Elizabeth Richards lives in Buckinghamshire, England.
Vampires, genetics, dystopia, racism, and star-crossed romance vie for space in Richards's overstuffed debut, first in a trilogy. In Black City, one of nine megastates in the theocratic United Sentry States, vampiric Darklings live in walled ghettos, segregated from the human population. As a "twin blood"-half Darkling, half human-16-year-old Ash Fisher is an outcast among both peoples, but is drawn to Natalie Buchanan, daughter of the Emissary who heads up Black City. Readers won't have to try hard to spot the many parallels between the injustices of Ash and Natalie's world and their own, including forced relocations, crucifixions, and torture, along with allusions to Nazi Germany and the use of the epithet "nipper" for Darklings. Despite initial mutual hostility between Natalie and Ash, their romance is inevitable. However, it gets buried by unwieldy pseudoscience (including plague strains, genetic superpowers, and creatures with too many or too few heartbeats), Darkling lore, religious dogma, and questionable world-building, starting with the atmospheric but inexplicable decision to build a city out of materials that smolder in perpetuity once ignited. Ages 14-up. Agent: Ayesha Pande, Ayesha Pande Literary. (Nov.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.
"Detailed postapocalyptic world building makes Richards' series debut intriguing."--Booklist
"Provides a balanced combination of romance, action. and fantasy."--SLJ
"A Romeo and Juliet-type of relationship, yet there's so much action, anger and angst that the plot line is just as vital as the romance aspect. Fans of urban fantasy and forbidden romance will definitely want to pick this one up."--USA Today
"Compelling and fresh."--VOYA
"A quick, lusty romance in a world gone awry."--The Bulletin of the Center for Children's Book
"Elizabeth Richards' debut as a fiction author is inspiring. Her sense of drama, combined with brilliant attention to detail and the striking ability to create tension, makes the book a great read . . . The next books of the Black City series will be awaited with bated breath."--Teenreads
"This book is one that will be enjoyed on many levels from the literal plot of two very different teenagers who fall in love (think apparently doomed love as in Romeo and Juliet) to the subplot of discrimination leading to violence and chaos. 4/5 stars"--Examiner.com