Black City (Black City #1), by Elizabeth Richards
Genre: Young Adult Fiction, Romance, Dystopian, Vampires, Paranormal/Supernatural, Fantasy
Rating: 4.5/5 stars
Publication: November 13, 2012, by G.P. Putnam's Son BYR
Format: Hardcover Edition (Borrowed)
Goodreads Summary: 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-old 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.
"I love you," he says. "I love the way you bite your bottom lip when you're nervous. I love the annoying way you rattle mints against your teeth when you eat them. I love how brave you are. Those are the reasons I love you, Natalie, not because you have a Darkling heart."
I'm certainly not a big fan of fantasy novels. And when I do catch one that sounds very interesting, I become very picky when getting them. They have to meet my requirements to be good. For a book with these genres, I need to make sure that reviewers have stated that this book has been written greatly. And this book has received a 3.78 rating on Goodreads, so I was in from the start. Plus, it's been raved about for a while now since its release in late 2012.
This book was so amazing. After reading it, I feel like I was sprinkled with a bucket of pixie dust because it has given me everything I want in a fantasy/paranormal read. Ahh, the awesome feels that these books give you. *dreams away*
One of the reasons that I picked up this beauty was because of that gorgeous cover. And after reading, I feel like that cover suited the book so much because of its imperfections. It doesn't just show a rose sitting there-- it's a rose breaking up into pieces, just like how Ash was slowly breaking up into someone new by the end of this book. Yes, I have made a guess here. :)
It actually is very difficult to guess what the main concept and idea of this book was. Elizabeth Richards focused a lot on the romance and relationship between Ash and Natalie, and I am here to admit that the relationship that these two had was so alluring and prepossessing that I care to classify them as one of the best couples in YA literature. From the moment the two set eyes on each other in the end of the first chapter, I knew that Richards would take a YA paranormal romance into a whole other dimension, and she did it. The romance was such a big part of this book and it was amazing. The sacrifices taken, the choices made, the length of time that the two were without each other... It was just so amazing to see and visualize.
Elizabeth Richards's characters were invincible comparing to others. They felt so real, and creating POVs from Ash and Natalie's minds was just an astonishing idea, coming from the way they spoke to us in their real voices. These two characters were so unconquerable and went above and beyond my expectations for a good YA couple. When reading their POVs, you feel like you're getting sucked into the world that they live in, and what's better than experiencing the whole YA novel journey the way we all wish it to be?
The idea of this book was like no other. I usually loathe the concept and mention of vampires because it has taken such a craze in YA books that it's totally classified as "above-mainstream" now, but Elizabeth Richards knew that, and she took vampires in a whole other direction. (She takes everything in her books to a whole 'nother level, bro.) Instead of vampires, these were darklings, abnormal creatures living in a dystopian world where they're not treated as equals.
You see? Even the world-building was great. This was a dystopia novel that had a world that was for once diverse, unequal and beautiful at the same time, although Ash got in trouble a lot with the government, haha. (REBELS RULE, THOUGH.)
When starting this book, I was addicted. I made it to page 150 with no regrets and it stayed at a 4 star rating. From page 150-250, I was a little bored because there wasn't much going on. The romance between Ash and Natalie still didn't really intensify yet (which was good because I don't want insta-love), but there weren't many events happening. It was slow-paced at the time, but I kept going because I loved everything else. Then from there, I went from eh to absolutely fangirling every second. But the plot was wonderfully established, and Richards's writing was very strong and detailed, just the way we all like it.
The ending really had me going mad. I seriously thought that Ash... Well never mind. You'll just have to read it and see. But I was fearing for my life, but then everything ended up okay with him and then another problem occurred. War is on again, and things are about to get even crazier. We're kind of left at a major cliffhanger and I really want to see what's going happen with everyone.
I have Phoenix, the sequel, already, but I have so many TBR reads in my pile so that's going to have to hold off for a few weeks. But I'm aching, seriously aching for it! This book was life-changing and astronomically amazing. Pick it up to see for yourselves. :)