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.

“Vampires were fairy tales and magic. They were the wolf in the forest that ran ahead to grandmother’s house, the video game big boss who could be hunted without guilt, the monster that tempted you into its bed, the powerful eternal beast one might become. The beautiful dead, la belle mort.” – Holly Black, The Coldest Girl in Coldtown

This book was not what I was expecting when I dove into it – and honestly I think that’s what made me love it so much more. The vampires in this book made me think back to some of the more classic vampire novels where the monsters are portrayed as… well as monsters. There are no sparkles in this book and there are sure as hell no “vampire vegetarians” – the vampires here are blood-thirsty, brutal, and without mercy… which is exactly how they should be.

This world that the Black creates for us is dark and kind of twisted. There has been an epidemic of vampirism that is contained by the existence of “coldtowns” – which is where all of the infected can go for quarantine. There is a catch though… once you go in, vampire or not, you don’t get out without an impossible number of hoops to jump through. Basically the way that the disease of vampirism spreads is that once a human is bitten and infected then turn Cold. Once you’re Cold your body begins the transformation to become a vampire and if you consume human blood you will die and be reborn. Those of immense self-control can wait out the infection though and return to mortality if they so choose – it only takes 88 days of torture as your body fights the disease.

Anyway… Moving on.

We are graced periodically with different viewpoints or flashbacks, but our main protagonist is Tana Bach. She’s a seventeen year old girl who wakes up at this party and discovered a massacre. Throughout this endeavor she proves brave and loyal. Sometimes throughout the book she makes some questionable decisions, but it ultimately just makes her more real. This is the first book that I’ve read in a long time where the main character does the right thing just because it’s right, not that it puts her ahead in any way, it’s just the right thing to do.

There is a love interest in this book, but it doesn’t seem forced or awkward in any way. Quite frankly it made me smile on more than one occasion, and honestly it made me want a crazy vampire all for myself.

“You are more dangerous than daybreak.” – Holly Black, The Coldest Girl in Coldtown

So… I’m in love with Holly Black. I don’t exactly remember when it happened, but it did. Yet, for some reason it took me ages to pick up this book. I can’t exactly explain why… but something just kept putting me off from it. I don’t know if it was the idea of it or just that I was kind of over vampire books for a while. I love vampires and I’m very picky about the type of books that I choose to indulge that love with and there is no secret that the YA section of any bookstore is absolutely flooded with books about vampires. Unfortunately, these books are usually garbage and just piss me off. This book though… this book is honestly one of my favourites that I’ve read lately.

 

★★★★★