Release Date: November 13th, 2012
Source: ARC from Publisher
Rating: …DNF (Did Not Finish)
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.
Show, not tell. Honestly, I thought this piece of advice only applied to my writing when I read BLACK CITY. Correction: when I TRIED to read BLACK CITY. Because I couldn’t. And boy, did I try.
In a fantasy/sci-fi/post-apocalyptic – basically any novel that isn’t contemporary or present-day, world building is a must. And the world building in BLACK CITY was just… wrong.
A character would say something, and the narrator (sometimes Ash, sometimes Natalie – yes, it’s dual POV) would launch into an explanation. Explaining, explaining, explaining, paragraphs upon paragraphs. That my friends, is how the world is built. And that is what we call telling, not showing. I couldn’t help but skim past the paragraphs, to the point where I didn’t even know what was happening.
And then there’s the dialogue. I’m not sure why, but to me, it seemed forced and 89% time just didn’t sound real. Also: insta-love. I usually don’t mind – I mean it has to happen, right? But in BLACK CITY, the characters (Natalie and Ash) hated each other, with a vengeance, and then all of a sudden, it was just pure love. Add the fact that I couldn’t tell Ash from Natalie when the narrators switched – and I’m one irritated reader.
I’ll end this now before I launch into a rant (along the lines of: how on Earth did this end up as a Penguin Breathless Read?!). I know a lot of people enjoyed BLACK CITY, and I wanted to too. I really, really wanted to. But frankly, it just wasn’t for me.