Release Date ~ September 3, 2013
Little, Brown Books for Young Readers ~ Hachette Book Group
Review copy received form HBG Canada for 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 vampire trend in YA books seems to be dying down, but I'm still interested in reading books that have a creative twist on an old favourite. The synopsis for Holly Black's new release initially drew me in, particularly because of the Coldtowns introduced in the book.
Unfortunately, I didn't quite get the creepy, intriguing book I desired and was left feeling a bit disappointed with the story.
- Coldtown is a great setting:
The Coldtowns are a main focus of the story, and easily the most fascinating aspect. There's so much mystery and eccentricity stemming from Coldtown; I couldn't help but want to know more about the place and I was eagerly awaiting the characters' arrival in Coldtown. I also thought that was a great approach to take in a story where vampires are real and the world is trying to learn how to handle that reality.
The beginning of the book had me hooked very quickly, but unfortunately that just didn't last. The pace slowed down considerably early on, and I found it dragged on for a while. Much of the story seemed to revolve around Tana's internal thoughts and feelings about the events taking place around her. As a result, she didn't seem grounded in the story at all.
On top of that, I couldn't connect with any of the characters in the slightest. I was indifferent towards them, at best. They never really grew on me, as much as I wanted to be invested in their lives. Their personalities weren't consistent, and the ending didn't feel like a natural result of characters' decisions but simply because the plot demanded it.
The Coldest Girl in Coldtown is well-written, but I found it difficult to be excited about the story or care about the characters.