Monday, October 7, 2013

The Coldest Girl in Coldtown

Tana woke up from a party confused and in a bathtub. She didn't remember much from the night before except the drinking and her ex being a jerk. Instead of finding her sleeping friends, she find them slaughtered because of a vampire attack except for her ex-boyfriend, who has been infected, and a chained up vampire. Tana lives in a world where most vampires are walled up in Coldtowns across the nation, but some still roam free, feasting on humans. The only way to save the two boys is to take them to the nearest Coldtown, but once anyone enters, no one can leave. Tana may also be infected, so she'll stay there a while to save her family in case she is, but will she ever be able to return home?

I haven't read anything about vampires for a while because I was burnt out. There are a lot of good series, but the market is extremely oversaturated. My return to the genre could not have been better. Holly Black wrote a vampire book that explores what it is to be human and more than just a vapid romance. The vampires here are beautiful, but dangerous creatures. Their beauty and their reality shows about their glamorous lifestyle keeps the public romanticizing them and has plenty of young people trying to enter Coldtowns to either become vampires or allow themselves to be used by them. However, the atrocities committed by creatures is in the news everyday: attacks, mass murders, and disappearances. Disappearances are normal, although still traumatic, and have become just another part of living with vampires. Their loved ones may never know what happened to them. In short, this novel portrays a realistic view of how vampires would be both feared and worshipped in this dystopian world.

I love the characters, even the ones I hate. Tana is awesome and her own person. She avoids being all the tropes and feels completely real. She feels guilt over surviving when all her friends died and for her mother's death without being emo and annoying. Her pain isn't for attention or some badge of honor. What motivates her is doing what she feels is right and protecting those she loves. Her compassion leads her to make some foolish decisions, but ultimately proves to be worth while. I also like that she has no interest in becoming a vampire and sees beyond the facade of glamour and riches that vampires typically exude. Gavriel is a compelling character with a mysterious past. This vampire is kind of crazy and has a roundabout way of saying things that sound insane at first, but make sense when you think about it for a while. He is still quite dangerous and definitely has his own agenda, but he's oddly endearing. All of the characters, even ones that could have been small throwaways, are fleshed out and vividly written.

The Coldest Girl in Coldtown is one of my favorite vampire reads. The story is amazing and ignores the tired tropes of the genre. Although there is a slight bit of romance, it in no way overpowers the story. I had to find out what happened and found myself staying up way too late and forgetting to do things to read more. Holly Black writes the best books in each genre she writes in and I will read anything she writes.

My rating: 5/5 fishmuffins

1 comment:

Sullivan McPig said...

I'm so in love with this book! I'll be meeting Holly Black at World Fantasy Con on November 1st and I'm afraid I'll go total fanpiggy on her.