August 30, 2013

The Coldest Girl in Coldtown by Holly Black

The Coldest Girl in Coldtown by Holly Black
Release Date: September 3, 2013
Publisher: Little, Brown Books for Young Readers
Pages: 432
Series: n/a
Review Source: Netgalley

Synopsis: (from Goodreads)
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.
My Thoughts:
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.

The Cover:


Find The Coldest Girl in Coldtown by Holly Black on Goodreads, Book Depository, & Amazon.


  1. It sucks when you can't connect with the characters. Generally, I'm looking forward to reading The Coldest Girl in Coldtown, and maybe I'll like the characters more than you did. Thanks for the review.

    -P.E. @ The Sirenic Codex

  2. Interesting. I'd like to read this one, but it sounds like it had the same effect on you that White Cat did for me. I've heard so much good about Holly Black, but I couldn't really connect to that book, either. It was a cool set up, but it never quite worked for me. Hopefully I'll click with this one a little more.

  3. Just a three-fer? Meh! It was a four-star read for me (but not five. Those are exceedingly hard to come by.) but I can understand why it would be hard to connect with the characters. Tana was a hard nut to crack, definitely. Oh well. Plenty of books in the sea!

  4. I'm glad some of this worked for you and you liked it on a whole but it always sucks when you can't connect with characters. :(

  5. I guess I have been away for too long because I had no idea this book was about vampires. I do want to want to read this since with Holly Black books I realize how great they are after I finish reading them and look back on I'm really curious to know if this new one would have the same effect.

  6. This one sounds interesting, especially as you point out, the vampires are known but still separate. I've been seeing a lot of mixed opinions on this one though. But I'm glad you liked it despite your lack of connection with the characters.

  7. I didn't realise that this book was about vampires (not that I knew exactly what it was about). From what you've described this sounds like typical Holly Black writing. I felt the same way about her Curse Workers trilogy. I could never fully connect with the characters but the worlds she builds are so intriguing. I am not sure that I am ready for a vampire book yet- so I'm not sure I'll jump into this one.

    Thanks for the review!


Thank you so much for taking the time to comment; I appreciate each one!


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