Black City by: Elizabeth Richards
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.
At first look, this cover is absolutely breathtaking! But this book is so much more than a beautiful cover. It was exciting and I had a really hard time putting it down.
In Black City, humans and Darklings are separated by a gigantic wall, with no contact whatsoever. Natalie, a human, is the daughter of Emissary Buchanan, the leader of the megastate. Her father died about a year ago, and she is forced to go to a school in the less fortunate area of the city with completely new people. When she meets Ash, a half-Darkling and a social outcast, she realizes that everything she has been taught to believe is false. They can’t seem to stay away from each other, which cumulates in embarking in a strictly forbidden relationship. When all is put on the line, can love prevail over all the hatred?
Natalie was a really cute character. She was not blinded by her horrible mother’s views, which I find to be a trait of a really strong person. When surrounded by so much hate, it’s hard to push through and show love. She was brave, which is a must when partaking in a forbidden relationship punishable by death. She’s not necessarily physically strong, but she’ll fight through any obstacles to save the ones she loves and to do what’s right.
Ash happens to be one of my all-time favorite bookish names, thanks to Julie Kagawa’s The Iron Fey series. On top of the super awesome name, this Ash is a total bad boy, which places him at on the hotness scale at 1 billion, approximately. He is a total outsider, being half human and half Darkling, and he has to deal with many people looking down to him and saying super rude things. As much as I loved Ash, he made a really stupid decision at one point, but then I forgave him once he realized his mistake. But really, I wanted to punch him.
Natalie’s friend, Day, was kind sometimes, but then other times, I didn’t like her. She was a bit prejudiced and didn’t get the whole story before making judgments, but she was a pretty good friend to Natalie. One of my favorite characters was Beetle, Ash’s best friend. He clearly didn’t care about what others thought of him since he was close to a half-Darkling. He made some bad choices but tried to atone for them later, and I thought it was very brave of him. He was also quite funny. I absolutely hated Natalie’s mother, Sebastian, and Purian Rose. They make my blood boil so much. They all had horrible ideals and no values at all.
The plot was so exciting from the beginning chapter. Richards threw some curveballs my way a couple times, and I didn’t expect any of it. The world she created was so fabulous and felt so real to me. The author explains it so vividly. It was definitely unlike anything I’ve ever read about. The book is written in both Natalie and Ash's POV. Each POV was pretty clear, and I loved having both of their thoughts. The romance developed very interestingly to me. It was a tad fast for me, but Ash and Natalie would do anything for each other, and when I say anything, I mean absolutely anything. They both came alive when they met, and they were destined to be together.
With a unique world with humans and Darklings, a super sweet romance, and multiple horrible villains all make Black City a wonderfully exciting read. As I found out, the story is just equally as beautiful as the cover. I also get to meet Elizabeth in February, so that's beyond awesome!
Favorite Swoon-worthy Quote: Our lips meet. I sigh against his mouth, melting into him as he kisses me hungrily. His heartbeat pounds in my ears; his hands stroke my face, my back. He pulls me toward him, and we both gasp as a powerful jolt sparks between our hearts, opening an invisible channel between us, allowing all his emotions to flow into me: his pleasure, his love, his joy. They flood into my heart until I think it might burst.