Thursday, January 3, 2013

Review: Black City

Black City
Black City by Elizabeth Richards

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

This book is set up in a world where there are different species: humans, Darklings and other beings.
Darklings are pretty much like vampires, they have fangs, drink blood, are sensitive to the sun and can be killed by crucifixion with a special kind of wood that at contact, burns their flesh. They are also different kinds of Darklings. Some have wings, different eye colours, skins and have unique skills. They also have super strength, 2 hearts, their fangs produce an hallucinogen called Haze and a hair that is alive. There was a virus that affected Darklings and created the Wraths, very scary beings that practically slash, kill and infect at will.
When Darklings and humans mix, their offspring is called: twin-blood. These beings don't have a heartbeat (but their heart is there), and this piece of information becomes vital for the story in this book.
This book opens with Ash, a twin-blood that lives in The Black City and describes how it has been divided by a wall that separates de Darklings from the humans after a big war; however, within each wall, there are subdivisions of wealthier and poorer class of sub-dwellers.
The world building and setting is absolutely fantastic! It personally evoked a bit of Berlin's wall during the Cold War and what I imagine to be a general state of despair, political unrest and social divisions. Of course, I wasn't there, but I can definitely place some similarities on the issues and descriptions obviously without all the paranormal stuff!
However, for the life of me, I wasn't able to fully enjoy Ash and Natalie. The book is told from the POV of these two main characters. Natalie is the Emissary's daughter, the political leader of The Black City and Ash is probably the only twin-blood that lives there.
There are various subdivisions in plots and I felt that all the richness of the world and setting was left short with the sappy drama between our 2 main characters. This book was good, don't get me wrong. But all the good parts of the story were being eclipsed with both Ash and Natalie's personalities. At times I had to go back to see if I was reading from Ash or Natalie's POV, since their voices sort of start to sound the same on the third part of the book. There are also lots and lots of loopholes and untied plots, but I guess this obeys to the fact that this is a first book of a series, so stay tuned.

But this is just me being picky!
I am a vampire sucker (no pun intended :P) so I am super critical about these stories! But this was a good first book of a series. If you want to read a bit about this strange place, meet a sexy twin-blood and wonder about your heartbeat, I encourage you to visit The Black City!

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