Book Review: The Coldest Girl in Coldtown by Holly Black

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Goodreads Blurb:

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 Review

I was initially stunned by the surplus of gory details…the blood and violence was described so realistically that I felt like it was based on a true story! The beginning started of really strong and the story continued to build up the tension and suspense. I also really liked the concept of “Coldtowns.” It was very original and this story put a new spin on many of the usual “vampire stories.”  So right off the bat, the incredible premise, amazing descriptions, and engaging characters had me hooked to this story.

The entire reasons behind the existence of Coldtowns and how they operated was quickly laid out over the first couple of chapters. After a while, I started understanding just how messed up this dystopian world is. And to top it all off, there are even vampire bounty hunters who trade in vampires for a) a bounty or b) a marker which can be used to release an un-infected individual from a Coldtown. All these minute details just really impressed on me how well thought-out and planned the entire book was.

Tana, Aiden and Gavriel are the three main characters who were brought together by unusual circumstances. All in all, I really didn’t know know what to make of them. They made a variety of both smart and occasionally dumb decisions..Not to mention that Aiden and Gavriel were rather volatile and unpredictable (which is explainable given their “state”).

Tana was a great main character. She is written very realistically and her reactions to all the blood and violence were never over-dramatic so the seriousness of the situation wasn’t lost on me. She also often compared Aiden’s current behavior to before he was infected. This was probably because Tana had a hard time believing that Aiden had/would become this monster who would willingly or unwillingly slaughter her and/or others. 

Gavriel…was well..gosh..addictive? The more I learned about him – mainly through chapters filled with backstory – the more I wanted to know. He is this delightfully enigmatic capricious character that I just couldn’t get enough of. I think his unexpected behavior just made him even more real to me. 

Therefore, it wasn’t much of a surprise for me to realize that Gavriel and Tana’s “romance” was one of my favorite parts of this book. It was incredibly unconventional and even sexy in some way..so I was just really drawn to those…scenes.

Midnight and Winter, these other two characters who hitched a ride with Tana turned out to have a few surprises up their sleeve too. They decided to go to Coldtown because they wanted to become immortal (vampires) and they’d been videoing their adventures so far and posting them online. Through Midnight and Winter, I got a close and personal look at how the existence of Coldtowns created “get rich,” “get fame,” and even “get immortal” schemes. The cold-towns became places for people to start over (sometimes literally as many of them aimed to become vampires and consequently immortal).

Would I Recommend It? Definitely! 

Rating: 5 stars

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