Review: The Coldest Girl in Coldtown by Holly Black

September 4, 2013 5 stars, Book Review 21 ★★★★★

The Coldest Girl in Coldtown

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.


The Coldest Girl in Coldtown stands out in a sea of other Vampires, outbreaks, and post-apocalyptic style books that we’ve all seen done many times. Holly Black gives us a look at how society might very well react to an outbreak of vampirism in the Unites States.

Quarantine them, hunt them, kill them…celebritize them? Yes, I dare say I could see all of these possibilities.

Tana and the unusual motley crew she finds herself mixed up with were a great cast of characters. My favorite being Gavriel…because he was mad and delicious in every way. When I felt I couldn’t possibly like him more…he would say something to tickle my insides with glee.

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“I promise I will repay you.”
“Oh yeah?” she asked, looking at him, with his bare feet and plain, dark clothes. “With what?”
The smile stayed on his lips. “Jewels, lies, slips of paper, dried flowers, memories of things long past, useless quotations, idle hands, beads, buttons, and mischief.” – pg 71
However, I do wish there were MORE of Gavriel because I couldn’t get enough. I felt if there had been more scenes with him the tension between he and Tana would have been much more palpable.
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“I haven’t had a very good day.”

“We’ll get you another day,” Gavriel said, with such odd sincerity that she had to smile.” – pg 64
There were a few times I wanted to smack her for being a bit naive, but perhaps we are all a bit silly like that in our young age. Hard lessons learned.

If you are looking for the humanized, now traditional vampire but with a few new twists to the story, The Coldest Girl in Coldtown is definitely a book you want to check out. Especially if you are a lover of vampire fiction. Holly Black has yet to disappoint me.

The Coldest Girl in Coldtown

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• A copy was provided by the publisher for an honest review. Quotes are from an unpublished edition of this title and are subject to change. All opinions expressed are my own. Please note that this post also contains affiliate links. To view our full Blog Policy, click here.

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Tabitha (Pabkins)

When I'm in the zone I can flip book pages faster than the eye can see - screaming "More Input!" I'm a book, yarn, & art supply hoarding goblin who loves to draw, make toys and craft all sorts of creepy cute things. My current habit is to listen to audio books while I'm arting it up!
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21 Responses to “Review: The Coldest Girl in Coldtown by Holly Black”

    • Tabitha the Pabkins

      Well I don’t think the vampire mythos itself has a unique twist…it’s very much the now traditional vampire. M.L. Brennan has a unique twist on the vampire. What Holly did here instead gave us the different ways in which society would react to the vampire, that is what I found as well done. I will have to check out the negative reviews, I love hearing about the vastly differing opinions when I’m on the opposite end of the spectrum.

    • Tabitha the Pabkins

      I think of these vampires as normal. There wasn’t anything vastly unique about her vampire mythos but it was a cool take on society’s reaction to an outbreak of vampirism. Yes, Tana definitely grows with the book. She didn’t annoy me at all. There were a few ‘what the hell girl, not a smart move’ moments but never was I like “She annoys me I hope she dies”. I really liked Tana so I hope you end up liking it!

    • Tabitha the Pabkins

      I agree with you about the first Curse Workers book. I also enjoyed it but didn’t love it. Now this one I really liked. I also liked her fairie books and devoured those in like 3 days. So I guess its just about whether or not the book description speaks to you.

    • Tabitha the Pabkins

      I always try to ignore the hype…though its hard to. I hear it is having mixed reviews but I haven’t looked at any other reviews yet. I hope you LOVE it!

  1. Jaime Lester

    I don’t think that Holly Black has it in her to disappoint. At least, not me. She has blown me away with every story she has written and I am a forever fan. The Coldest is one of the books I have salivating over the most since the moment I saw that cover. And Tabitha, your review gives me hope that this is another Holly Black book that will end up in my fave’s list!

    • Tabitha the Pabkins

      I have seriously enjoyed everything I have read of hers as well! Though I’ve only read the fey trilogy she has and White Cat and this one I think. I bought a few others that I need to read. I know this is another one you will love, I certainly did!

      You are so sweet to me! Haha. Read read read it! I’ll have to go peek what you’re reading now.

  2. Steph Johnson

    I have yet to read Holly Black and this sounds like a good book to start with 🙂