklings and their culture. Their way of being and thinking was distinctly different from those of the humans. Getting inside their heads was an interesting yet slightly creepy experience. As both Darklings and humans plotted against each other, the suspense and urgency of the upcoming disaster and danger kept me on the edge of my seat.

Black City stole my heart and took my breath away with its raging darkness, sizzling romance, and heartbreaking tragedy. Richards wrote beautifully and flawlessly, the plot was unpredictable and amazing, the characters were well-developed and the romance was perfect, what more can I ask for? This is my favorite YA novel of the year! Without a doubt, I’m giving Black City 5 out of 5 cupids! I highly recommend this to dystopian, post-apocalyptic and paranormal romance readers!


5 Cupids = Eternal book love. 
I will never, ever, ever forget this book. I highly recommend this!


  1. Jealous! I can't wait for this book. I'm so glad you loved it, Precious. My dystopian reads as of late has been lacklustre, so much so that I'm staying away from them. I need a spark and Black City just might be what I need.

    Excellent review!


  2. You had me at 'a sinister vibe'! This one sounds great!

  3. NEED. THIS. BOOK. Sounds amazing! Thanks for sharing your awesome review. Even more excited to read it now. :)

  4. I loved it too. Agree compltely with the plot and characters.
    Happy reading,
    Brandi from Blkosiner’s Book Blog

  5. I'm still thinking about reading this book actually