Don’t be fooled by the marketing for Black City by Elizabeth Richards. It may sound like a new twist on the dystopian genre — but despite bearing some of the genre’s earmarks, this exhilarating debut novel is really the first in gritty new series about vampires.
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.
From the beginning, I was captivated by the dark, eerie mood of Black City — both the book itself and the titular city where the story takes place. Richards brings to a life a world where old and new clash, where the good guys and the bad guys aren’t so clearly drawn, and where romance is sexy, dangerous, and sometimes deadly.
Black City is one of those books that is nearly impossible to put down. (Confession: I didn’t; I read this in a single sitting!) From the beautifully imagined, gritty world to Richards’ captivating characters, everything about this novel sucks you in. (Pun only half-intended.) Even before Natalie and Ash collide in a sexy, thrilling romance, this book had me seduced.
With plenty of surprise twists, characters of questionable allegiance, and a battle against a Totalitarian-esque government just brewing, there is plenty ahead for Richards to tackle as she continues what promises to be a breathtaking series. I can’t wait to see where she takes us next.
Black City is in stores November 13th.* Full disclosure: Just to be clear, I fully enjoy the “sparkling” vampires, as well.