Top positive review
on 3 December 2014
For quite a while now, I have seen many a book vlog, and many a review raving about Holly Black as an author, and how some of her books are by far the favourites of many a book reviewer. The main book from people’s reviews that drew me to her was that of The Coldest Girl in Coldtown, it has a complete mixture of reviews, and because I am a sucker for a vampire story (no pun intended) knew I had to give it a read and see for myself what it was all about. The blurb drew me in instantly; it brought a picture of almost a post apocalyptic world full of vampires, and this one girl’s story of survival within it.
I was worried at first that there would be no originality within the story, I mean, what more could be done with a vampire story, they have all been done before. However, I was pleasantly surprised at how different this story was, certainly no sparkly Cullen’s but more of the monstrous blood sucking vampires we have seen in the past. Throughout this book you are worried about the cold infection, and the transition into becoming a vampire. The entire journey follows the main protagonist Tana, her ex boyfriend Aiden who has been infected with the cold virus after a massacre at the party they all attended, and a mysterious boy/vampire named Gavriel. We follow Tana, a strong willed, and seemingly independent girl and her journey deciding on how to save her ex, her will to make him not turn and to outlast the cold virus the full 88 days that it ravages through the body. We learn of her past, and see snippets of her life pre the life changing horror at the party, learn of her past experiences of her mum and the cold virus and the devastation left in its wake. We see her unusual relationship with Aiden, and flashbacks to that of their time together, and on top of this we learn more about the horror of Gavriel and his past. Now I don’t really want to go into too much detail about each of their stories, as they all provide that little something extra, and that bit of horror and gore and what has happened, and even the shock factor. There is nothing better than reading it all first hand.
Holly Black creates this visionary world of horror and imagination. The detail within it really enables the world to build and develop within your own imagination. The detail used to create the Coldtown really provided the dark and almost fearful place, you worried for Tana when she simply walked down the street at night, the fear circulating the development of the vampires allowed you to worry about Tana, and you really just didn’t know what would happen. Holly had no holds barred as to who would be a victim and who would be a villain, the twist which happens around the middle of the book genuinely shocked me, and I couldn’t believe I had been fooled either. I felt with most authors as a reader you could see what was about to happen, and I honestly didn’t, I felt angry for Tana, and willed her survival even more.
I have to say I loved Tana's character, the moments where she had that awkward moment of wanting to laugh when in an awful situation surrounded by bodies, the hysteria of not knowing how to deal with the horror that has happened but to want to laugh, yet her dealing with the whole situation she found herself in was handled better than most, and I really felt she should have given herself more credit for how she dealt with it all, and then the strength she found amidst the fear and horror she found herself trapped within.
Then there was Gavriel, I wasn’t sure what to make of him, he was this mysterious boy tied up with chains that Tana found, and yet knowing what he was felt she had to save him. Very little is given away about Gavriel in the first few chapters, you are left with Tana's impressions and descriptions of him, and it is only when we learn more about his past and about the horrors endured that you really get to know him. I ended up really liking Gavriel, I loved the development between himself and Tana, and I loved the dangerous side to him, the crazy mixed in with the sane, you just didn’t know which way he would go. In the end Gavriel certainly becomes swoon worthy and my only upset was that we didn’t get to see enough of him with Tana, as I really enjoyed seeing the two of them together; I felt with Tana we were able to see a completely separate side to him again.
The ending to this book was ANOTHER major twist I did not see happening, it all seemed to be going on, but I loved it! I didn’t expect it, and I loved that I found out just as other people did and I had no clue as to what would happen.
I have to say when I started the book I did find it a little slow and I wasn’t sure how I would continue as i was struggling to be sucked in (even with the opening pages being filled with such horror), but then the next thing I knew I couldn’t put it down, and I have no idea where that started but it was still pretty early on in the book. So for the story to develop the further along you go into it, the more hooked you get. So for those who maybe want to start out the book and are finding it a bit slow in the first chapters, it does get better, it is simply scene setting and character building at first. But I can honestly say I really enjoyed this book and I do recommend it to those who love vampire stories, with gore, twists turns and who just love to lose themselves in such a well developed world as that which Holly Black has created.