Here's the summary from Goodreads: 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.
What I Liked: 1) The first person alternating POV. I waver on this writing technique a lot because often it isn't done well. But in this case, it was exactly what this story needed. It wasn't Natalie's story, or Ash's story, but it was their story and if we hadn't been able to see what was going on from both perspectives, a lot would have been missing. 2) Ash. Poor guy was kind of an emotional wreck, and he was being torn in a million pieces. He became very real with all of this raw emotion and he was one of those characters that you can just sink into. 3) It was the same way with Natalie. She had some flaws, but at the same time author Elizabeth Richards has managed to turn those into a very personable character. It was easy to root for these two as they fight their battles, both separate and together. 4) The way the love story comes to be. That's a weird way to say it, but there are new ideas and traditions brought into play here, new in the sense that I haven't read about them in any other story. I can't say much about them, because it will give a lot away, but it brought the story together in a nice package. 5) The political aspect. You find this a lot in dystopian stories, though I don't think I'd call Black City a dystopian. I think of it more as paranormal, because of the race of Darklings (a strain of vampire). But the political battles being fought between the different races were very intriguing and will lead to some new developments in the next book.
What I Didn't Like: The first 40 pages of this book are it's downfall. I wasn't sure I'd make it to the rest of the book because I just wasn't getting into it. The action needed to pick up a little sooner, for someone who may not be as patient as me. There was a lot of back and forth with the POVs in the beginning, switching too often to let you really get a feel for the characters. It got a lot better once they started figuring each other out, because it let me as the reader figure it out as well.
Overall Thoughts: Black City is a crazy mix of paranormal and dystopian worlds with some really fantastic characters, both the MCs and the secondary. And if you don't get swept up in the characters, the political unrest and racial discord provide plenty of plot twists and action that any reader can find intriguing. Make sure you don't get discouraged by the slow beginning, it only gets better!
My Rating: 4 shots