The Coldest Girl in Coldtown-Holly Black
They ran through the night together in a darkling fairy tale of blood and forests and snow, of girls with raven’s wing hair and rose-red lips and sharp teeth as white as milk.
He kissed her ferociously, savagely, their lips sliding together with bruising fervor. The pain in her tongue became a distant throbbing. Her fingers dug into the muscles of his back. their bodies pressed so close that he must have felt every hitch of her breath, every shuddering beat of her heart. And as scared of him as she had been, right then she was more frightened of herself.
Every night, in every Coldtown, people die. People are fragile. They die of mistakes, of overdoses, of sickness. But mostly they die of Death.
Death drinks down their warmth until their veins are dry. Death forgets restraint. The older vampires might grow dusty and careful, but those freshly made want to glut themselves and sometimes, foolishly, they give in to Death and do.
Plot: Tana wakes up from a rough night of partying to find herself in a bathtub, missing her shoes. She has no clue what happened last night or how many people noticed her black out wasted in the bathtub behind the curtain. Noticing the sunlight streaming through the window and absolute silence, she figures everyone must still be asleep. Stumbling from the bathroom she is met with slaughter. Torn throats, shredded skin, puddles of blood, and cold, lifeless bodies lay strewn across the house. Tana is terrified, bordering on hysteria, she knew these people, they were her classmates, her friends. Ever since the Coldtowns were established after the vampires have stepped out of the closet, attacks on houses had been rare. Someone must have left a window open and rogue vampires climbed in, hungry and savage. Knowing what she does about vampires, she is aware that they could be slumbering in the house, waiting for darkness, so she must be absolutely quiet, grab her stuff, and get out before the sun sets. Cautiously stepping into the shadowed room where she expects her coat to be, she is shocked to find her ex, Aiden, strapped to the bed in some sort of weird bondage, and a vampire, chained up against the wall. Baffled, Tana doesn’t know what to make of the situation but knows that she can’t leave Aiden for vampire food no matter how much of a jerk he was to her. As she goes to untie him, he launches, teeth out, jonesing for blood. He’s been bitten, he’s cold. Those who have been bitten by vampires suffer an infection in the blood that only kills them and makes them a vampire when they drink human blood. If they fight the cold for 88 days then the infection will pass and they’ll stay human. Most don’t make it that long. As the sun starts to slant in the sky, Tana is flooded with desperate anxiety, she needs to save Aiden but hears the vampires starting to rise. Enlisting the help of the vampire, Tana gets Aiden out the door and they embark on a journey of love, lust, loss, anger, betrayal, and revenge to Coldtown.
This is the Goodreads summary:
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.
- Dark, twisted, and acerbic humor that is fueled by macabre ingenuity.
- The descriptions are gory, meticulous, and written with such a poetic, candid touch that you’ll feel simultaneously removed from the carnage yet actively participate as each bloody detail is revealed. The shock, disbelief, and sheer heart-ponding terror will leave you feeling breathless as the wickedly gruesome slaughter, feedings, and fights reach their climax.
- The danger, excitement, and general feeling of recklessness that comes along with taking risks, taunting death, and playing into the hands of cold-blooded killers will have you turning pages, consumed by hunger to know more.
- Gavriel is a character in the vein of Anne Rice, with such a rich, complex, and vibrant history that is just exotic and corrupt enough to pull you in and have you begging for more. On top of that, he’s one of the most sexy vampires EVER. The kissing scene. Holy hell, the heat radiating off the page is enough to send even the more timid into overload mode. It’s tantalizing, dark, bloody, and just as wickedly sinister as you’d expect from a vampire-human make out. For this scene alone, I would have given this book at least 4 stars. Deeply impressed by the chemistry, the passion, and overall eroticism in a book that is not blatantly sexual. It sneaks up on you, surprising and raw.
- Holly Black never ceases to amaze me. Somehow she takes overdone folklore and fantasy, gives it so much depth and emotion that it seems like an entirely new story.
- When I started reading this, I was completely and utterly appalled and disgusted with Tana. I really strongly disliked her. Mainly, Tana seemed like a pushover, someone with so little respect for herself that she put up with an open relationship that was highly masochistic, and very unhealthy, and didn’t care enough about herself and what it was doing to her to get out. Tana just wasn’t a character I could get behind, she wasn’t strong, she was weak-minded, insecure, and just not conflicted enough within her situation. That being said, on first impression, Tana was so not a heroine, hell, she was closer to a secondary character. As more and more of her backstory is revealed, her personality starts to make sense but some of her actions don’t match up. It’s only until later in the plot, somewhere around 80% through at least when the lightbulb goes off. Tana’s actions, her bravery, her unswerving devotion to morality, her mortality, and making sacrifices for the greater good are some of the most developed, inspiring signs of character growth that I’ve seen. As the story moves forward, Tana slowly recognizes her own self-worth, she’s able to embrace her recklessness and use it to save herself from dire situations, solve seemingly impossible problems, and face off against some of the most maliciously evil villains in the book. Tana is a badass of epic proportions. She puts others first, and brutally fights for her life, using ingenuity, calculation, and sheer brilliance to cheat Death time and time again. If you’re like me, give Tana some time, get to know her, and maybe you’ll be surprised by what a fantastically courageous heroine she turns out to be.
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