Release Date: September 3, 2013
Publisher: Little, Brown Books for Young Readers
Review Source: Netgalley
Synopsis: (from Goodreads)My Thoughts:
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.
If you’ve been reading my reviews for a while then you know I don’t read a lot of vampire books. The ones that I have read, I’ve only read after many positive reviews from bloggers I trust. But this vampire book? It sounded so very different from other vampire books, and I keep hearing about how great Holly Black is, so I knew I had to check it out.
I was intrigued by the set-up of having “Coldtowns” where vampires (and humans who want to be vampires) are quarantined. It was fascinating to read about vampires as a known part of society, but still separate to an extent. The way things were run in Coldtown and the many different groups made things quite compelling. Also fascinating was the way vampirism worked in Black’s world: the idea of becoming “Cold” and feeling the urge to complete the process, but still a chance to wait it out and remain human.
I loved the beginning of this book, but while the premise and the world building were fascinating, there were parts of the book where things dragged. While we learn a lot, and go on a journey with the characters, there isn’t actually an intricately structured plot. There are interruptions in the story which give us background information, and while these are interesting, they definitely distracted from the main story.
I liked the characters, but I never wholly connected with them. I’m not sure if it’s because there was so much going on that’s morally grey (or, let’s face it, morally black in some situations) or because I couldn’t understand Tana’s decision making process. Maybe it was the third person narration that left me a little distant from what exactly Tana was feeling and thinking.
Did I like this book? I did, because I found the setting and the idea of the book to be very interesting. But my lack of full connection with the characters, as well as the fact that the beginning of the book was my favourite part of it, stopped me from truly loving the book. In the end, I think the book felt incomplete. It's not that I really think it needs a sequel (although I think the great world building would allow for one), but we're definitely left with questions.
Find The Coldest Girl in Coldtown by Holly Black on Goodreads, Book Depository, & Amazon.