Amber’s Goodreads Review of The Coldest Girl in Coldtown by Holly Black

The Coldest Girl in ColdtownThe Coldest Girl in Coldtown by Holly Black

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I really enjoyed the concept of Coldtown and Holly Black’s treatment of vampires in the short story of the same name that she published in The Poison Eaters previously, so when I heard she decided to expand the concept into a novel (with a shout-out in it to the story, I noticed ;)) I knew I had to pick it up. It took being invited by my friend to a signing in the little bookshop near our hometowns for me to grab it, but I’m glad I did and that I went to the reading, because Holly Black is so much fun in person.

But on to the book. For anyone who’s sick to death of the neo-vampire, the sparkly, “vegetarian,” tame blood sipper, this is a must-read. Black does a really good job of blending this alluring, sexy, dangerous-but-safe view of vampires into the original horror movie monsters, with gore and real life-threatening danger. The vamps manage to be fascinating and enticing one moment, repellent and horrifying the next.

Tana, our hero, doesn’t want to be a vampire… entirely. I found this pretty realistic. Unlike a lot of the other kids (many of whom find out it isn’t so great after all once they’ve turned), she isn’t looking to become one, but admits that part of her is intrigued by the idea. Even at the end she hasn’t quite made up her mind.

There is somewhat of a maybe-budding romance but it does not dominate at all, and Gavriel is not idealized to be this noble, restrained, “good” vampire; he’s a monster too, and a half-mad one at that. Still he’s pretty sympathetic as a character, and I think the flashback chapters help with that.

One thing I really liked was the quotes at the beginning of each chapter. They start out romanticizing death, and then the last one is pretty much saying, “death’s not that great, best to avoid it.” I thought it was funny but also matches the progression of the story nicely.

The concept of the walled city containment method and reality TV was really interesting, and I think Black did a good job of carrying it off. It’d be interesting to see what someone would do with a movie based on this.

View all my reviews

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~ by Amber on October 1, 2013.

One Response to “Amber’s Goodreads Review of The Coldest Girl in Coldtown by Holly Black”

  1. […] Amber’s Goodreads Review of The Coldest Girl in Coldtown by Holly Black (ambermarshall.wordpress.com) […]

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