Wednesday, 15 January 2014
The Coldest Girl in Coldtown by Holly Black
Author: Holly Black
Released: September 3rd 2013
Pages: 419 (Paperback)
Buy: Amazon UK / Amazon US
Add on Goodreads
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.
Before I even began this read, I was torn - despite the interesting premise, vampire novels and I do not get along, and haven't since every one has become just another version of Twilight. But like I said, The Coldest Girl in Coldtown had a synopsis that caught my attention, and after picking the book up, putting it back down and picking it back up again, I finally got around to reading it. And now? I'm not sure what to say.
The book opens on a chilling scene of a human bloodbath, setting the tone for a perfect vampire novel. I have to say that this was probably one of the best openings to a paranormal novel I have ever read - the language was rich and evocative, creating a creepy atmosphere that sent chills up my spine. However, I'm afraid to say that this was the only time a scene in this novel truly wowed me - not saying that the rest of it wasn't well-written because it was, but it just didn't have the same affect over me.
The main protagonist Tana was...unbelievable, to say the least. The idea is that she is a small-town girl thrust into an impossibly scary situation and has to battle against all odds to save herself and her friend. Yet as soon as she finds her ex-boyfriend tied up to a bedpost and bitten, she becomes some fearless, badass heroine who manages to escape from a horde of ancient vampires and avoid constant vampire attacks and jump from a wall to a chandelier and out of a freaking window. Does anyone else see the impossibility of this? She flirts with death countless times, yet somehow comes out unscathed in an environment known for its cruelty. She isn't even a vampire yet, so what's with all this immortality?
Although I didn't warm to Tana, I definitely loved Gavriel. Goddamn...I think I have a mild fetish for sexy-ass vampires who are mildly insane. Although I say that the opening chapters were my favourite, I think that's a lie - the make out session between Tana and Gavriel? I seriously couldn't cope. Note to all YA authors: Now THAT is how to write a steamy make out sesh! Black has won all the awards, you can now go home.
The characterisation of all the vampires was fantastic. They were egotistical, temperamental maniacs, yet there was something about them that lured you in. More-so than a lot of YA vampire novels, these vamps reminded me of the classics; powerful, dangerous, and seductive. However, the good characterisation of secondary characters still didn't make up for Tana or the lack of plot, which I think was this book's ultimate downfall. Overall, I enjoyed it to a certain degree, but I'm not over-enthused about it.