Wednesday, 4 September 2013

The Coldest Girl in Coldtown

When Tana wakes up in a bathtub, she’s more concerned about what embarrassing things she did at the party last night. What she finds downstairs is only the start of her problems. She’s not unfamiliar with the horror of going cold. Her mother was bit when she was only a little girl; the craving for blood became too much and now Tana blames herself for her death. Because vampires are in town and being bitten is not as glamorous as it seems in the movies…

Holly Black’s vision of a world with vampires in the public eye is full of interesting elements. The spread of vampirism was a mistake and it’s treated as a disease with quarantines in special Coldtowns. Going cold is treated in a way similar to junkies and withdrawals; it’s not in any way glamorised, despite the TV shows broadcast from the Coldtowns which draw in groupies whose lives will be forever changed. Those going cold are almost zombie like.

Each chapter has a wonderful quote on the subject of death. I thought they were well chosen and added something to the book. In places, the video blogging culture reminded me a little of Mira Grant’s Feed. I always appreciate modern life creeping into fantasy books in this way. Of course people would be blogging about vampires if they existed and chasing them across the country in the quest for content.

I did feel too much time was spent on Aidan and Tana’s relationship at the start. He seemed like a vehicle to get her to a Coldtown rather than an integral character and I would have preferred more time given over to the rest of the back story; the culture around the vampires, how they came to be public and Gavriel’s past were all fascinating. I loved Gavriel; there’s something appealing about a deranged vamp when so many are depicted as sophisticated or charming. Although I suppose you can be deranged and sophisticated!

So it’s a bit slow to start but the second half had me gripped right up to the end. Tana’s choices are brave and the ending was perfect for me. It’s not often I think that (and I don’t know if this is a standalone or a series). I would like to read more but I am satisfied where it ended up.

The Coldest Girl in Coldtown is published by Indigo, the young adult imprint of Orion, and is available now in paperback and ebook editions. Thanks go to the publisher for providing a copy for review.

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Disclosure: I received a copy of this book free of charge for review purposes only. Receipt of a book does not guarantee a review or endorsement. My reviews are my honest opinion and are not biased for the purpose of personal gain.

10 comments:

  1. Yes! I read this one in one day over the weekend and completely adored it! I also really, really liked Gavriel as a character (had an exact picture of him in my head while I read, too). He added such a twisted element and I found I almost felt guilty about liking him so much.

    I have Black's previous book, DOLL BONES, in my TBR right now as well.

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  2. I like the sound of the world building in this, the Coldtowns. I'll have to pick up a copy.

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  3. I loved this one--I read it as my airplane read a couple of months ago and it was PERFECT for a day of travel. We hosted the author for the US book launch at my bookstore last night and it was so much fun!

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  4. Hmmm. I've seen this one all over the blogosphere, I saw a copy in Waterstones this week... but it's taken YOUR REVIEW to slap it firmly onto the ol' wishlist ready for my next buying spree. Congratulations! *showers Ellie with confetti and offers her a delicious biscuit*

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  5. I've seen a wide variety of reviews on this book --- where on one hand, I have to give it props for going back to scary vampire lure, I do hear that the characterization is pretty poor. If I can't get down with the MC's, then what's the point? I am reeeeeally intrigued the premise though so it's still on the TBR list.

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    1. Maybe they were put off by Aidan? There are quite a few significant characters for a YA book (which are always a bit short) so they don't get a lot of page space to evolve (except Aidan got too much and didn't). So I don't think it was overall poor charactization just not in depth.

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    2. Ah, that sounds like it could be it. I must say, I'm excited about the idea so I think I'll be giving this one a chance. Thanks for your thoughts, Ellie!

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  6. I'm not really fond of vampire stories since the Twilight-hype, but this one sounds rather different than the rest, so maybe I should give it a chance

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    1. The majority of books with vampires in are nothing like Twilight. It's one of my pet hates when they are constantly compared.

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  7. Ahh this book is currently at the top of my wishlist!! I've sort of gone off paranormal books now but this one still managed to catch my eye and I'm dying to read it. There aren't thaat many books where vampirism is public knowledge so this should be good :)) Great review!

    Laura @ What's Hot?

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