Nov 9, 2017

Review--The Coldest Girl in Coldtown by Holly Black

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.

The best part about reading from the TBR pile is when you discover a book from a genre you’re starting to believe is nearly dead. Naturally, I’m talking about Paranormal YA books, as in the last year or two I started to notice a decline in the genre which saddens me, but as I also said, I have plenty to read from the TBR trunk of Doom!! First up is Holly Black’s The Coldest Girl in Coldtown which features vampires in a new and exciting way!

In this world, society is very aware of vampires and how easy it is for vampirism to spread. They keep vampires and those believed to be infected entrapped in Coldtowns. These are basically walled off sections of a neighborhood where they basically leave vampires and possibly infected people who will turn into vampires on their own to live. I was never really quite clear on how they manage to get supplies like the alcohol they drink or food for those who are still human and just want to live with the vampires, but I guess that’s not really something to be answered.

Our story begins when Tana waked up from a party in a bathtub only to find that everyone is dead, killed by vampires, for not all vampires are necessarily in the Coldtowns. While trying to quietly find her phone, she instead finds her ex-boyfriend, Aidan, tied to a bed with a vampire tied to a chair next to him. Aidan’s eyes are a bright red, indicating that he’s on the path to becoming a vampire. Turning into a vampire is a different process in this world. That the mere act of biting someone is a precursor to vampirism.

The vampire in the chair is Gavriel and soon he, Tana, and Aidan are off on their way as they run from vampires. Tana thinks it might be best to send Aidan to a Coldtown since he’s on the verge of turning and Gavriel thinks it’s just as good of an idea and offers to help, he’ll lead them right into the Coldtown even! But there’s very clearly, an ulterior motive behind his chivalry, what Gavriel wants exactly will reveal itself within time.

Though fascinating as this book was, I do want to caution that there is a slightly slower pace to things. It’s a gradual sort of buildup, but still makes for incredible reading as well! This is Holly Black after all, an author I haven’t read in years but still remember how fiercely I l oved my first book by her! What I also found interesting was that every other chapter was something different than Tana’s third person point of view; sometimes it was a flashback of Tana’s and how she came to be in the current situation, other times it might be some sort of historical turning point that explains how things got to be so crazy with vampires running about in the world, and other times still we got to see what Tana’s younger sister was up to while Tana was off on her insane adventure!

Despite this pacing though, I found myself thoroughly invested in Tana’s story. She was somewhat scratched by a vampire’s fang and is not sure if she’s infected or not. There’s apparently an 88 day turnover period. That if you can manage not to succumb to any blood-drinking, you might live to see another sunrise. Tana has her own reasons for putting herself into a Coldtown as well for she doesn’t want to hurt anyone. Her past history has more reasonings behind this as well, but I won’t spoil that for you!

There is just the slightest touch of romance to this one. I almost wondered if we would cross that barrier into love triangle territory since she’s traveling with her ex and a new guy, vampire he may be. But luckily that was never truly a problem. So yes, there is some sort of spark buzzing between Tana and Gavriel, but it’s very subtle. The romance doesn’t take over the story, there are other emotions that do that!

My one and only complaint about the ending to this amazing standalone was that it was too open-ended! Yes, I love the idea that more could happen after I close the book, but there’s a very pertinent question I long to have answered and I seriously fear it’s one that is just left up to the reader’s imagination! Oddly, that doesn’t always work well for me because I twist things around so much that I can’t tell which ending I want most! Granted, in this sense, I know what ending I want most, but if that’s what the characters actually want for themselves, I couldn’t say! And that my friends is why I am being driven bonkers by this ending!!

Holly Black is a superb author extraordinaire! Yes, I may not have read much by her at this precise moment in time, but that will be changing within the next few reads of mine! And what is soon to come as my first re-read since probably 2010! It’s happening folks!! The Coldest Girl in Coldtown is a marvelous addition to the Paranormal YA world and isn’t one to be missed!


Overall Rating 4/5 stars



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