From School Library Journal
Gr 9 Up–A dystopian thriller with a chilling twist. Tana, 17, passes out at a party and wakes up in a house filled with corpses. Her friends lie in crusted pools of blood as she searches through piles of belongings for her keys and boots. Her first thought is that someone must have left a window open. In Tana's world, vampire attacks happen. At the tender age of six, she witnessed her mother's transformation from a loving parent to a creature so desperate for blood it would lure and attack its own daughter. It is because of things like this that Coldtowns, quarantined cities where the infected go to live and die, exist. Along with Tana, the only other survivors of the party are Gavriel, a handsome and mysterious vampire, and Aidan, her newly infected ex. She decides to take them directly to Coldtown, but if crossing the barricades means staying there indefinitely, Tana's not sure she's ready to leave life as she knows it behind. Twilight fans will enjoy the drama, but its fan base need not be limited to those who read paranormal romance. Teens with a yen for dark, futuristic novels, and maybe even a few Anne Rice readers, will find this a refreshing take on vampire lit. As always, Black's writing is quick paced and thought-provoking. A must-have for any teen collection.–Jennifer Furuyama, Pendleton Public Library, ORα(c) Copyright 2013. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.
*Starred Review* What happens in Coldtown stays in Coldtown, because once anyone enters this Vegas-like prison for vampires and their infected human pets, there’s little chance of leaving it. After a fairly ordinary high-school party, Tana awakens to discover that she is surrounded by the corpses of her friends and classmates, who have all been drained of blood. While trying to leave, she finds her ex-boyfriend, Aidan, tied up but still alive, his eyes intense with the infection that will fully “turn” him if he receives the human blood he craves. Tana is saved from Aidan’s bite by a mysterious, red-eyed boy, Gavriel, who also materializes in the party’s gruesome aftermath. With hungry vampires scraping at the door, she escapes with both guys in tow to find a way to save them all: by somehow making it in—and out—of Coldtown. In this novel, inspired by her short story of the same name, Black returns with another dark, fast-paced thriller starring a sharp-witted, brave girl who does all the right things when faced with monsters. With rapid-fire dialogue, lavish details, and a wildly imagined world, this will enthrall Black’s fans from start to finish and leave them hoping for another bone-chilling, vicarious tour of Coldtown.HIGH-DEMAND BACKSTORY: Vampires plus reality TV plus romance plus Holly Black (plus a multiplatform marketing campaign) equals a potential mega-bestseller that fans are already waiting for. Grades 9-12. --Candice Mack