Friday, February 8, 2013

The Epically Brilliant Black City

This is another of those books I bought because of the Breathless Reads Tour. So, it hasn't been sitting on my shelf forever or anything this time.

I really really liked this one. Although it occurred to me with the last three books I've read (all of them breathless books) that 1. the main character either almost gets raped or there is an implication of it and 2. it's startlingly political for me.

I'm not all that into politics. It's probably one of my great downfalls. So books involving a lot of politics aren't always my cup of tea. But I've actually enjoyed all three of these. Something about Black City reminds me very much of V for Vendetta. The controlling, church centered politics. All of the red and black.

Anyway, the elements of Black City come together really well. Everything sort of falls into place just right. Elizabeth Richards really pulls the whole thing together.



Let's start with Natalie. She's fierce and believes in standing behind her ideas. Her character really grows as the book goes on. I didn't realize exactly how much until it was over. There are more obvious moments like when she realizes that Martha is a slave not a servant. Then by the end of the book she's not the same girl at all. I do wish we'd seen more of her in terms of things she likes to do and stuff like that but I see why it didn't fit. I love the way she's drawn to Ash, as well. It's the strangely physical attraction that neither of them are comfortable with but then it morphs into something else.

Then there's Ash. He starts off with so much...swagger, for lack of better word. We first see him dealing Haze and running off and then hating just about everyone. By the end we see just how much he cares about everyone. He's lost so much and been so beaten down that it's sort of a delight to see him rise up to challenge that's before him. I happy danced a little when he faced off against Sebastian.

The villains of this book are so well done. Natalie's mother is cold and calculating and even when she's saying something that borders on nice you still can't help but hate her a little bit. Sebastian made me uneasy pretty much immediately but I held off on a solid opinion to see whether he got better or worse. And he got much much worse. But his was such an interesting descent into madness. I hate him. A lot. But he's a really well written character. I hated Purian Rose pretty much from the get go. His appearance in Ash's room at the end is very President Snow. That's not a bad thing because Snow is an excellent villain himself. But I'm interested to see how much bigger of a part Rose will play.


One of the coolest things about this book is the setting. The constantly burning buildings and everything coated in soot and ash. It's just this fantastic imagery. It reminds me of Silent Hill. But I could just see so many of these events happening as ash is falling out of darkened skies and I love it.

I liked the twist with Evangaline. I knew something was going to happen with the heart, obviously. But I wasn't sure what it was going to be. Even after I found out I wasn't incredibly surprised but I liked how it played out. I liked that both Ash and Natalie admitted to being confused. They should have been. I'm curious to see if that will come up more or not.

Elizabeth Richards shows such an excellent grasp of the world she created. The different kinds of darklings and the bastet. The setting is wonderful. The way it all works and the way the characters react. It's fantastic. It comes off as a very cinematic book. I could easily see this as a movie.

Black City started off a bit slow but gained momentum and I think it's own footing in it's world. So much happens and there's always so much going on. I am impressed.

Also, anyone else think Natalie is totally getting Wrath from that bite? And we know the Bastet is coming back somehow.

Anyway, I give Elizabeth Richards' Black City a Rating of: Massively Epic.

I am going to be reading Jay Asher and Carolyn Mackler's The Future of Us next. I'm also hoping to work on my Jodi Meadows post today since I was called off of work due to the dreaded Nemo... Which better settle down because I am going to be pissed if I miss this signing.

Until later Ducks,

A.M.Y-A

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