“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.”
– Taken from Goodreads (https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/12813630-the-coldest-girl-in-coldtown?bf=1000&from_search=true)
I finished this book a couple of days ago, but only today was I able to sit down and write a review for it. This thing called real life has hit me hard, in a good way, but I’m still adapting to not having as nearly as much free time as I used to. And while this time has erased the little details of the story, it has allowed me to gain some perspective on this book.
It has a really interesting story and world building. The world building can be a little confusing at times, especially with the infection thing. At times, I had to stop and think about what was going on (was the character infected or Cold? Things like that). However, the writing style didn’t click with me, for some weird and unnamed reason. I don’t know what happened. All I know is that I wasn’t able to get into the book as much as other people seem to have.
Even though the writing style was not my favorite, I have to give it to the author, her characters were interesting, and the side chapters allowed us to get more insight into the characters. Tana is a strong girl, there is no way to deny that. Granted, she makes some stupid decisions at times, but that comes with the role, I guess. As for Gavriel, he was an interesting character, thanks to his apparent madness. After reaching the end, I still don’t know if he is truly crazy or just pretending to be. Some of the secondary characters were fascinating, such as Jamieson (what’s with the raven?) and Valentina.
My biggest issue with this book was the end. If a book is a stand-alone, or has no sequel in sight, then I expect the ending to be more final, not so open. And the ending for this book was one of the most open endings I’ve read lately, which frustrated me quite a bit. In my opinion, there wasn’t a real resolution. Instead, I was left with a whole future to imagine, and I don’t really appreciate that.
On the other hand, this book has the merit of a fresh take on vampires. First, the idea of vampirism is different. The author builds a different way to become a vampire, a way that was completely new to me, and I’ve read my fair share of vampire books, from Twilight to Interview With The Vampire. Second, it works with a concept that I was already familiar with, namely, that of vampires coming out to society, but with a different spin. While in the Sookie Stackhouse books, vampires come to be reasonably accepted, in this book, they are segregated. And such a segregation does not leave society unscathed. It was really interesting to read that take.
To finish this review-turned-essay, one word of caution: this is a pretty dark book (none of the fluff that seems to dominate the genre nowadays) with a fair share of gore.
Rating: 3.5 out of 5