Coldest Girl in Coldtown Paperback
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"Devoted" by Dean Koontz
For the first time in paperback, from Dean Koontz, the master of suspense, comes an epic thriller about a terrifying killer and the singular compassion it will take to defeat him. | Learn more
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From School Library Journal
Top reviews from the United States
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First of all, I love vampires. And this book was vampires done just the way I like them: sexy, but unpredictable and dangerous. They might keep their fangs off you, they might give you a pleasurable bite, or they might rip your throat out; it just depends on the vampire and the moment. And even though there was a romanticism to the vampires, the author also showed the gritty, horrible, reality of them, of what they can do, of the things that happen because of vampirism (like people getting killed even if it's an accident), of what it's like to live with them in the Coldtowns.
And speaking of the Coldtowns (the places where the vampires lived), the world-building for those, or for the one that Tana was in at least, was so interesting and well done. The reality shows based there for the humans to watch, the bartering and businesses that existed within the Coldtown, the humans with shunts on their arms who were desperate to become vampires themselves, the impoverished way of living for many people in the Coldtown, the humans who never wanted to be in the Coldtown but got trapped there when it was set up, the markers for getting out and what people will do to get them, the neverending parties... So much thought put into it all. And I mean, just the idea of the Coldtowns in the first place was something unique I'd never seen before.
Another great thing about the book was the complex, flawed characters. Tana sometimes played with fire or made bad decisions but I liked her because she always kept fighting, trying to escape, not giving up, and she tried her best to do what was right. But she also knew when to stop taking shit and put herself first, even if it meant possibly hurting someone. And Aidan did a lot of messed up things to Tana, but he was still charming and sincere and sometimes sweet, and I loved his character because he was so well-written and interesting and truly flawed. I found myself falling for his charm even though I knew I shouldn't, so I could totally see how Tana fell for him. Gavriel was interesting and flawed as well, just in different, more dramatic ways because of his past and vampirism and insanity.
The book also touched upon something I think about sometimes. I read a lot of vampire books, and I wonder, what would a vampire who's been alive for a long time actually be like? Would they be like an old person? Would they act the age they look? Would they be monsters? Would they still just seem human? Would it just depend on the vampire? But that quote about Gavriel is such an interesting way of looking at it.
The writing was also pretty in this eerie, strange kind of way. And there were some brilliant quotes, like the one I shared above. I'm not sure how I feel about the flashbacks and some of the POVs that might not have been necessary, but those are pretty minor issues.
So overall, this was a kind of eerie feeling book with great writing, sexy but dangerous vampires, amazing world-building, and complex characters that I'm very glad I gave it a read!
Rating: 4 Stars
Original Review @ Metaphors and Moonlight (link in profile)
Your MC is a girl named Tana. She awakens in a bathtub of an old farmhouse to find herself in the middle of a massacre. Everyone at the party from the night before is now dead except Aiden (Her Ex-Boyfriend) and the Vampire chained up in the corner. She is soon faced with the possibility of being infected along with Aiden already being infected and makes the choice to go to Coldtown.
Coldtowns are cities that built walls around themselves to help keep the vampire population in and hopefully stop the spread of the infection. Most humans end up going to coldtown because they have glamourized vampirism so much they want to turn into one. So facing the Aiden and Herself being infected, tana heads to coldtown in her car with Aiden and Gabriel ( the Chained up Vampire)
I keep gushing over this book, but it was so good. I honestly compare it a bit to savage song by V.E. Schwab as far as the built-up cities and Humans against monsters (Vampires). I was thoroughly impressed with this books and is definitely one of my favorites this year. Overall it was such an amazing book with great writing and a fabulous world. The character building was astounding, especially with the growth after getting to Coldtown.
Holly Black has an impeccable way she weaves a story and she drew me in once again. From the beginning at the farmhouse to ending at the city, every twist and turn will keep you hooked.
As I first began reading I thought Tana was crazy, but really she's a girl with a big brave heart. Somehow she survived a horrific night at the farmhouse. Her survival takes her on a journey you will enjoy reading. I don't want to give away too much of the story, but Tana, her ex-boyfriend and an insane vampire go on a journey you won't soon forget.
I only gave it 4 stars, because the ending left me hanging and I don't believe there's a sequel. Dern you Holly Black!
Top reviews from other countries
Which is not to say The Coldest Girl in Coldtown is without romance. It even has an HFN ending. But the romance is not central to the plot, and there's no clichéd love triangle or idolisation of unhealthy behaviours. If anything, one purpose of the story is to expose the seductive glamour of vampires as an abusive fiction.
Tana, our heroine, is seventeen, an accidental sole survivor of a massacre. She's not a Chosen One and has no special powers, but she shares a trait common to many heroes: a stubborn determination to do what is right, even in the face of mortal terror.
Immortal terror too, of course. The story is set in a world where vampire infection is rife, and where whole cities have been walled around. These are the Coldtowns of the title - although the first part of the title, The Coldest Girl in ... is misleading and probably just for effect. (How many titles start with The Girl ...?) The lives of the dead and undead within these enclaves are glamourised Reality-TV-style and broadcast to the world, luring in a steady stream of wannabe vampires with their fresh, warm, human blood.
If the basic plot is a wild, roller-coaster ride (I read the second half in one sitting), the book's unifying theme is death, where life is warm and death is cold. Vampiric infection is perceived as a creeping cold. The vampires themselves are not the evil of demonic possession, but rather once-humans cursed with - and corrupted by - abnormal lust and power.
There are also some nice historical touches, with scenes in Paris, Vienna and Russia. In many ways, this is a very traditional vampire tale, but with a modern approach, a thriller with elements of both horror and romance.
The book was of two halves. Part western-road trip, part urban gothic-horror. The road trip feels a little too drawn out and I think more needed to be made of the second half. Some of the characters and events felt a little rushed or forced in to that second part of the story and I would have liked to have had more.
But that is the key thing here - I was invested in it, especially after the road trip, and it made for compelling reading even if it was ultimately a little unsatisfactory. Would recommend if you’re a fan of the genre.
Holly Black begins her story with Tana waking up after a sundown party, finding herself the only survivor of a brutal vampire attack. We aren't encouraged to sympathise with vampires or find them mysterious and attractive, and Tana's own past fills in some of the gaps in our vampire-knowledge without creating boring exposition-dumps. She rescues her ex and the vampire who is chained up next to him, and they make for the nearest Coldtown.
Coldtown's are like leper colonies for vampires. One big strength of Black's book is that the condition of vampirism is treated like an epidemic that must be militarily contained, and this conflicts with the way that some vampires view themselves - as Masters of the Universe and even bizarre reality TV stars.
I really enjoyed it. The plot isn't overly predictable and the characters' decisions are realistic. It's a good new twist on a tired theme, and there are no shadows of a trilogy emerging so it's a great stand-alone read.
This book had been on my radar for quite some time prior to this review. Having not read anything by Holly Black before I thought it was time to give her a go. Believe me, it certainly won’t be the last time I read a book of hers. Although this had its flaws, I was able to look past them and enjoy the book for what it is.
Admittedly I'm always sceptic to read paranormal fiction as it has become annoyingly tiresome since twilight. I mean, what vampire sparkles in the sun and is a vegetarian? I'm sorry Edward but you just aren't cutting it for me. I want malicious, natural born hunters. I want vampires who kill with no remorse and take everything they can get. I’m not looking for a love story. I’m looking for straight up badassery! You’ll be glad to know that this book has it all, everything that I mentioned above and more is included is this brilliantly crafted novel.
The Coldest Girl in Coldtown was a refreshing read as it is the polar opposite of Twilight. Right from the offset I knew that I was going to enjoy this book, the premise was exciting and Holly Blacks writing was incredible. I didn’t think that I’d get so caught up in this world that Black has created but I crave more of it. No, I don’t crave it…I need it.
I don’t want to spoil you too much; instead I urge y’all to give this book a chance because if you’re anything like me then you’ll love it. This is an unforgettable book that I know I will enjoy rereading over and over again. I can’t help but think that paranormal fiction is finally redeeming itself; with authors such as Holly Black, Julie Kagawa and Jennifer L Armentrout around I have hope for the genre.