Saturday, January 5, 2013

Black City by Elizabeth Richards

Black City is the story of a world where vampires exist. They are segregated from humans by a wall, guarded on both sides to keep them separate. The Darklings (Known also by the derogatory term "Nippers" because the racism angle is really being pushed) are treated as second-class citizens. Humans and Darklings cannot court each other. This offense is punishable by death.

Ash is a Halfling, born of a human father and Darkling mother. He bites people for money, as addicts pay for the high that comes from vampire venom, or Haze. Because he is part of both worlds, Ash doesn't truly belong with either humans or Darklings. His best friend, Beetle, works with a group of humans that want to break down the wall and let humans and Darklings live together. Ash, being the lost emo half-vampire, refuses to take part.

Natalie is the daughter of the Emissary. She has to deal with an obviously evil mother and a poor maimed sister. Upon moving back to the city, she encounters Ash. It's hate at first sight. They quarrel constantly, but they also have a strange connection. Whenever Ash is around Natalie, his still heart starts beating.

It's Romeo and Juliet meets Birth of a Nation meets Twilight! Overall, I enjoyed Black City. My issues were with Natalie's character at the beginning. She is incredibly naive about Darklings and her mother. My biggest problem with her was how she treated her friend Day. Day used to date Beetle, but broke up with him because of his Haze addiction. She thinks that Ash is a bad influence on Beetle and disagrees with Natalie and Ash dating. Natalie pretty much kicks Day out of her life completely, which seemed incredibly harsh because Day had every right to be upset with Ash. Anyways, Black City has a great premise and I love that cover. It's a bit heavy-handed, but it has potential.

I received my copy of Black City from Edelweiss, courtesy of Putnam Juvenile. It's available for purchase now.

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