The turgid adventures of a half-breed vampire and the human girl who loves him continue (Black City, 2012).
Having been crucified and burned and then resurrected, Ash is now known as the Phoenix, the poster boy for the Humans for Unity rebellion (though far from a Christ figure, despite obvious symbolism). On the eve of the vote that will determine whether vampire Darklings and other Impurities will be permanently confined in ghettos, he proposes to girlfriend Natalie, who accepts with cloyingly girlish delight. The vote goes badly; evil dictator Purian Rose cracks down on Black City. With sexy Bastet Elijah, Ash and Natalie flee, hoping to find a supposed superweapon that can shift the balance of power. (In addition to humans and vampires, this alternative, weakly steampunk-y North America has cat- and wolf-people, though their attributes are as arbitrary as everything else.) The boilerplate dystopian present-tense narration alternates between Ash’s and Natalie’s identical voices, ploddingly describing every action and overwrought emotion. Natalie worries she is infected with the Wrath, a deadly vampire disease; in order to spare Ash, she hides it from him, a transparent and tedious device evidently meant to boost the romantic tension. People die, bloodily; allies turn traitor; breasts heave. When Natalie isn’t engaging in unlikely heroics, she vomits a lot—is it the Wrath, or…?
Just as dreadful as the first book. (Paranormal romance. 14 & up)