The Coldest Girl in Coldtownby Holly Black (Website, Facebook, Twitter)
Narrator: Christine Lakin
Published by Little Brown Books for Young Readers on September 3, 2013
Genres: Horror, Paranormal, Young Adult
Length: 12 hours and 6 minutes
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I received this book for free from Publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.
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.
I haven’t heard anything but good things about Holly Black’s books, and when both Danny and Pushy read and reviewed The Coldest Girl in Coldtown, I read the description and figured that I could jump in with both feet since I haven’t read anything vampires in a while (at the time of my listening), and as a bonus, I could finally say that I’d read something by Holly Black.
Tana wakes up the morning after a party, realizing that she’s the last person left alive and human in a house full of her dead friends. They’d been attacked by vampires, which are known to the world, and Tana finds her ex-boyfriend tied to a bed and in the middle of turning into a vampire while a strange vampire boy is chained up in the same room. Not wanting to leave them behind because that’s not the kind of girl she is, Tana risks life and limb to escape the house, bringing the two guys with her out the window. She doesn’t get away unscathed: she now has a scrape on her leg from vampire teeth, and it’s uncertain if she’ll go cold like her ex-boyfriend has done and start to turn.
To protect her family and the people around them, there’s only one place that Tana can go with her ex-boyfriend and the mysterious vampire Gavriel, so they head into the dangerous Coldtown nearest them. Tana waits with uncertainty and hope that she won’t go cold, while the ex tries to resist the change. And of course, Gavriel has is own agenda and ulterior motives for going into Coldtown–a place that you can never leave once you’ve entered, especially if you’re infected or already a vampire.
The world building is great in The Coldest Girl in Coldtown. Vampires are fierce, nasty, predatory, and cold-blooded killers here, and it’s refreshing to read this version of them. Tana was headstrong, kick ass, but she was also vulnerable and afraid. She was able to push those things aside to fight when she had to, and it was nice to see her think of her family before herself. Gavriel was a nice surprise in this book as more of him was revealed throughout the book. He certainly wasn’t what I was expecting when you first meet him in the book and peel back some of the layers to the end.
I give The Coldest Girl in Coldtown a five out of five. With excellent world building, great secondary characters, gory details, and fierce fight scenes, the story moved forward at a pace that was perfect as Tana fights to help both herself and her friends. The vampire characteristics and concepts were not entirely unique, but they were combined in some new ways that made this story highly enjoyable. I found myself totally cheering on Tana as she kicked some vampire ass, and I really hope to see what happens after the open ending.
I listened to the audiobook provided by Hachette Audio
Get your own Audiobook at Audible: The Coldest Girl in Coldtown.
I think this was one of those books where I enjoyed the book so much more because I listened to the audiobook instead of reading it on paper or on my Kindle. The narrator was fantastic, and Christine Lakin does every voice with easy distinction and great action. Musical interludes amped up the tension and added to the atmosphere of important parts of the book, and I really enjoyed hearing these little pieces. While the book was a bit slow in a few spots because of the world building, the excellent character driven plot made the story fly right by as I just needed to hear what would happen next because of these things in the audiobook. I highly recommend listening to this prodcution.