Thursday, 19 September 2013
Review: The Coldest Girl in Coldtown by Holly Black
Format: Trade paperback
Released: September 3rd, 2013
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. It's an eternal party, shown on TV 24 hours a day - gorgeous, glamorous, deadly! Because, once you pass through Coldtown's gates, you can never leave...
I'm a huge fan of vampires and was really looking forward to reading The Coldest Girl in Coldtown. It was my first ever Holly Black book (I'm a bit late, I know) and I was expecting to love it, thanks to rave reviews and general author fangirling I've witnessed over the years. I'm sad to say I was disappointed with this book and found it a struggle to get through. It started off well, but after that it was just too slow and nothing much seemed to happen.
There are some parts of the book which I liked, including the idea of Coldtowns and a society where vampires are known to exist and are accepted for what they are, and are almost treated like famous celebrities. Holly Black's ideas were all well realised and more original than anything vampire-related I've read recently, and I also liked her style of writing. Her descriptions were brilliant, especially the more gruesome ones!
Another problem for me was that I didn't feel anything for any of the characters, not even Tana or Gavriel. Gavriel was probably my favourite because of his fascinating history, but I found him to be too flat. I didn't really care what happened to any of them, which is a shame as I think I should have. I did however like the glimpses into Tana's past and a look into what happened with her family. I could have read a lot more in the way of flashbacks, particularly those focusing on Tana and Gavriel. Their pasts were fascinating though they were both tinged with tragedy and sadness.
I really wanted to love this book. I did. I was excited to read a new book about vampires by such a respected YA author, but sadly this one just wasn't for me. I had to force myself to finish it and almost gave up several times, but I persevered to the end where it did actually pick up speed and get better. I know lots of readers will be big fans of this one and I hope it's a sign that vampire fiction isn't quite dead yet.