Author: Elizabeth Richards
Goodreads Rating: 4.05
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-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.
I really wanted to like this book more than I did. It was a really quick read, and I was able to get through it quickly, but I just couldn't handle Ash and Natalie. The plot was interesting, although I felt like there wasn't adequate description of the Darklings. Maybe I just had a hard time visualizing them with claws on their feet and some with wings, but then there was the twin-hearts and they looked totally human, but larger?
My biggest problem was that every single person in this book lacked a backbone. Everyone. Natalie started off irritating me, right from the get-go because she had this "Oh, poor me, I'm rich and don't fit in with the working class. Poor me, my father died because of Darklings and danger, but I'm still going to do stupid things because I'm a poor rich girl with an evil mother." Ugh.
So right from the get go, I didn't like her. I actually liked Ash at first, he wasn't terrible, but then he was like "Oh I hate Natalie, your family is the reason I don't know mine. But wait, its not your fault." Like pick a side and stick to it. Natalie also was like "You did this terrible thing, but I understand." The two of them together just frustrated me because they would each of a legitimate reason to be mad at each other, and then they would back down!
I think the characterization was what really killed this book for me. My biggest point of contention was that them being together was this really awful thing and was punishable by death, and then she told her ex boyfriend, and he told this person that he had met for like an hour. No! There is a reason that its supposed to be a big secret that you don't tell the next person that you meet.
There was this amazing sub plot within the book of this Darkling that seemed to be stalking Natalie, and then nothing came of it. It was revealed who did it, but then it was like "NBD! You've been stalking me, but thats okay." I just wanted to scream, literally, while I was in my bed, at 2 AM.
I really do wish that I had liked this book more. I'm thinking I might still read the second book to see if things improve, also because I'm now invested in this series. I got this book at BEA from the publisher in exchange for my honest opinion.
The courts final verdict: