Series: Black City #1
Published: November 13th 2012
"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." -Summary taken from Goodreads.
Be prepared for a long-ish (maybe) rant. I had issues with this book. Major issues.
I watched a video of a booktuber rave about this book and she had gotten me excited to read it. It was sitting on my shelves for a few months and I planned on reading it, but I was ultimately persuaded in reading it sooner than i thought. Maybe I should have listened to my gut and put it off longer. I guess I was a little too excited and hyped for this book.
The book started off on an...okay/good note. I was a bit confused about a few certain things, but I let them go because they were either explained a little bit later or I figured it out myself. Granted, Ash's haze thing still confuses me, but that was minor. It was something I let go because it wasn't that big of a deal. Then I read on and I realized as the story progressed, just how much I couldn't stand the characters. I also wasn't the hugest fan of the writing. It was mediocre at best. I'm never one to complain about how something is written though (even though I did during Under the Never Sky...)
It was such a shame too because the actual plot of the book was really interesting. I really liked the idea the author had going. The different darklings and how she described them were really good. The world building wasn't that bad either, it reminded me a lot of the Hunger Games. I found it interesting that the Darklings were separated by a large wall from the humans and the only Darklings allowed were ones that were owned and had to be neutered-fangs must be taken out. I liked that, I really did. The plot had so much potential.
However it all went down hill when I got to the point where Natalie realized she liked Ash. The major issues for me were the characters and the romance. Can anyone say insta-love? I don't think I've ever actually read a book with insta-love and if I had, none are coming to mind. I knew insta-love was annoying, but holy crap I think this one takes the cake. Ash and Natalie absolutely hate each other. They were always fighting and calling each other names, but then Ash protects Natalie and her Darkling maid one day and then BOOM. Natalie is absolutely head over heels for this guy because he did one thing for another Darkling. I don't even remember how Ash started liking Natalie, that's how much Natalie's infatuation with this guy stuck with me.
Then there's the scene after some stuff happened and then they have sex. Natalie had mentioned at the beginning of the book that she's virgin and I thought that maybe she would have thought before having sex with him, but nope she doesn't. That scene was also written in Ash's p.o.v and it was like he didn't even ask her if it was okay. They just went straight at it and he described it as something amazing. Or beautiful. I don't know. I just know I was annoyed. It just didn't make any sense. And on top of that, something had happened and they were covered in blood...and they still did the do.
The amount of eye rolling I did when reading this book was unbelievable.
Before that even happened, they confess they're love and Natalie says it's crazy because and I quote "Face it Ash, we barely know anything about each other.". (Natalie had also mentioned that everything happened in two weeks, but I couldn't find the page to quote the exact words.) I couldn't believe it holy crap. It didn't matter apparently. I just don't understand how you could hate someone than two weeks later tell them you love them. I just don't. Too impracticable for me.
The other characters-along with Ash and Natalie-were very inconsistent as well. They were up and down and moody.
There's Beetle, Ash's best friend who's a drug addict. There's Day, the girl who's in love with him. Day blames Ash for getting Beetle addicted to haze and basically hates on the two of them (more Ash) throughout more than half of the book. Beetle and his drug addiction was annoying and him and Ash kept getting into fights-even going as far as physically attacking each other-for the dumbest reasons. That's not a healthy friendship.
Day is basically Natalie's rent-a-friend (almost positive that's the term used). Natalie is forced to go to a new school and Day is into politics and what not so she has to show Natalie around and stuff. I don't know how they can just become best friends so quickly, but that happened. They were also getting into fights every couple of pages. Day was just mad because Natalie liked Ash and this girl is like "You have to choose me or him!" at one point and of course Natalie being Natalie, she chooses Ash. I was so done at that point.
Then there was Evangeline, Ash's other love interest who also happened to be a Darkling as well. She was just all over Ash and Ash was just accepting it, despite supposedly being in love with Natalie. They barely knew each other too but did that stop them? Nope. There's a part where she has to leave for dumb reasons and the way it was written was so anticlimactic. It was so cheesy in a bad way.
Then on top of that, everyone kept blaming Natalie for what her dbag of a mom did. How could they blame her for something someone else did?
The ending also kept dragging on and switching p.o.vs. I couldn't wait to be done with this book.
I'm sorry for the rants. It's just that books like these with so much potential and they fall flat, anger me. They really do. I want to continue the series for the plot's sake, but those characters.
Let me know you're thoughts! Did you read this book and like it or no? Or if you're interested in reading. Thanks for reading!