The Coldest Girl in Coldtown
by Holly Black
Summary: Tana lives in a world where walled cities called Coldtowns exist. In them, quarantined monsters and humans mingle in a decadently bloody mix of predator and prey. The only problem is, once you pass through Coldtown’s gates, you can never leave.
One morning, after a perfectly ordinary party, Tana wakes up surrounded by corpses. The only other survivors of this massacre are her exasperatingly endearing ex-boyfriend, infected and on the edge, and a mysterious boy burdened with a terrible secret. Shaken and determined, Tana enters a race against the clock to save the three of them the only way she knows how: by going straight to the wicked, opulent heart of Coldtown itself.The Coldest Girl in Coldtown is a wholly original story of rage and revenge, of guilt and horror, and of love and loathing from bestselling and acclaimed author Holly Black.
A stand alone novel
Genre: YA Dark Fantasy/Horror
Where to Buy: Amazon . Barnes and Noble
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Source: I purchased a copy of the book for Kindle
I have been in the mood for some books that go with the season, full of horror, darkness, or something twisted. My friend sent me a quick tweet telling me about this book and a snatched it up in seconds. I love vampires. And I absolutely crave stand alone novels sometimes, right now being one of those times. There are wonderful gothic YA novels, but every time my interest is piqued, it’s book 1 of an incomplete series. I wanted delicious horror themes with closure. I’m so glad I snatched up The Coldest Girl in Coldtown because it awesome! I loved the layout and how each chapter was short and began with a quote about death.
Immediately, the state of the world intrigued me. Vampires existed openly, but not like anything I’ve ever seen before. The ones who weren’t trying to infect the human population typically went into the Coldtowns to live with curious humans and infected humans. The infection process was somewhat unique and added a bit more conflict to the vampiric conflict. Once bitten, if not killed, a human went through a transition period. If no human blood is ingested, he or she reverted to being a human again, though it’s insanely difficult to get through 3 month transition period. I like how vampires couldn’t just drink nonchalantly and move on. They must make a choice to either feed without biting, feed and kill, or feed and create chaos by unleashing an infected human into the world. It was such an incredible premise!
I loved Tana and her adventure. I loved her character, her boldness, and her willingness to do what needed to be done. She struggled with a lot of her choices, but she was very logical and focused when she needed to be. I loved her evolution and the way she handled the difficult situations she found herself in. I never knew what she would do or what the best solution was and there were many times I thought she’d give in or give up and she figured out an alternate solution somehow, sometimes by doing the unthinkable. I was completely intrigued by Gavriel, the vampire found chained in a bedroom when Tana woke up at the start of the novel. He was so.. different than I or Tana expected, but also incredibly creepy and weird. Aidan, Tana’s ex boyfriend, was infected, but he still managed to make me laugh and his personality came through despite his struggle. I also found Midnight and Winter, the two kids they picked up at a gas station, to be interesting and they gave me a different kind of viewpoint in world of vampires existing. Tana had her own distinct dislike of vampires, but Midnight and Winter wanted to be immortal and the idea of flirting with death and danger fueled them.
I loved this book. I love vampires, especially when they are blood drinkers without any alternative. I like it when the set up doesn’t include any easy ways for them to survive and still hold onto their humanity. The vampires were a bit like the ones in Anne Rice novels, which I enjoyed because they were violent, terrifying, cruel, calculating, and elegant all at the same time. I love heroines who are kick ass, but they still have a softness to them that makes them easy to to relate to, so I loved Tana and really rooted for her.
I will add that The Coldest Girl in Coldtown is NOT any kind of futuristic dystopian. Yes, there are Coldtowns and the purpose is to keep the vampires separate from the thriving human population, but this book isn’t about any kind of oppression or world in which vampires rule or anything like that. I don’t think the synopsis makes it sound like it IS, but it also uses the world Coldtown which may make people assume it’s like a dystopian sort of compound? It’s more like the kind of setting in the Sookie Stackhouse books, where people know about the vampires and the rest of the world is basically normal. It seems like a lot of people were confused about this on GR (and it so irks me when people “review” books before reading them and just assume they are a certain way).
I highly recommend this book. But I will admit that I will always love vampires, mostly when they are still quite violent and cruel. So if you KNOW you’re basically “over” vampires (though I’m not sure why you’d pick up a vampire book if you’re not open to the idea of having them…), perhaps this isn’t the book for you. If you are a vampire lover, or you were and you need a good bloody and fascinating story to rekindle your love, then I definitely think it’s a good book for you. It’s a great Fall/Halloween book to read (or any time of the year if you are a fan of vampires!)
Labels: Review, YA