Wednesday, June 4, 2014

The Coldest Girl in Coldtown

Well I'm almost through with my stay in Europe. Crazy stuff. I told you guys I finally broke down and bought a book because it's finals week. I finished The Coldest Girl in Coldtown by Holly Black this afternoon and let it stew for a while before sitting down to write my review. I'm getting sick again, which sucks because I've got a hellishly long flight coming up. But anyways, that's a different post for another day. For now, here's what I thought of this book.

Retrieved from Goodreads
When Tana wakes up in a house filled with corpses, she thinks the worst has happened. That's until she finds her ex, Aidan who's been infected with vampirism tied up in a nearby room and a hungry vampire chained near him. She saves both of them and they set off for a  Coldtown, walled off cities where the infected and those seeking to be turned go. And once you're in a Coldtown, there's almost no chance of escape. To save the people with her, Tana is heading straight toward hell.

Short description for a book, yeah? Well that's because there's almost no plot to speak of. Tana frees her ex and the vampire in the most gripping couple chapters in the whole book, and then sets off on a long-winded journey to and through Coldtown in which the vampire Gavriel spouts off lines of weird poetry and broods, Aidan wants to eat Tana, and Tana is weirdly indifferent to all of it. Before I get into the minutiae of why this book left me going "meh," I will say the things I liked about it. The writing was good. There was a decent amount of detail, and I greatly appreciated the description of a set of characters who wore things other than jeans and tshirts.

Okay, on to the other stuff. 1) Tana. She frees a vampire and a boy who wants to drink her blood, and in fact tries to do so on multiple occasions. Dumb. Couldn't get behind it. Also, her voice and personality are not very strong. She is drowned in worldbuilding. 2) Secondary characters. Didn't care about any of them. Those that had potential were killed off quickly or never developed. Especially Pearl and Jameson. 3) Gavriel. Has no reason to love Tana except because she saved him. They spend a total of about 2 hours together in Coldtown. Didn't buy the love. 4) Overly complicated world with holes. I wanted to know why the feeds in San Francisco went dark, or one of the other Coldtowns fell apart. Never explained. Vampires are considered evil, but also celebrities? Couldn't quite wrap my head around the dichotomy. So many rules about how to turn into a vampire. Hard to keep it straight. 5) No climax. This was my biggest issue in the whole story. Normally in books there is a progression, a building of tension. No such luck here. With the lack of Tana freaking out, even when she gets infected, there's basically no tension. And then we get to the apex of the story and it just...trickles away. I didn't feel satisfied, or happy for the heroine. Just...meh.

I have heard similar things from other reviewers about this book, and they say her Curse Workers series is better. I have White Cat to read this summer and I sincerely hope it is better. She's got an eloquent way of writing.

Goodreads Rating: 3 stars

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