Author: Elizabeth Richards
Publisher: G.P. Putnam's Sons BYR
Rating: 5 Stars
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.
The world building was nicely done and I liked that I was able to get a real good feel for the city and its inhabitants. This story was fast paced and kept me hooked chapter after chapter. There was a lot of development both character and plot wise, but it never got too overly detailed. There was just enough information to keep me thirsty for more without boring me with mundane details.
The romance was not overly done and added to the story without seeming overly fake. It was also nice to see that there was some build up to their romance. When they first meet they are definitely curious of one another, but not love struck by any means. In fact they really couldn't stand each other which made sense given the backgrounds they came from. The characters had a lot of growing up to do within the story from both sides and I enjoyed getting to see the different opinions on how the laws were affecting different people and how.
Natalie came off as a bit of a spoiled brat at first, but as time went on I came to understand and see why she acted the way she did. She also went through a lot of growing up in this book and came to better understand the world around her. Once she was able to mingle with others outside of her normal circle she was a lot more open minded about issues that they were dealing with and even stuck up for her friends going against those she once sided with.
I loved Ash and not because he was some prince charming or even the moody but sexy stranger. No I loved him because he was so real. He was a real human character with human faults. He made mistakes, but still worked through them and what I loved most about him was his kindness and willingness to do the right thing even when others were (literally) beating him down. He wasn't perfect by any means he made a lot of crappy mistakes, but they only made him more human because of it.
This is one story I couldn't put down and I am highly anticipating its sequel "Phoenix"!