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Black City (Black City Chronicles) by…

Black City (Black City Chronicles) (edition 2012)

by Elizabeth Richards

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1952760,388 (3.82)1
Title:Black City (Black City Chronicles)
Authors:Elizabeth Richards
Info:Putnam Juvenile (2012), Hardcover, 384 pages
Collections:Your library, Wishlist, Read :), Owned, eBooks
Tags:teen, vampire, fantasy, racism

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Black City by Elizabeth Richards



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Following a terrible war, the United Sentry States is divided. There are humans and there are Darklings - in many ways it is as black and white as that, but in many others it is not.

It's in Black City, one of the government's regional headquarters, where Natalie Buchanan, the human daughter of the Emissary and Ash Fisher, a half-blood Darkling meet one night. It's a chance encounter that could mean trouble for either of them. It does cause trouble that neither of them saw coming, though.

After her father was killed by a Darkling how can she possibly be falling for one? And how, when he's spent so long on the other side of the wall separating Darklings and humans can Ash be feeling as he does for a human? A Sentry no less?

While things between Ash and Natalie could certainly mean trouble for the both of them, they're not the only one's in danger. With the war between Darklings and humans just ended and things still almost at a boiling point, any decision could be a crucial one.

You know how vampire books are supposed to be over? How Stephenie Meyer put a stake in that genre? Yeah. If you really believe that, please read The Immortal Rules (by Julie Kagawa), The Hunt (by Andrew Fukuda) and Black City and let me know if you still think so.

I'll admit that I never really did think vampire books, as a whole, had bitten the dust. Sure Twilight seemed to bring everybody and their second cousin's vampire book out of the woodwork over the last six-ish years. The good, the bad, the really bad.

But we seem to be moving toward a reinvented vampire world. Vampires don't have to be your Anne Rice vampire or even your Buffy vampire -- and they don't sparkle, either. Authors are creating a whole world around creatures who are still vampires, even if they tend to have different names and some different attributes.

Which is what Elizabeth Richards has done in Black City with the Darklings. The Darklings do drink blood, the don't like sunlight . . . but they attend school, they're governed as a race like humans are. That and so much more that is a part of the story and a part of the world Richards created in her novel.

Black City is a post-apocalyptic, almost steampunk if the background set story where the details really help to create a fully realized world. The government is explained, the war, the segregation, the current discord, the characters lives -- both with the war and currently. It's all worked into the story so that things are learned as you go, not so that it feels like a history lesson.

This, all as you're getting the great story between the characters. Natalie who is the daughter of the Emissary and just moved back to Black City. A girl who's also dealing with recent loss her family suffered, which also plays into how she feels about Darklings. Then there's Ash who is one character to the outside world but seems to be another character when we see his thoughts and as he lets people in more.

I really enjoyed that the novel was told in alternating, first person perspective chapters allowing us to get more insight into both Natalie and Ash. It gives the reader more of a view both into their lives and into their thoughts on the other.

Black City is an incredibly imaginative as well as incredibly readable book that draws you in right away. The world Elizabeth Richards has created seems to be fully realized and I'm excited that this is only the first in a series!

(arc received through publisher; review originally posted on my blog)
  BookSpot | May 18, 2015 |
So a more accurate rating of this book would probably be 3.5 stars. This is definitely a different take on a vampire story. I like that there is some scientific reasoning to their beings and conditions. Also, I think it's cool that there are also different kinds of vampires, each with their own distinctive markings and habitat and such. I think it gives the book more depth when you can string science along with it.
It's a rather interesting story of two people with dueling backgrounds finding love in one another. And revolution and conflict always enhance a budding love story. Especially if both people are rather important to both sides of said conflict. This book seemed to keep war at bay and allow the love story to unfold. So I now expect the next book to transition from creating love to maintaining it while a war begins to unfold. And if the next book is anything like this ending, the next book will be spectacular! ( )
  JosP | Jan 15, 2015 |
A refreshing take on vampires (and associated demons) - in this dystopian world they are segregated members of society living behind a wall and suffering from hunger and disease (possible metaphor for racism?). This makes for a very interesting world and the two main characters - Natalie, the daughter of high-ranking politician, and Ash, a halfbreed (or twin-blood) - struggle to navigate through their world as well as with their own personal demons. A good read for those who enjoy dystopian YA novels or vampire reads. ( )
  wagner.sarah35 | Nov 1, 2014 |
I was actually first introduced to this book via twitter. The author had posted something about going on a US tour for the book, and I, being a writer myself with aspirations of authordom, tweeted to her that this was an amazing opportunity that many only dream about. So it made me smile a bit when I finally got down to reading the book and remembered that short conversation.

So...this book was not what I expected. I do not remember what I initially thought it was going to be about last year when I first checked it out and read its blurb, but I know I did not expect Darklings and Sentries and second hearts. It was a bit darker than I expected too, which I absolutely loved. I mean, near the end, about page 292, I almost didn't want to finish because I was having a dark moment and I didn't want to lose any of the characters I was beginning to fall in love with.

I also love how this book has quite a bit of foreshadowing in it, but not so much that I felt I knew what was going to happen. It was just enough that I was kind of excited to guess future events, and sometimes I was right, but the events never happened the way I figured. It was unexpected and absolutely wonderful.

Also....I think I know who Purian Rose really is.

The story was very well done and I absolutely cannot wait to buy the second one and pick up where this first left off. I have to know what happens. I have to know if my prediction about Purian Rose is correct, and I have to know where all my favorite characters and least favorites will stand when the war between races finally ends, if it ever does. ( )
  westkayla1221 | Sep 25, 2014 |
This was a really good book. The forbidden romance was a large part of it, but it wasn't all that. And the end, that was crazy. I was really worried about it for a moment before I realized where Richards was going with the story.

I liked the alternating perspectives of Ash and Natalie. It gave the reader more insight into both the world and the story. ( )
  forsakenfates | Sep 21, 2014 |
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0399159436, Hardcover)

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.

(retrieved from Amazon Mon, 30 Sep 2013 13:50:35 -0400)

Ash, a sixteen-year-old twin-blood who sells his addictive venom, "Haze," to support his dying mother, and Natalie, the daughter of a diplomat, discover their mysterious--and forbidden--connection in the Black City, where humans and Darklings struggle to rebuild after a brutal war.… (more)

(summary from another edition)

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Penguin Australia

An edition of this book was published by Penguin Australia.

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