Date of Publication: September 3 2013
Source: Won in a giveaway! :)
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.
Head colds suck. You don't have a sore throat. Instead, you feel completely dizzy and out there with a headache that never seems to completely leave. In this slightly feverish condition, I started to read The Coldest Girl in Coldtown.
I wasn't surprised to enjoy it. A lot.
The writing is wonderful. Every chapter has an aim and seems to belong on its own. There are some creepy quotes about death before every chapter that are written in cursive that take a few extra seconds to decipher but that are wonderful in the way they accompanied the text. Everything was conveyed very well, very concisely, and every chapter felt deliberate. The story felt as if Holly Black knew what would happen at all times. Some stories feel confusing and our a little bit all over the place, but The Coldest Girl in Coldtown felt like it had a purpose.
The mix of flashbacks at the beginning to give Tana depth and introduce the world, as well as the sometimes different POVs meant that this book felt clean when reading, not fluffy, because it was shaped. There was also a lot of depth to the world, the story, and the characters.
As much as this is the story of Tana, there is something more profound. Some lines speak directly to the reader and they make me want to go back and reread the story.
Enough about writing- let's get to the story. The way everything was set up is probably its biggest strength. The vampire mythology has been molded into something completely new and dark. The idea of Coldtowns, places where vampires roam freely and where humans that desire immortality enter, even knowing that they'll never be allowed to leave. The society is so messed up what with the vampire obsession that it seems to make sense.
The characters were also pretty fantastic. Tana's perspective is engaging and although I was curious about her hero complex, I couldn't help but root for her. Tana is a pretty likable character and I also admired her strength. It's not the type of strength that shouts and is obvious. She's strong because she's experienced horrible things and has found ways to keep going; ways to stay okay.
I don't want to say too much more because honestly. The Coldest Girl in Coldtown is really great in every way. The plot, characters, writing, mythology, premise... Everything was just well done and shows how talented Holly Black is. I'm so sad that this is a standalone. It was wonderful, and I wouldn't mind more.