Mini Review: Black City by Elizabeth Richards

June 26, 2015 Review 28 ★★

Mini Review: Black City by Elizabeth Richards
Black City by Elizabeth Richards
(Goodreads | Amazon | Book Depository)

Publisher: Putnam
Source: Purchased
Pages: 374
Release Date: November 13th 2012
Series: Black City #1
Genres: Death & Dying, Dystopia, Fantasy & Magic, Love & Romance, Paranormal, Young Adult
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-old 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

So I drew BLACK CITY as my first forced TBR Jar read after realizing my books had turned into decorations, and I was pretty excited because I remember the hype around it when it first came out. Anyways, this will be short because I’ve since read other books and everyone that knows me knows that I have the worst memory.


Good pacing: I never really felt bored with this one, there was always something happening and although there was unnecessary drama, it made for quick reading.

✔ Twists: I actually didn’t predict some of the twists in this book, so they were a pleasant surprise.

✔ The backbone of the story is great, the world building and concept are quite interesting.


THE ANGST: Oh my gosh, the angst.

✗ Romance: Incredibly cheesy, drama packed insta-love. I couldn’t get behind the romance, at all. The characters made the most idiotic decisions, especially when it came to romance. Every other line had me going:

eye roll.
✗ Religious Undertones (?) I don’t know if it was just me but it seemed like this book referenced various aspects of religion in a backhanded way. For example, there was was a part about crucifixion and rising from the dead that really rubbed me the wrong way.


☛ Despite its flaws, BLACK CITY still that entertainment value that makes for a fun read IF your tolerance for eye-rolling moments are high.

I will not be continuing with the series.

Rating Report
Overall: 2.2

28 Responses to “Mini Review: Black City by Elizabeth Richards”

  1. Micheline @ Lunar Rainbows Reviews

    I remember all of the buzz surrounding this one too, but for whatever reason, I just…forgot about it. Reading your review here makes me think that that wasn’t a bad thing! The angst, drama and insta-love are all major turn offs for me. Not to mention the odd religious undertones O.O Thanks for the GREAT review though, and hopefully your next read is/was a huge improvement :) xxxx
    Micheline @ Lunar Rainbows Reviews recently posted…Review: Sabriel

    • Alise

      It’s easy to forget about older releases as newer ones come out :P Yeah, it definitely had its share of negatives. Thank you :D

  2. Meredith @ A Book Lover's Corner

    Loving the gif! It had me laughing! I have been wanting to read this one for a long time now, but never got around to reading it. To be honest, probably won’t pick it up in the near future either :/ Great review!

    • Alise

      Haha, thanks! Love Judge Judy! I felt the same, plus I was excited because I remember the hype around it. Ah, well. Thank you!

  3. Nara

    To be honest, I really don’t remember too much about this book! I had a quick read of my review of it (thank god for reviews haha) and it looks like I thought it had a pretty typical dystopian plot. I think I’ve actually read the second book, but I probs won’t go on to read the third. Really not invested enough in the series.
    Nara recently posted…Review: Nowhere But Here by Katie McGarry

  4. Kezia

    Oh boy, it looks like those romance books hiding under the dystopia label. It doesn’t sound as bad though because the post apocalyptic world does seem quite dark and interesting, but then again I don’t think I would be able to tolerate those angsty scenes haha.
    Kezia recently posted…Vessel by Sarah Beth Durst

  5. Kirsty-Marie

    Yay for good pacing, and okay, a little unnecessary drama, but at least it never felt boring. Whooo, some actual surprise twists, and yay for the world building! I so can’t deal with a lot of angst though, nope. Uh-oh, I need some balance with the romance for all that angst, and yeah, doesn’t sound like that is going to happen for me either. Considering you’re not going to continue the series, I think I’m going to save myself.
    Kirsty-Marie recently posted…Review: Tiny Pretty Things

    • Alise

      It seems like there is a positive for every negative there, aha. The angst and romance was the worst, so I can’t blame you for wanting to skip this one.

  6. Romi

    Nice review, Alise! I’m sorry this had elements that WEREN’T nice, though. Angst is not something I’m into, and I’m a little intrigued by the religious undertones- so it was saying “these things (religious) happened” but not actually specifying? That’s an appauling way of putting it, I’m so sorry! It was using them as part of the creation for the world but not specifying where they came from, or something like that? Hmm. Either way, I imagine it wouldn’t have sat particularly well with me, either.

    Go you for deciding not to continue with the series, Alise. xx
    Romi recently posted…The Potion Diaries by Amy Alward…

    • Alise

      Hmm, not quite, it was more like implied, like there was a scene SPOILERS where the male main character is crucified in front of a crowd and then rises from the ashes, there is no blatant “like Christ” or “for religious reasons” explanation it just happened.

      Haha thanks, I’m not sure it would be good for my eye health ;)

  7. A Canadian Girl

    I had this on my wishlist back when it was coming out, Then, I read some negative reviews for it – many of which pointed out that they didn’t like the romance – and so took it off my wishlist. I haven’t changed my mind since.
    A Canadian Girl recently posted…Review: Uprooted by Naomi Novik

    • Alise

      Probably a good idea, if I hadn’t owned this one myself I probably wouldn’t have read it. Ah, well, retrospect.

  8. Chiara @ Books for a Delicate Eternity

    Ehhhhhhhhhhh, I don’t think I’ll read this one. Whilst the positives had me going “ooo, nice”, the negatives turned me off completely. Cheesy instalove is so overused and I am so beyond caring about what happens in those relationships. And weird religious undertones? O.o

    It’s a shame this wasn’t a huge hit with you, Alise! Hopefully you’ve read better books since this one :)

    • Alise

      I know what you mean! The positives had such potential it’s a shame to see it ruined by cliches. Thanks :3

  9. Faye M.

    Eep, looks like I made the right choice by not starting this series at all. I had my reservations at first because some people told me stuff about it that would definitely make me want to punch the wall, and I guess they were right. I mean, I can’t really handle a cheesy, over-the-top romance right now. Most of the time, the book centers on that which makes it a thousand times worse. Plus, over-the-top angst is not my thing, either :/
    Faye M. recently posted…ARC Review: Tangled Webs by Lee Bross

    • Alise

      Yeah, if I hadn’t had a copy I would have skipped out on this one. Definitely some wall-punching worthy moments in here, for sure. Angst, insta-love, AND a love triangle, bleh.

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