Wednesday, September 11, 2013

The Coldest Girl in Coldtown by Holly Black

The Coldest Girl in Coldtown by Holly Black
Release Date - September 3, 2013
Publisher Website -  Little Brown Books for Young Readers
Publisher Social Media -  Twitter
Pages -  432 pages
My Rating - 4/5
**obtained for review from publisher via BEA**

Here is the Goodreads synopsis
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.
Imagine a world where vampires are the ultimate celebrity, death is alluring, and living forever may not be as long as you think. Holly Black has taken something classic, and paid it the respect it deserves in her own, unique voice.

A vampire novel being sexy and sensual may not be surprising. It meshes the allure of living forever, with the brutal truth of death that surrounds these immortal beings. The world Holly Black has built takes center stage, and seduces us. It's mesmerizing, and addicted. It excels where the characters didn't. I got lost in the world, and that is what kept my interest. The Coldtown itself, and the image shown to the outside world contrast in a way that created intrigue and drama. She captures the wickedness, the decedence, and the loneliness of these immortal beings. She showcases why, time and time again, we are drawn to stories about them.

The lore, and backstory to vampires is a mix of the usual. Holly Black's version of how you become a vampire is filled with the horror these creatures are known for. It's also fairly unique. The blood lust that consumes a newly born vamp is terrifying, especially deadly to those unfortunate to be near them. The blood flows and coats everyone's hands in this novel, it almost becomes a river, but it's a nice change. These vampires are monsters. They feed, kill, and have little or no remorse for what they do. It takes you back to the original stories that left nightmares dancing in your head.

Tana is not the hero of the story, far from it. However she is resourceful, resigned, and shows a tremendous ability to judge people by their actions. She wants to save everyone, which is immediately endearing. She's someone who doesn't mind walking on the wild side, and at the same time would do anything for her family. She's much more complex than I anticipated and first. She follows a decision through, and is quite determined. Even at her most overwhelmed she is able to rally herself, and go on. Her past haunts and drives her in a way that almost consumes her.

Some of the characters felt like they were there to fit a certain role, and nothing more. Winter and Midnight, two vampire obsessed kids Tana meets along her journey, fit such a description. They show the allure these Coldtowns posses and are the embodiment of the notion of 'everyone wants to live forever'. They are naive, and sadly, unprepared for the truths that come with being part of this world.

Creepy, disturbing, but at all times mesmerizing, Holly Black has expanded her short story to a fine novel that could stand on it's own, and yet there is the possibility of a series too. Her writing talent is evident and on par with her previous works. It's the little details that make this novel, from the celebrity like fever of the vampire craze, to the haunted past that keeps Tana on her path. Holly Black knows caring about characters, even if it's just one, in a sea of madness will humanize the whole story, and she does it to great effect in this.

The Coldest Girl in Coldtown is a love letter, and homage to classic vampire tales of years past. It's a twist on a tale that is both familiar, and loved. Holly Black fans will be sure to devour this one, and hope for a revisit to Tana's world, even though she ends this particular story in a perfectly imperfect place.


  1. I'm looking forward to getting my hands on this book. The world sounds amazing, and I always enjoy the little details in Holly's world.


  2. awesome review. I am excited to see the classic story of vampires coming back to our reads. I like the good vampires but nothing beats the classic creepy, scary, evil vampire. Can't wait to read this one.

  3. I liked the combination of the reality-tv-celebrity-status of the vampires, combined with the fact that the vampires are actually on the scary side. I love how Holly Black can suck me into her dark world every time.


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