Black City by Elizabeth RichardsBlack City by Elizabeth Richards

Black City

byElizabeth Richards

Hardcover | November 13, 2012

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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.
Elizabeth Richards lives in Buckinghamshire, England.
Title:Black CityFormat:HardcoverDimensions:384 pages, 8.54 × 5.78 × 1.26 inPublished:November 13, 2012Publisher:Putnam JuvenileLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0399159436

ISBN - 13:9780399159435


Rated 3 out of 5 by from Good, but not interesting enough to continue the series I thought concept of humans and Darklings living separately in a post-apocalyptic society was original. Ash, half human and half Darkling, and fully human Natalie fall in forbidden love. Elizabeth Richards creates two very different characters and bonds them together in a unique way, while also forging a genuine relationship between them, as demonstrated by one of my favourite quotes from the book: “It’s not just a physical connection. It’s something deeper. You may be my Blood Mate but she’s my Soul Mate. That’s just as powerful.” Despite this, the book itself was not interesting enough for me to continue the series.
Date published: 2017-10-16
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Great Read Such a fun and exciting book to read. It is definitely a book that can get you out of a reading slump. It is so fast past. I was completely drawn into this book from page 1, and finished it within a day. Really enjoyed it. Love the setting and the characters of the book. Natalie was awesome and such a lovable character. And Ash is just such an amazing character and oh so hot! Definitely a character that can draw your attention. And together with Natalie, they can definitely bring you into their world, and make you want to know more about it.
Date published: 2016-12-25
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Vivid and Moving! 4.5/5 stars "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. :)
Date published: 2014-07-07
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Loving this trilogy! Warning: Swearing, mild sexual acts and violent scenes! Humans and Darklings against each other, one from each side we meet Ash and Natalie. Bonded by an unknown force, they fall in love and struggle to keep their forbidden love a secret. With a race against time, they uncover a shocking conspiracy that could change the very life they've ever known. Loved the characters in this one. They were so developed and so emotional that you couldn't help but feel for both of them. Especially when you're reading from both their point of views. I did enjoy how strong their connection was because I feel the chemistry between Natalie and Ash was genuine and real. Fast-paced, with crazy soap opera-like twists and turns, be ready for a non-stop read. This book has great world building, character development and dramatic story lines that will have you itching for the next installment! I know I'm dying for the next one! Black City is one heart stopping, jaw-dropping debut that will surely keep you on the edge of your seat until the very last page!
Date published: 2013-09-06
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Capturing, Romantic and Life Like Wow, Thrilling and Capturing. It held my attention and I was totally hooked on the characters and the plot. The story was so real and life like (the way it was described) that I felt as though I was living in this place and being the main characters. The romance and emotions that showed up in the book were powerful and really got though to me. I actually felt as though I was feeling this emotion myself instead of the character. It was powerful and romantic and left me wanting more for sure. The characters were powerful and you felt alot of their emotions even though you didn't really know much about them. Like movements and background stuff. The characters had personalities that made you stop and think about what they were saying and doing. The events in the plot were also powerful and it wasn't hard to find out the big picture. The events were unique and kept me flipping pages like no tomorrow. The plot was complex and well thought out. It wasn't too slow or too fast and everything played out well. I loved everything about the book. I can't wait to read the next one! Five star for sure! :D
Date published: 2013-08-01
Rated 5 out of 5 by from LOVED IT!! Guys I loved this book! Despite a few minor frustrations I am completely and utterly in love. How do you love something that frustrated you? Read this book and find out seriously. I will do my best to do it justice in the review to follow but just remember: I LOVED IT! This one was so much more than I could have hoped for. I was drawn in by the riveting description and attractive cover but what was between the cover is what not only kept my interest but had me obsessing over what was going on. Every time I put the book down I found my mind wondering back to what I had last read. If I didn't have to put it down I wouldn't have, not even for a minute. The world was vivid and dark, while the characters stood out and became more than a character on a page! There are Darklings and humans but they are kept apart by a wall. Being with the opposite race gets you labeled a race traitor and means death. This leads to some serious intensity and emotional scenes. Natalie is basically a spoiled upper class girl when you meet her but there is so much more to her than that. She has felt loss due to the ongoing fight to keep the Darklings apart from the humans. Not only loss but betrayal, this is something I simply observed. More than all of that I enjoyed Natalie because she was emotionally strong. Once she said she would do something she would and he cared bout those that she was around. When her eyes are opened to something she never believed to be possible or true her life is turned upside down. This only strengthens her in my eyes as she truly becomes what I had hoped. Basically Natalie ended up being a YA chick that I seriously loved and appreciated her flaws. Ash... Well he totally does the dark and brooding thing well. Though I get his issue. Picked apart and picked on because he is a halfling. To make a long story short he is different therefor he has no rights. Well I guess that's harsh he has rights just not like everyone else and when it comes to how people treat him, well it's not great. He does have a very different side from what I expected though. I would be lying if I told you that I didn't figure it would be Natalie to change his attitude but he was a sweet and caring person all on his own. He just hides it super well I think because it can be seen as a weakness. His snark is awesome but when it came down to it he gave me more than enough "aww" moments. Well lets just take those two and throw them together shall we? What you get is an overly awkward and snark filled encounters. Though neither one could deny that there was attraction when you belong to two separate worlds it's not as easy as saying "I love you". This factor also led to a more developed and easy to appreciate relationship. Well for the most part, there is a little secret that I can't share with you that these two share that kind of pulls them closer all of a sudden. So ya... I really wish I could share because it is totally sweet but in the end it would spoil a lot of stuff for you. Not to mention it is also the very thing that could tear them apart and trust me it threatened to and I thought it might. Truth be told it still could! However all of that aside I loved this relationship and the romance that was a result. There were a few twists that I didn't expect but there was also two larger ones that had me yelling at the book. I practically was in tears with the one. Not because it was sad but because the characters themselves didn't see it coming. Despite this the book was filled with moments and characters that I loved. There was action, romance and twists that give every chapter a little something and make you want to turn the pages that much faster. I will without a doubt be one of the first people picking the next one up when it releases!!
Date published: 2013-02-20
Rated 3 out of 5 by from Thought It Would Be Better... After hearing some hype for Elizabeth Richards' debut novel Black City, I was really excited to get my hands on a copy of the book. Unfortunately, the book didn't live up to the expectations I had set. I wanted to fall in love with Black City, I really did, but after reading the novel, I could only settle on a general sense of simply liking it and wanting more. What annoyed me the most about Black City was the practically instantaneous romance and the inconsistency of the characters' actions and behaviours. I wish I could go into more detail about the latter, but I'm afraid it would only lead to spoilers... Natalie and Ash barely had a few conversations with each other (they weren't even cordial!) before they suddenly decided they couldn't fight their desire and just had to be together. I don't mind star-crossed lovers, but at least make it believable! The pair hardly knew one another, yet they were already declaring their feelings halfway through the book. Natalie is the privileged daughter of the Emissary, leader of one of nine megastates in the United Sentry States, which is headed by Purian Rose. Unlike her cold mother, Natalie has a kind, warm heart and often feels lonely, but people are either too afraid of her powerful mother to get close to her or only want to use her to further their own positions. As a half-blood Darkling, Ash has grown up in Black City as an outsider among the humans, discriminated and feared by them. All too soon, Natalie and Ash find themselves swept into a conspiracy that will put their lives in danger... one that also nicely sets up the events to come in the rest of the series. At a first glance, the concept of a city with a wall dividing humans and Darklings appeared to be fresh and unique... until I realized that Darklings were a glorified way of describing vampires. I may have been expecting more originality from this post-apocalyptic tale, but nevertheless, I was fascinated by the tension and power struggle between the humans and Darklings in this dark world Elizabeth Richards has envisioned. Usually, it's the vampires with the upper hand, but that wasn't the case with this book. While I did find some faults with Black City, I remain ever curious to know what will happen in the next novel, Phoenix. You can also read this review at:
Date published: 2012-11-22
Rated 3 out of 5 by from It was fine. *arc provided by publisher for review* Black City is one of the Breathless Reads I was most excited to read this year. I mean, it was chosen as one of the Breathless Reads and that's something! I had high expectations on this brand new vampire series but unfortunately, it didn't take my breath away and my very high expectations were not reached. Still, I enjoyed this novel and I'm definitely eager to read the sequel and discover what happens next. WHAT i LOVED: -he Darkling concept. It was very interesting to discover a vampire that actually feels fresh, specially learning about the background history of them and how it all started. -The Characters. I think they were very charismatic and they all have their own personality that shines on every page. I definitely got to love and care for each one of them. :) -Dual Point of View. This one is definitely my favorite! I enjoy female pov, but having and insight into the male characters/love interest is always a plus for my reading experience! -Dark atmosphere. Black City is definitely a dark paranormal novel. Gruesome descriptions and cruel events/punishments such as crucifixion, drug abuse, etc. For some people this may be too much. For me it was a daring addition to Black City and I praise Miss Richards for writing such dark world. BUT: -The romance was okay for me. I didn't fall in love with Ash (insta-love usually doesn't help me with that) I prefer the characters to go through a lot together before getting to the so anticipated first kiss scene. That way I can see and understand why they fall in love with each other. And that's it. I don't think there is any other "but" about this debut. The fact that it didn't reach my expectations doesn't have anything to do about the things I didn't like about Black City. In fact, I actually enjoyed it and there wasn't anything I didn't like about it. I think Black City is actually a good read. It's very enjoyable, specially if you are a big fan of the genre and still can't get enough of Vampires and oppressive governments, but it didn't blow my mind as other Breathless Reads have such as Legend by Marie Lu, Nightshade by Andrea Cremer, Across the Universe by Beth Revis, or Matched by Ally Condie. So would I recommend it? Yes, it wasn't epic, but it got a exciting plot, great characters and a good pace that will definitely provide a few hours of enjoyment.
Date published: 2012-11-14

Editorial Reviews

"Detailed postapocalyptic world building makes Richards' series debut intriguing."--Booklist"Provides a balanced combination of romance, action. and fantasy."--SLJ"A Romeo and Juliet–type of relationship, yet there’s so much action, anger and angst that the plot line is just as vital as the romance aspect. Fans of urban fantasy and forbidden romance will definitely want to pick this one up."--USA Today"Compelling and fresh."--VOYA"A quick, lusty romance in a world gone awry."--The Bulletin of the Center for Children’s Book"Elizabeth Richards’ debut as a fiction author is inspiring. Her sense of drama, combined with brilliant attention to detail and the striking ability to create tension, makes the book a great read . . . The next books of the Black City series will be awaited with bated breath."--Teenreads"This book is one that will be enjoyed on many levels from the literal plot of two very different teenagers who fall in love (think apparently doomed love as in Romeo and Juliet) to the subplot of discrimination leading to violence and chaos. 4/5 stars"