Black City: Black City Chronicles, Book 1
Finding true love is hard enough. Add a world recovering from a gory war, a society neck-deep in mutual mistrust and bloodthirsty officials, and you’ve got the United Sentry States --- the least likely place for love to emerge. Despite the odds (which are heavily stacked against our heroes) and the obstacles (which are near-insurmountable), Natalie Buchanan and Ash Fisher upend the balance of the Black City in this story of valor in an unjust world and the strength of love.
"While admittedly the world of BLACK CITY is alien and harsh, the characters are familiar --- young adults learning to love, and learning that love is always far more difficult than it first appears."
The United Sentry States is a divided land. The ruling Sentry class ensures that the lower class, Workboots, stays obedient to the rigorous demands of their regimented society. But even the Workboots do not experience the kind of derision and strict regulations suffered by the Darklings. These non-human creatures used to live and work among the humans, but have been relegated to city ghettos and camps in barren no-man’s-lands since the rise to power of Sentry leader, Purian Rose. Despite their superior physical capabilities, Darklings have been stripped of their rights and left to rot.
Ash Fisher is unique within this world, as the only authorized half-blood (half human and half Darkling) living in the human section of Black City. Unable to reach his Darkling brethren in the ghettos, and unaccepted by the humans who live freely outside, Ash is an outsider who always feels alone. That is, at least, until he falls for Natalie, the daughter of a Sentry official who has always lived a life of luxury and ha had every advantage. At first, neither of them trusts that the strange emotions that stir when they are together are real. After all, the discrepancies between their two lives seem insurmountable.
But all doubt is swept from their minds with the awakening of Ash’s heartbeat and the realization that Natalie is his Blood Mate. In a world that will not accept their love, both decide that it is something that they cannot live without. And they are willing to do anything it takes to find a way to be together, despite the fact that loving the other race is a capital offense, punishable by death.
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. If the opening sections of the book read a bit predictably, don’t give it up! Richards has more than a few plot twists up her sleeve, and her characters’ inner worlds are revealed with such grace as to make them irresistible. While admittedly the world of BLACK CITY is alien and harsh, the characters are familiar --- young adults learning to love, and learning that love is always far more difficult than it first appears.
The next books of the Black City series will be awaited with baited breath.
Reviewed by Rebecca Kilberg on November 30, 2012