Posted on Dark Faerie Tales.Elizabeth Richard’s Black City is a paranormal dystopian. I am always keeping an eye out on new dystopian stories, so I was pleasantly surprised at this paranormal take on one. Corruption, segregation, elitism are all elements in a Romeo and Juliet type of love story. I don’t want to say it’s exactly like one, but there are definitely similarities as well as differences. Richards writes an enthralling tale, layered with symbolism and messages that will appeal to readers of all ages.Within the protective walls of Black City, we are quickly introduced to the ruins and ash covered landscape. Darklings are not openly accepted in this community. On the brink of war between humans and Darklings, the tension between both races are higher than ever. Some seek peace, while others continue to hold an elitist attitude. Black City is told through the story of Ash, a half-darkling walking a fine line between humans and Darklings. He doesn’t belong anywhere and is often misjudged. One night, he meets Natalie, and the course of his life is altered forever. Natalie is the daughter of an Emissary official. Her upbringing has programmed her to think a certain way, but action will always speak louder than words.Ash is the dark and dangerous main character that is often misjudged and sometimes misguided. Having a human father within the Black City walls protects him to a certain extent, but not from the ridicule and prejudices of other humans outside his home. Ash is sometimes brash, but often unwavering in his beliefs. He yearns to know his Darkling side outside of the city walls, and he might just do anything to obtain that wish.Natalie is someone that I slowly warmed up to. From the beginning, she seemed conflicted of her feelings towards Darklings. Natalie’s father was killed by one, yet her father was an adversary for Darklings in the end. Natalie is different, not because of her altering beliefs, but because of who she is. She has nightmares that are so close to reality that it alters the tone of the story. Then there are the real life nightmares, bringing the story into an even darker mood.Told through an alternating point-of-view, Black City has a mild love story. And while I originally said Black City has a Romeo and Juliet vibe, Black City transcends this. Richards talks about levels of relationships mostly negative, but complex and engaging. Black City has a very dark tone throughout the story which was refreshing. Richards didn’t pull back from the detailed descriptions of this world, and I loved every minute.There are a lot of great elements that come together in Black City. For me, I would say that this is a character-driven story, consisting of many integral key players. There were a few things that I didn’t connect with, and it could just be that I didn’t relate to them. For example, I didn’t connect to the politics of the different races. I didn’t think there was enough information to keep me engaged. But Black City is a really good read. I enjoyed the initial story and the introduction of characters. I cannot wait to read the second book.