The Coldest Girl in Coldtown
By Holly Black
Publication date: Sept. 3, 2013
Little, Brown Books for Young Readers, 432 pages
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.
— Goodreads.com description
Oooh, I haven’t read a horror story in a while. While The Coldest Girl in Coldtown isn’t quite horror, it did creep me out like WHOA.
Now, creepy stories like this aren’t my usual cup of tea, but I’m glad I gave this one a chance. And I’m glad I have FINALLY read a Holly Black book. Took me long enough – I know!
So, some pros, some cons.
Pros: Bloodshed. I love an author who isn’t afraid to kill her characters. Bring. It. On.
Also, the story focuses a lot on kids who romanticize vampirism – they want to be dead. I think Black does a really good job of playing this up. It totally got me thinking about how invincible I felt as a teenager. Love that.
Also a pro: Gavriel. I have no idea why I liked him, but I did.
Cons: For its length, there’s not a ton of action. Things move very slowly. Now, maybe that’s because it’s the first book in a series, but it felt a bit plodding. (UPDATE: I’ve just been told this is actually most likely to be a standalone. WHAT! I’m so confused…it did not read like a standalone at all. Hmmmm!)
I also felt detached from the characters. As much as I oddly enjoyed Gavriel, I couldn’t quite put my finger on Tana and what drew her to him.
I will definitely read the next book, even though my feelings were mixed. It reminds me of Julie Kagawa’s The Immortal Rules — I had similar feelings. If you were into that book, though, you ‘ll probably want to check this one out.