Customer Reviews for

The Coldest Girl in Coldtown

Average Rating 4.5
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Most Helpful Favorable Review

16 out of 17 people found this review helpful.

One thing I've noticed about vampires in many of today's books i

One thing I've noticed about vampires in many of today's books is that they've been romanticized to the point where they're not really all that scary any more. Think about the vampires you know the best - Edward from the Twilight series, the Brothers from the Black Dagg...
One thing I've noticed about vampires in many of today's books is that they've been romanticized to the point where they're not really all that scary any more. Think about the vampires you know the best - Edward from the Twilight series, the Brothers from the Black Dagger Brotherhood, Simon from The Mortal Instruments. These are the sexy, sweet vampires who don't kill humans and love their women fiercely.

Holly Black has reminded us in The Coldest Girl in Coldtown that vampires are inherently evil and bad and so scary. When I learned that this book was about vampires, I was prepared for the usual. What I got instead was something dark, bloody and freaky. It was awesome!

Tana wakes up the morning after a party and 48 of her friends are dead. She discovers her ex-boyfriend and a vampire chained in a room and saves them. The three of them set off for Coldtown, with Tana having every intention of returning home when her cargo is delivered. Things don't happen according to plan, though, and before she knows it, Tana finds herself fighting for her life as she knows it.

The Coldest Girl in Coldtown is unique in many ways. In it, our world knows about vampires and fears them. Vampirism is treated as a disease, and something that can be fought - like a cold. It's a different way of looking at it, for sure.

Let's talk characters. Tana was an awesome heroine. She had something truly awful happen to her as a child, and although that event certainly helped shape her, it hasn't defined her like we see so many times in characters that are in situations like this. She's brave and strong and smart. She's cautious when she needs to be, and she doesn't blindly trust anyone.

Gavriel was... wow. He was something else. A centuries-old vampire who is more than a little nuts-o, yet young-looking and hot (of course!) and so dynamic. He says the craziest things, and pairs them with moments of lucidity that make you think that perhaps there's a method to his madness. And, there's definitely more to him than what meets the eye - that was evident from the very first moment we see him.

The way that Black layered the chapters with one flashback followed by one present-day helped to slowly develop the characters and the world so that it wasn't so much info dump all at once. I did appreciate that a lot.

The other thing I appreciated is that, although there is a very nice slow burn romance, it wasn't thrust in with a crowbar. Many times, a romance is added just for people like me who need something like that in my stories. Not because the story calls for it. In this case, the romance is a little darker, but no less sweet. Gavriel is an a-typical hero and leading man, and I was okay with that. I still fell in love with him, just like Tana did.

At 419 pages, The Coldest Girl in Coldtown is a smidge long. It could've been tightened up some. Some of the flashback chapters felt unnecessary. In fact, I think the addition of Tana's sister Pearl was completely nonessential to the main story, and I don't think I would've felt like I was missing anything important if she had been omitted entirely.

Despite that, I really loved the dark and foreboding aspect of this story. The romance that I need was there, although it wasn't prominent. The heroes are exciting. The villains are confusing in a very good way (Are they all bad? Good? How bad are they?). If you like vampire stories even a little, you really should give this one a shot. I can't wait to see where Black takes this story next.

posted by Kristas_Dust_Jacket on September 11, 2013

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Most Helpful Critical Review

1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

A little disapointing

I read this book for fun and because it was reccommended. I read quite a bit and enjoy a variety of books. The angsty teen vampire thing has really been played out, however based on the reviews I thought this book would be a good read. It was not entirely awful, just ve...
I read this book for fun and because it was reccommended. I read quite a bit and enjoy a variety of books. The angsty teen vampire thing has really been played out, however based on the reviews I thought this book would be a good read. It was not entirely awful, just very forced feeling. The charcaters were all incredibky flat and dull, everything about them was so contrived and sterotypical I had to check to make sure this book wasn't written in 1982. It was as though the author had never heard a teenager speak before. The "love" story was forced from the very begining and felt fake. The good characters were 100% good and perfect and the evil characters were 100% evil. There was no actual conflict and the main battle never actually happened. This book reminded me of a poorly written twiglight fanfic.

posted by Anonymous on November 24, 2013

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 5, 2015

    A Fate Worse Than Twilight

    Usually I don't go off of reviews when choosing my next book to read. But, it had good ratings, and it was on sale, so I thought why not? This book reminded me EXACTLY why I don't go off reviews alone.

    THE PROS

    1) The book is very detailed throughout. I was clearly able to visualize all of the settings within the book.

    2) It was a standalone novel. With so many series these days, it was great to read a story that actually ends in one book.

    3) The end of the story was actually very interesting. Although predicable, the end does make you wonder what happens to Gavriel and Tana.

    THE CONS (there are many...)

    1) The characters are not likeable whatsoever. I didn't fall in love with ANYONE, which is a first for me, because there seems to always be someone I absolutely love. They are all so bland, and so... original. Nothing stood out about any of them, really, despite the author's efforts to have them do so.

    2) The author tries to hard to appeal to different audiences by bringing unneeded details into the book. For example, the details of Valentina being and Aiden being bisexual. These details were not necessary to the story AT ALL, so I'm not sure why they were even mentioned in the telling of the story. If you're going to mention these things, emphasize on how these characteristics make them special. Otherwise, you just look like you're making them so to attract fans.

    3) The plot development was SO SLOW I nearly couldn't stand it. Half way through the book, I was still bored to tears. Only in the last 75 pages does the story really pick up. The only reason I kept reading and didn't put it down was because it was a standalone book. Had this been part of a series, I would have been long gone from it. The flow was just awful as well. So slow, worthy of one thousand "Zzzzzzzzz"s.

    4) The surroundings/setting were often TOO DETAILED, which in my opinion, added to why the progress of the story was so slow and the flow so terrible. Furthermore, for as descriptive as the settings were, a lot of the characters were "under described", for lack of better words. I couldn't tell you what any of the characters looked liked aside from the generalization of all vampires having black hair and pale skin and Winter and Midnight having blue hair.

    5) Relationships between characters are faulty. People disappear from the story, then randomly show back up when the plot line starts to fall. The main character this happens to is Jameson. He's not a key character in any way, but someone he's one of the guys who saves the day. The entirety of events that occur from him being in the picture were such a far reach from the author it was unbelievable, literally. It's like she had no idea how to tie her ends together.

    6) There is a random, five sentence chapter in the middle of the book that has NOTHING to do whatsoever with the story. Starting with "Once Upon a Time...", this was so cliche and unnecessary to the plot line. A waste of a page, and caused nothing but confusion.

    7) The story says once people are in Coldtowns, they can't escape. If so, then why could some of the vampires come and go as they pleased? The hole in the plot line made me really angry.

    Overall, the entire story starts out grungy and ends a pathetic, bloody fairy tale corpse romance. In my opinion, this book is absolutely forgettable. I never thought I was say this in my life, but I would rather recommend Twilight five times over before recommending this.

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted January 28, 2014

    The vampire trend in YA books seems to be dying down, but I'm st

    The vampire trend in YA books seems to be dying down, but I'm still interested in reading books that have a creative twist on an old favourite. The synopsis for Holly Black's new release initially drew me in, particularly because of the Coldtowns introduced in the book.




    Unfortunately, I didn't quite get the creepy, intriguing book I desired and was left feeling a bit disappointed with the story.




    Reason to Read:




    1. Coldtown is a great setting:




    The Coldtowns are a main focus of the story, and easily the most fascinating aspect. There's so much mystery and eccentricity stemming from Coldtown; I couldn't help but want to know more about the place and I was eagerly awaiting the characters' arrival in Coldtown. I also thought that was a great approach to take in a story where vampires are real and the world is trying to learn how to handle that reality. 




    The beginning of the book had me hooked very quickly, but unfortunately that just didn't last. The pace slowed down considerably early on, and I found it dragged on for a while. Much of the story seemed to revolve around Tana's internal thoughts and feelings about the events taking place around her. As a result, she didn't seem grounded in the story at all. 




    On top of that, I couldn't connect with any of the characters in the slightest. I was indifferent towards them, at best. They never really grew on me, as much as I wanted to be invested in their lives. Their personalities weren't consistent, and the ending didn't feel like a natural result of characters' decisions but simply because the plot demanded it. 




    The Coldest Girl in Coldtown is well-written, but I found it difficult to be excited about the story or care about the characters. 




    Review copy received from HBG Canada for review; no other compensation was received. 

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 31, 2013

    I couldn't even finish this book because it was so boring. It m

    I couldn't even finish this book because it was so boring. It moved too slowly
    and the characters were completely unlikeable. I didn't care what happened to any of them. Not her typical work.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 30, 2014

    For the sci fi fantasy fanatics otherwise a mish mosh of sub genres for middle school video games

    If you like this kind of muddle you will like this book

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 14, 2013

    No text was provided for this review.

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