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.
The dystopian trend seems to be getting a bit old. All the books have a similar feel to them and the stories are becoming less unique. That is not at all the case with Black City. Elizabeth Richards has created a world all her own with fantastic history, unbelievable creatures, and a bleak setting that manages to stand out against all others.
Black City is a place in ruins. Ash still rains down from bombs that were set off a year ago. Buildings crumble daily and no new ones are built to replace them. People live in the rubble but fear speaking out to get better living conditions. In the middle of it all is a walled enclosure where all the Darklings are forced to live. However, things may not be that way for long. The Darklings are unhappy with their restrictions and they are ready to fight. Black City is a city on the brink of war.
Ash is a twin-blood. He is half human, half Darkling. He lives outside the Darkling enclosure but he does not feel accepted. He is lonely and sad and it causes him to do some stupid things. However, it is easy to tell that he is a good guy at heart. Readers will definitely fall for this dark and lonely guy. Natalie is also alone but that is because of her station. She is the Emissary’s daughter and most people are afraid she could get them in trouble. Even though she is lonely she is friendly and caring and very easy to like. She’s smart, brave, and loyal. What’s not to like? Beethe and Day are also fabulous. Beethe is hilarious. He’s kind of a druggie but he’s a sweetheart and he’s trying to change his ways. Day is smart (sometimes too smart), kind, yet she can be hard-headed. She makes some mistakes but she learns from them.
Elizabeth Richards really knows how to create a terrifying villain. Sebastian, Gregory, Natalie’s mom, and Purian Rose are all completely evil. Natalie’s mom is manipulative and sick. Sebastian tries to hide his dark side but it definitely does not work. Gregory doesn’t try to hide his prejudice and nastiness. Purian Rose is by far the worst though. He is the leader of church and state. He hides his evilness by saying it’s “His mighty’s” will. He is cruel and sick. I both dread and look forward to reading more about him.
The plot focuses quite a bit on the forbidden romance between Ash and Natalie but that is definitely not all that is going on (although that part was great.) Because of Ash, Natalie discovers a lot about Darklings and a lot about her family. Ash discovers that people can’t be judged based on their parents. There is also quite a bit of mystery that will have readers hooked.
Overall, Black City is a favorite of mine that I must recommend. Dystopian fans HAVE to read this one. And romance fans because it is one steamy romance. Really everyone should just read it!
Looking for more reviews of Black City?
Black City (#1)
Phoenix (#2) – July 2013
Untitled (#3) – 2014