Book Review: The Coldest Girl In Coldtown by Holly Black


Title:  The Coldest Girl In Coldtown
Series: Standalone
By: Holly Black
Author Info: Website | TwitterGoodreads
Age Group:
Young Adult
Genre Type:
Vampires, Paranormal, Romance, Urban Fantasy
Publication Date: Sept 3rd 2013
Pages: 419 pages
Source: Bought
Publisher:  Little, Brown Books for Young Readers

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.

With The Coldest Girl In Coldtown, the author Holly Black brings to life the horror, drama, and sexy edge that fans of Classic Vampires love.

"The smell of spilled beer filled the air, along with something metallic and charnel."

Holly Black waste no time and opens the story with a dark, bloody, and terror filled scene that assures us these vampires are not sparkly and subdued, but bloodthirsty and untamed.


Unforgettable Bloodbath. I immediately knew that this story was going to be a return to some of my favorite elements in classic vampire literature, and was I was thrilled Holly Black brought back our traditional "Vampire" to us.

Tana wakes up the morning after a wild party to literally find blood splattered walls and dozens of bodies, friends she's know since childhood, strewn about like limp ragdolls, used and tossed away. The only other survivors beside Tana are her ex-boyfriend Aidan, who she finds bound to a bed and bitten, and a mysterious boy named Gavriel, gagged and in chains, only this is no ordinary boy, but a rogue vampire.

Coldtown: Deadly, Seductive, Decadent. I loved the world of Coldtown, it scared and thrilled me at the same time.

Together Tana, Aidan, and Gavriel escape and race against the clock to save themselves by entering a the deadly world of a Coldtown.  Hid behind towering walls, Holly creates an amazing world where Vampires exist alongside humans called Coldtowns. It's a seductive world, where social media glorifies vampirism, and Vampires are treated like celebrities. Their dark whims are only a "human" away. Those who enter the Coldtown's dark embrace, don't come back out.

What happens in Coldtown Stays in Coldtown. Once inside coldtown the action and pace slows down some as the the stage is set for a reveal of rival enemies, revenge, and an epic and bloody battle. Oh and some wicked romance too.


Tana is smart, kick-butt, and resourceful. She puts the needs of others before herself. At the beginning of the story, terrified, she still manages to save her ex-boyfriend Aidan, and help free a vampire in the midst of a bloodbath. Even when faced with the dangers in Coldtown, she remains resourceful, and surprisingly tough.

"She was torn between the impulse to run and the urge to curl up like a pill bug, close her eyes, tuck her head beneath her arms, and play the game of since-I-can't-see-monsters-monsters-can't-see-me.  Neither of those impulses were going to save her. She had to think." 
Tana, page 9

Aidan's character adds some comic relief as the ex-boyfriend, but at the time a seriousness as he is lured into the glamorous life of the vampires.

Gavriel is brutal, tortured, and seductive. Holly Black gives us a truly tortured Vampire, with a history filled with pain that let's you succumb to believing that maybe this tortured soul can be redeemed. Maybe...

 "Oh, my sweet Tana. Remember that I'm still a monster-" Gavriel, page 418


There is a Swoon-worthy romance in the story. It's one that compliments the story, and does not overpower the actual plot. It's dark, sinister, and seductive.

 Swoon Level: Crush

 The Swoon Quote: "Tana. In all my life, though there were many times I prayed for it, no one has ever saved me. No one but you." -Gavriel, page 303


What you need to know. I loved the setting of Coldtown and it's classic take on vampires that are dark, bloody and dangerous. The pace alternates between heart-racing fast, to slowly plodding with lots of  details. The story alternates between the current storyline, to flash backs of Tana's childhood and her early experience with Vampires, and Gavriels life before he became a Vampire and what led him to become a rogue vampire. Tana is a smart, kick-butt heroine. Gavriel a true Vampire, both dark, bloodthirsty, needing redemption. The romance is swoon-worthy. There's plenty of vampire battles, revenge, and a great ending that leaves the possibility open for the series to continue.

My Rating: 4.0 Stars. I really liked it! This would have been 5 stars book for me, except in some places the pacing was really slow, although I did appreciate the amazing world-building and the backstory of Tana and Gavriel.

Recommended highly to fans of Classic vampires and paranormal stories!