The Coldest Girl in Coldtown by Holly Black

The Details

Publisher: Little, Brown Books for Young Readers
Published: September 3rd, 2013
Genres: YA, Paranormal, fantasy
My Rating: 4.5 Stars



Goodreads Blurb

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.

The Coldest Girl in Coldtown is a wholly original story of rage and revenge, of guilt and horror, and of love and loathing from bestselling and acclaimed author Holly Black.

My Review

I read this book because I loved the Folk of the Air series by Holly Black and I’d heard that most of her catalog was quite amazing. As I’ve said before I have a hard time getting into fantasy books. I prefer “realistic fiction” any day of the week, and I’m always skeptical of YA vampire novels. I was the prime demographic for paranormal romance when it started hitting the scene in the early to mid-2000s. This book however, is different.

Holly Black is, honestly, a genius of world-building. I’ve only read a few of her books, but the world in this book and the Folk of the air was incredible. Coldtown is brilliantly designed. We are given a whole background of vampire lore and how the epidemic of vampirism spread across the world.

To be fair, this book was a little weird to read right now because of *gestures widely* but if you can read things about involving the spread of diseases in this time of pandemic, it’s not a big part of the book, it’s a fundamental part of the book, but it doesn’t take up a lot of pages.

This book does a very cool thing where it jumps around in time to give backstory and it works really well in this book. Those chapters tended to be shorter so even though you were pulled out the action for a moment, the motivations of the characters spelled out better with these little bits of backstory sprinkled in. It’s incredibly done.

I am not a vampire person, I’m not into those kinds of books probably because of oversaturation and YA books creating softer vampires. However, this book created a likable monster, like vampires should be. Black created an interesting origin story and created a palpable fear of these kinds of monsters. Even the few “good guy” vampires are bad people. There is no sugar coating or apologizing for vampirism, the are monsters even if they are friendly to the protagonist.

I found the character arcs of Midnight and Winter especially interesting. I’m afraid to talk too much about it because of spoilers but how their stories play out is tragic but feels so relatable.

I know this is an older one, but if there are people like me who are a little weary of paranormal books but loved The Cruel Prince I think you’ll enjoy this one. It may be a bit weird because of the pandemic and how vampirism is spread like a virus, but I would add this one to the TBR pile for when things get better.

In conclusion, check this one out.

Until next time Internet,


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