Tag Archives: Elizabeth Richards

ARC Review: Phoenix by Elizabeth Richards

  • TitlePhoenix (Black City #2)
  • AuthorElizabeth Richards
  • SourceReview Copy
  • No. of Pages368
  • PublishedJune 04, 2013 by Putnam Juvenile
  • Rating4/5
  • Check it outGoodreads or Amazon
Weeks after his crucifixion and rebirth as Phoenix, Ash Fisher believes his troubles are far behind him. He and Natalie are engaged and life seems good. But his happiness is short-lived when he receives a threatening visit from Purian Rose, who gives Ash an ultimatum: vote in favor of Rose’s Law permanently relegating Darklings to the wrong side of the wall or Natalie will be killed.

The decision seems obvious to Ash; he must save Natalie. But when Ash learns about The Tenth, a new and deadly concentration camp where the Darklings would be sent, the choice doesn’t seem so simple. Unable to ignore his conscience, Ash votes against Rose’s Law, signing Natalie’s death warrant and putting a troubled nation back into the throes of bloody battle.

Black City impressed me a LOT. The intriguing and unique premise about Darklings and humans mixed in with a dystopian feel to it drew me in from page one. Elizabeth Richards creatively painted a world where nothing is impossible, and the supposed ‘monsters’ are the heroes. Admittedly, Phoenix was a little harder for me to get into, especially when Ash proposed rather abruptly. I felt like he was thinking too rashly and I believe it should have taken more time and bad experiences for this to happen. However, I did take into consideration the idea of ‘Blood Mates’ and though it still didn’t convince me that this was a good decision, the idea felt better once I realized how committed Darklings were to each other (or in this case, a human and a twin-blood) when this happened.

Other than that, though, Phoenix was a very good book. The action amped up more in this sequel, and I enjoyed reading page after page of battles since this proved to be the turning point of the rebellion and showed that the plot was heating up. This time, new alliances have been formed with Elijah, the Bastet boy Natalie saved in Black City. Of course, this unlikely happening brings out a new jealousy, a very confused Natalie, and a indebted Bastet, trying to hide his feelings for a certain blonde girl.

Ash developed a lot as a character in Phoenix, and the heroic action he did by voting against Rose’s Law despite the threat of Natalie getting hurt cut deep into my heart. I valued his decision to put thousands of people and Darklings ahead of his Blood Mate since this proves that Ash does have a good head on his shoulders and is a worthy face for the rebellion. Natalie, on the other hand, grew out of her shell more, as she takes more risks and tries to help in any way she can. Now, her main focus is saving her loved ones and helping the rebellion triumph. Her acts of bravery, both for the rebellion and for Ash, shows that beneath that vulnerable side of her is a girl with fire in her soul.

Furthermore, Elizabeth does not disappoint as the twists in the plot return again in Phoenix. The hints came a little stronger this time, but when it was revealed, I was still very, very surprised. I now deem Elizabeth Richards as the Queen of Twists because every little detail she thinks of is somehow a hint to the revelation to come. Her twists also tie up very nicely with the plot, and I loved the tension in the latter half of the book that led to the characters finding out about the new plot line as well.

Overall, Phoneix is an action-packed novel filled with maniac villains, (I’m looking at you, Purian Rose!) revelations, character development, a mind-blowing plot, and pages and pages of creativity that will leave you wanting for more. Will Natalie and Ash be able to sacrifice everything they value for a fight weighed against them?


Review: Black City by Elizabeth Richards (Blog Tour)

  • TitleBlack City (Black City #1)
  • AuthorElizabeth Richards
  • SourceReview Copy
  • No. of Pages374
  • PublishedNovember 13, 2012 by G.P. Putnam's Sons BYR
  • Rating4/5
  • Check it outGoodreads or Amazon
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.

In a world filled with humans, darklings, and a barrier separating both of them, Ash is an anomaly; a twin-blood that is half human and half darkling. Black City opens up this dystopian, fantasy world abruptly, introducing readers quickly to what exactly darklings can do and what Ash, in particular, is capable of doing.

From the get-go, we see the cruel, dark world Elizabeth Richards beautifully crafted that surprisingly affects the darklings–the predators–more than the humans. Furthermore, she twists the whole concept of vampires in a refreshing way since the tables are turned, and humans have more control than ever. We clearly see the discrimination and injustices that are portrayed in almost every scene in this book in two points of view. Ash, the misunderstood twin-blood, and Natalie, the emissary’s daughter–someone brought up to hate darklings more than the average person.

However, Natalie is unsympathetic towards her mother’s beliefs and makes judgments of her own.  But she, herself, is cornered in a suffocating relationship that she thought she had gotten rid off, and she finds secrets hiding in her own familiar world. And though Ash comes off as cold-hearted, broody, and stoic at first, a shocking revelation binds both of them to the core, an undeniable romance blooming between the two of them. But inside and outside the walls of the city, Purian Rose, the new, harsh leader of this dystopian world, tries to eradicate the species he loathes with a dark passion. As two sides rebel and clash against each other with very different goals in mind, Natalie and Ash’s relationship threatens to crumble when presented with another horrifying truth that they never thought was possible. Because of this, Ash is torn between duty, love, old beliefs, and the fate of his own flesh and blood.

Elizabeth Richards writes an unforgettable, intriguing novel about what it really means to stand up for what you believe in and for what you love.


Fun facts about…Elizabeth Richards

* She’s an identical twin…and yes, she is the evil one.

* She’s part sloth.

* She hopes to see 10 volcanoes before she dies. She’s already climbed Vesuvius, had lunch on top of Mount Etna and watched Stromboli erupt at night.

* She’s a little bit obsessed with Daniel Radcliffe.

* Some of her favorite TV shows are Buffy, Being Erica, and Extreme Couponing.

* Her favorite authors are JK Rowling, Suzanne Collins, Beth Revis, Stephen Fry, and Veronica Roth.

Fun facts about…Black City

* The original title of the book was CRAVING.

* Natalie Buchanan was named after one of Elizabeth’s closest friends.

* The city in BLACK CITY was inspired by Victorian London and Birmingham.

* The Boundary Wall was based on the West Bank Barrier and Berlin Wall.

* Ash’s name is a clue to who he’s going to become…

So what were YOUR thoughts about the book? Rant, rave, feel free to do either or both in the comments below! Don’t forget to check back for my interview with Elizabeth Richards (Author of the Month).