Author: Elizabeth Richards
Genre: Young Adult, Fantasy, Dystopian
A dark and tender post-apocalyptic love story set in the aftermath of a bloody war.Review by Nara
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.
Okay, I'm sorry. It's true. The only reason I wanted to read this book was because of its cover. So pretty... Quite seriously, I hadn't even read the blurb before I got the book, only reading it just before I began reading the actual novel. And I have to admit, the blurb is terrible. It really doesn't do the book justice.
...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.
Firstly, Romeo and Juliet. Anyone see the connection? Anyone?
Secondly, the blurb pretty much ruins the romance. I mean, look at it, it basically tells you exactly what happens!
1. They deny their feelings for each other
2. They struggle against their feelings for each other
3. "Their feelings are too strong!" i.e. they get together
There were some issues I had with the book itself; the romance was one of them. At first, it was ridiculously slow, but just when you were wondering when the hell they were going to get together, BAM, and it happened. I think that it was somewhat realistic, but rather spoiled by the "instalove". And although I was intrigued to hear about the two heart story from Ash (read the novel to find out what this is), it just seemed a bit out of place and clumsy in the context of the scene in which it was told.
A few other issues that didn't really have much effect on my overall enjoyment of the novel but that I found somewhat annoying:
"You don't want to be seen with her sort, she's one of the Rise kinds," he says to Natalie. "I'll set you up with the right type of people to know."
Day's cheeks burn red.
"I can make my own mind up about who the 'right type of people' are," Natalie snaps. "I'm already getting a pretty good idea of who I want to avoid."
Sorry, Ms Richards, but the above lines just reminded me so much of Harry Potter's first encounter with Draco Malfoy. (Remember kids, plagiarism is bad!)
I was also a bit confused as to why Natalie didn't go to the doctor when she felt her heart "pulling" and "tugging". HELLO? YOU HAVE A HEART CONDITION! GO TO THE FREAKING DOCTOR.
But putting aside the minor issues, this book was actually quite good. It was definitely compelling enough that my mind didn't wander while I was reading. For once, it was great to see that the two characters of the dual perspectives actually sounded like two separate people rather than the same person. Richards' world-building was amazing. Although the premise was unoriginal, the concept of Darklings was interesting, and coupling that with the descriptions of the setting gave a pretty epic world. I also enjoyed seeing that, for a change, it was the guy who had two girls rather than the girl having two guys vying for her (even though it was still a GODDAMNED LOVE TRIANGLE).
Basically, the writing was excellent but let down by a somewhat typical dystopian plot. Still, if you enjoy oppressive ruling bodies, class segregation and vampires (actual ones, not Twilight style), this book is definitely worth reading.
1. The Immortal Rules by Julie Kagawa
2. Darkness before Dawn by J.A. London
3. Breathe by Sarah Crossan