Early Review: The Coldest Girl in Coldtown by Holly Black
The Coldest Girl in Coldtown by Holly Black
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.
When Tana wakes up surrounded by corpses at a party she crashed at, she knows that her life has been forever changed. Narrowly escaping, only to be possibly infected by the vampiric virus, she and her ex-boyfriend and a mystery boy head to one of the Coldtown quarantine areas. But what they find there is nothing like the reality TV shows have glossed them over to be. Coldtown is a dark and scary place, where the things go bump in the night. She'll have to fight tooth and nail not only for her life, but for her mind as well for once you go cold, there's almost always no turning back.
This is going to sound rather ironic considering the title, but I had a very hard time connecting to Tana. She was just so closed off and well, cold, to the point where I had a hard time continuing to care about her plight. There was just a major disconnect between her and what was going on, like the emotion was just looming outside of the page, and unfortunately it just couldn't keep my interest because of this. I'm a very character driven person so this kind of disconnect really ruins a book for me. Sometimes I can overlook my lack of attachment to the main character if the secondary characters really shine, but unfortunately they just seems every bit as detached from the page as Tana did. The only character that seemed to have any real substance was Gavriel, but even his page time and emotions fell along the lines of telling instead of showing.
I was really interested in the world behind this book. The concept of vampire quarantine areas due to a massive wide spread of the disease was fascinating to me. Unfortunately, it did not make it much further past my initial interest even as the book went on. I felt like things started off with a bang and this world was incredible, yet horrible to imagine. But then everything seemed to stall, and there was a serious lack of momentum. Once they got to Coldtown, there was a very large amount of what I can only describe as a meandering plot. And that was only the present. There were also rather frequent inserts of either Tana's or Gavriel's past scenes thrown in there, which further slowed the pacing to a snail's place. Granted, I'm not the biggest fan of flashbacks, so these sections could potentially work better for other readers, just not me. I will say that the last chapter or so of the book does take off in a whirlwind, but a great opening and closing chapter does not really make up for a seriously lacking middle.
I've heard incredibly good things about Holly Black, so I had very high hopes for THE COLDEST GIRL IN COLDTOWN. Unfortunately those hopes fell completely flat. That being said, I won't write off her books yet, but instead check out the other books I've heard so many good things about. But getting back to the book at hand, I think it could appeal more to others as the world behind the story is intriguing, but in the end it just didn't work for me personally as a I need a little more meat to my characters.
(Received a copy from the publisher via Netgalley)