Black City is the young adult, debut novel of author Elizabeth Richards. It is set in the United Sentry States after a terrible war that has ended with humans and Darklings divided into separate sections of Black City and the USS. Humans have won the war, and Darklings are shut up in ghettos, where they are supposedly only separated but treated well. The story focuses on Natalie Buchanan, the daughter of the Emissary (one of nine government officials, only under the country's ruler), and Ash Fisher, the last twin-blood (half Darkling, half human) left in Black City. The story is told in chapters alternating between Ash and Natalie's first-person points of view.
The Writing of Black City really did not work for me. The characters and plot points were underdeveloped and the plot focused more on the romance going on with everyone in the book than any sort of story line. The book opens with the protagonists breaking the rules in two different ways that intersect, ending with one threatening to kill the other (not kidding). Only hormones and "electricity" take it further than that. I understand that romance novels are extremely popular (and that it is not my favorite genre), but I have read romance-driven stories that are much better executed. Christine Feehan has a similar sort of insta-love between her characters (Life Mates) in her Dark Series, but it's way more sexual than Black City (and the execution did not work for me AT ALL until later in the series).
That being said, Black City is not a book without merit. I think the interactions between the characters will appeal to teen readers because it focuses on the issues they face every day: disagreements with friends over who they are dating, fighting with parents, coming to terms with their parents being adults with their own lives who make choices that are not centered on their children, and finding their places within society and how the choices they make may affect that standing. I am older than the targeted audience, so that may be why the writing did not appeal to me. 1/5 Stars
While the Writing was not for me, the World-Weaving is what kept me with the book. Black City has an interesting paranormal creature - the Darkling - that certainly piqued my interest. (And the Bastet is pretty darn intriguing, too.) There are several species (for lack of a better term) of Darklings, and if I ever read the next book, it will be to learn about them alone. It was completely believable that humans would treat these creatures as inferior, even though they had human characteristics and could have viable offspring with them. We as a species tend to put down anyone who looks, thinks, or acts differently than we do, and there is plenty of history to back that up. Going from this, I would have liked to know more about the war (I never really understood who was fighting), and I never picked up whether this world was alternate to our own or set in our future. 3/5 Stars
The Pace and Attention Span was greatly affected by the fact that I read this book as a part of an ARC tour. I've never not finished a book from one of these, and I wasn't going to start on this one (no matter the occasional temptation). The Pace was decent enough, I suppose. There really was never a lag in the action or romance - just a lack of attachment from me. It wasn't boring or bad. It never gripped my attention either, because I either knew where it was going (I did miss one plot point) or I didn't care about the angst-fest going on with the characters. Keep in mind - just because I didn't like it does not mean that teens won't eat it up. (I think they will.) 2/5 Stars
You can say what you want about me, but the Extra Magic in this novel was the sheer fact that the Darklings kept me with Black City through its duration. Hooray for Darklings! 2/5 Stars
To satisfy FTC guidelines, I am disclosing that I received the book from Debut Author Challenge ARC Tours in exchange for an honest review. The advance copy was likely provided to the tour by the publisher or author, which has in no way affected the outcome of my review. All opinions expressed are rambling, honest, and completely my own....more
Rose Fitzroy woke in a time not her own. She had been placed in stasis and was forgotten for sixty-two years. Along with facing the overwhelming loss of everyone and everything that she used to know and love, Rose is forced to adjust to her new life as a multi-planet and multi-billion dollar corporation. The real truth behind her situation is layered in such a way that all of it is not revealed until the last pages. Who really is Rose Fitzroy? Why was she forgotten for so long?
I did not think that I would like Rose at first. She was so weak and accepting of being pushed around in her new world. Hell, she didn't even want to tell her foster mother that someone had tried to kill her because she didn't want to be a bother! HOWEVER, as I got to know Rose and her situation better, my heart went out to her and was broken. There are other characters in the book, but Rose is so completely at the forefront that hey merely shine lights on facets of her life. Xavier is the boy who was left behind and had loved her his whole life (and she him). Bren woke Rose out of stasis and showed her nothing but kindness, taking her under his wing at school. Otto... Well, Otto was a bit of a surprise in all things and proved to be my favorite supporting character.
As for the world-building, it's quite easy to believe there is a giant corporation that owns almost everything *cough* Amazon *cough* and it makes since that it would be the pioneer of colonizing moons and planets in our solar system. The history of the company and what happened while Rose slept was fascinating and realistic. The Dark Days were terrible and the pace in which the information was given merged perfectly with Rose's changing life.
A Long, Long Sleep is an excellent example of what YA novels have to offer readers, and I recommend it to lovers of science fiction and/or fairy tales of any age. Fans of Cinder will adore A Long, Long Sleep, and I have already been pushing it into people's hands. If you've read this far down into the review, do yourself a favor and read A Long, Long Sleep....more
Leah Clifford’s A Touch Mortal is a simply wonderful Young Adult novel. The Urban Fantasy genre has gotten quite crowded in the past decade, but CliffLeah Clifford’s A Touch Mortal is a simply wonderful Young Adult novel. The Urban Fantasy genre has gotten quite crowded in the past decade, but Clifford’s debut novel still manages to stand out. She did not choose to go with the ever-popular choice – vampires and werewolves – but chose instead to throw together zombies and angels.
We begin the novel with Eden, our heroine, as a flawed teenager, bored with life and contemplating suicide until she meets the two friends, Az and Gabe. There is something different about the two young men, but then again, she’s not quite normal herself.
The plot twists, turns and flips upside-down as we watch Eden adjust to her new life and fight her inner (and outer?) demons. I read the book in less than a day, and it left me yearning for more. I must also mention that the beautiful cover art by Paul Zakris is genius. I spent probably ten minutes savoring the outside of the book alone. Not only is the young girl on the front cover gorgeous, but what you do not see on the back just catches the essence of the book. A Touch Mortal by Leah Clifford is the total package for a good read....more
The use of mythology mixed with "reality" is genius. Not just genius because it was a clever idea (and not a new one), but the way it was orchestratedThe use of mythology mixed with "reality" is genius. Not just genius because it was a clever idea (and not a new one), but the way it was orchestrated is lovely. Not only did the book draw me in and trap me, but it made me want to go and research all of the characters that I am not familiar with. The next Harry Potter? Golly, I hope so!...more
This book is AMAZING! I wish that it would've been around when I was a teenager so I would've had a strong female character to admire. Katniss EverdeeThis book is AMAZING! I wish that it would've been around when I was a teenager so I would've had a strong female character to admire. Katniss Everdeen is probably one of my favorite Young Adult literary characters now. Suzanne Collins made such a great contribution to the genre with the Hunger Games novels and I can't wait to see what she comes up with next!...more
I did not intend to read this book right now. My TBR pile is huge, but somehow it sneaked into my hands. In the wee hours of the morning, I was on TwiI did not intend to read this book right now. My TBR pile is huge, but somehow it sneaked into my hands. In the wee hours of the morning, I was on Twitter and was watching #YAKills and this book came up. I had it on my Nook, so I decided to check it out in order to follow the conversation. One hundred pages into the book, I realized that I was somewhat committed. I finished it 14 hours after starting it, despite working and chasing my spawn. Don't let the 4 stars fool you - it was a fantastic read, but I don't give 5 stars lightly.
Tally Youngblood is a young teenager who believes herself to be horrendously ugly. She is a prankster and looks forward to becoming a Pretty in order to be with her best friend Peris again. While counting down the final weeks until her cosmetic surgery that is required of all sixteen year olds, she meets Shay, another Ugly. Unlike Tally, Shay does not want to be Pretty. She wants to escape. Through Shay, Tally meets David. Then her world turns upside-down.
I couldn't put the book down, but I didn't really like the characters very much. I don't think I was supposed to like them. None of his characters are perfect, and Tally is sometimes downright distasteful. This book is one of those that skips over character development in order to move the plot along, which I can appreciate. However, each argument, betrayal, kiss, and sacrifice are essential contributions to the story. Nothing is done in this book without a reason and the finished product is a deliciously rich tale of teen rebellion. Westerfeld doesn't drag out events that could turn into quagmires and handles social issues quite nicely.
This book is great for older teens (and teens who will never grow old) who enjoy the post-apocalyptic and/or sci-fi/fantasy genres. Although I have books lined up, I have already started book 2, Pretties, to find out what happens next....more
I liked this book, but it was not easy for me to finish it. Sure, the mythology was fantastic (the spin she does on angels, demons, vampires, werewolvI liked this book, but it was not easy for me to finish it. Sure, the mythology was fantastic (the spin she does on angels, demons, vampires, werewolves, etc.) but through no fault of hers, I had to put the book down for a while. Young Adult and even adult urban fantasy (or fiction if you will) is bulging with those above stated supernatural forces. However, Cassandra Clare is just different enough to make this a very enjoyable ride. There are unexpected twists and turns and beautiful world-building involved in the book. I was even surprised by one twist and books seldom surprise me anymore.
All in all, this was a good book, and I plan on reading the sequels soon....more
This is a really good spin on Ancient Irish mythology and what *could* have happened back in the days before Stonehenge if there were centaurs, shamanThis is a really good spin on Ancient Irish mythology and what *could* have happened back in the days before Stonehenge if there were centaurs, shaman, demons, and other strange things. I enjoyed it immensely....more
I spent months eagerly anticipating the release of this book after hearing several authors and bloggers rave about it. This was my Big Book of 2011. II spent months eagerly anticipating the release of this book after hearing several authors and bloggers rave about it. This was my Big Book of 2011. I can tell you, my friends, that it did not disappoint. I'm a tough critic when it comes to Hype, and Kendare Blake's novel held up well.
As far as this book is concerned, Kendare Blake is not merely an author - she is a wordsmith. She is able to weave the tale of Cas and Anna in such a way that I felt as if I was in the novel. Despite it being a little scary, I did not want to leave. I loved her descriptions of everything involved, and the supporting characters are some of my alltime YA favorites. Every character in the book had a specific purpose and served it well. I'm a three book a week girl (alternating due to my short attention span), but I had this book read in 10 hours and that is including the 6 hours I used to sleep!
I would recommend this book to anyone that wants to read a spooky ghost story or an all-around fantastic piece of fiction....more
I love the YA genre, but I never thought that I would come across a piece of literary genius in its midst. Ransom Riggs brought one to us.
Jacob is a sI love the YA genre, but I never thought that I would come across a piece of literary genius in its midst. Ransom Riggs brought one to us.
Jacob is a social outcast from a prominent and wealthy Jewish family. He does not seem to relate very well to anyone in his family, except for his grandfather, Abraham. Abraham always had fantastic stories for Jacob about his growing up at a school in Wales that he attended after fleeing Poland during WWII. All of the stories were extraordinary (in the sense that there was nothing ordinary about them) - some scary, some merely outrageous - and unbelievable once Jacob reached a certain age.
The story is focused on Jacob and his search for the truth after a horrible tragedy causes his mind to seemingly break. His journey for sanity leads him and his father to Wales and to Miss Peregrine's boarding house. We see Jacob, as well as his father in some ways, come to terms with who his grandfather really was, and face the demons of his grandfather's past. Jacob is also faced with the task of finding himself, and deciding what is most important to him.
I really appreciate how WWII, the Holocaust, and Jacob's life as an outcast from both his family and age group plays a role in telling the story. There are so many various double meanings and symbols used to tell this story, but to give any of them away would spoil the story itself.
This is a great start of a new young adult series, and I eagerly anticipate reading the next book. This was, without a doubt, one of my favorite books of this year....more