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Saturday, April 18, 2015

REVIEW: Black City by Elizabeth Richards

"The war has just begun."

And so ends what I'll say is an inventive spin on dystopian fiction.  I have one word. Vampires.  

Following a devastating war, Darklings (for all intensive purposes, differing species of our favorite creatures of the night) live in a walled off portion of the city known as 'The Ghetto.' 

Ash is a twin-blood or halfling, neither fully human nor darkling. He chooses to live up to this outsider, bad boy persona by dealing Haze (the addictive venom is his bite) so that he can help support his family. Ash struggles to fit in as the oppression of the government under Purian Rose's rule marks him as dangerous. 

Natalie is the Emissary's daughter. Newly returned to the city following the death of her father by a Wrath infected Darkling and the torture and disfigurement of her sister, Polly, she too faces her own struggles including the betrayal of former love and current bodyguard, Sebastian as well as learning of her own mother's nefarious role in the capture, torture and experimentation on numerous darklings and other creatures. 

Brought together at first by sheer loathing and then mutual attraction, Ash and Natalie do the unthinkable and fall in love spurned by the electric connection between them that causes Ash's dead heart to beat for the first time.  However, all is not fair in love and war for these two when they find themselves in the midst of a conspiracy that threatens to change everything and lead the dueling factions into another bloody war.

Black City ends with a significant cliffhanger as to the fate of this society and these at present ill-fated lovers.  As a reader, I did not love this book.  It is an interesting twist on the blending of genres; however, other parts were highly problematic.  Ash's character is initially interesting and edgy, but likeable, but soon the characterization and dialogue is indistinguishable from the voice of the woe-begotten, Natalie.  He fails to sounds authentic, which makes the relationship less believable and at times cringe-worthy. 

The trilogy concludes with Phoenix and Wings.  I remain curious enough that I will read these two books.  Possibly for the mere fact that the covers are GORGEOUS!

RECOMMENDED for readers (probably female) looking for additional dystopian titles similar to the Hunger Games, Divergent, or Matched and for those who want an element of paranormal romance. #blackcity #dystopian