Series: Black City #1
Published by G.P. Putnam's Sons BYR on November 13th 2012
Pages: 384 pages
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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.
Every time I think that I am over the vampire trend, I find another book that captures my attention. And although, Black City did capture my attention… simply put, it had moments of complete oddness. Vampire-like creatures. Dystopian elements. Racial tensions / segregation. Black City has a lot going on in its pages.
Told through dual POV, Natalie and Ash, Black City tells the story of two star-crossed lovers in the middle of chaos. The Sentry vs. the Darklings. Humans vs. Vampires. However, I am really hard pressed to call the Darklings vampires. Sure, the overall concept leads you to believe that is exactly what they are. But not once was the term vampire actually used. Instead, these creatures and much their back story are still a mystery. Throughout Black City, I kept waiting and waiting to know more about these Darklings. Where did they come from? How did they come to be? But the answers never came, and for me, that was a bit of an issue.
As for the romance, ugh. Natalie and Ash's romance started off so promising. I have to admit that I am a sucker for the 'I hate you at first, which then transforms into something else later' concept. Some of my favorite YA romances have taken that route, and generally speaking, turn out pretty well. However, with Black City, the romance was not developed. It goes from 0 to 60 in the matter of a few sentences. And even after that, there are countless times our main characters are questioning their so-called love for each other, only to find that they are unsure why exactly it is that they 'love' each other.
But wait, it gets worse. Evangeline. Shutter.
Love triangles usually never bother me. I actually like them well enough. But in Black City, it didn't work for me. Not at all. Ok, I see the point of Evangeline. And the other possible romance even served more of a point by exploring the Darkling world more. But how can add an additional romantic interest only to have them do the same thing as our main characters. 'I have to have you. I love you. You are meant to be mine. But wait! I know nothing about you. And sure I am attracted to you, but I am not even sure I like you.' Seriously, those few sentences pretty much sum up the relationship of Evangeline and Ash. Ugh.
Black City had some issues to be sure. But the overall experience was well worth it. Did I love this book? Not really. However, it was plenty enjoyable.
Will I read the next installment?
Probably. There are a lot of unanswered questions that I hope to get some answers to with the next installment. But book two will be the testing ground for me with the series. If it does not live up to my expectation, I will probably be done with this series.