The Coldest Girl in Coldtown
Coldest Girl in Coldtown
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Holly Black
ISBN 9780316213103
Little, Brown, 2013.
4 ½ stars
Keywords: coldest-girl-coldtown fame friendship holly-black loyalty vampires

The Coldest Girl in Coldtown
by Holly Black

Holly Black here combines the psychological tensions of her Curse Workers series and the urban goth flair of her Modern Faerie Tales in an unusual take on the vampire genre.

Vampires are on the rise, and governments have set up walled towns within towns to contain the undead. Springfield, Mass., boasts the biggest and best known "Coldtown." Its live broadcasts, videos and blogs make it a social media feeding frenzy--literally. Lucien Moreau, who has brought vampires out of the shadows and into the spotlight of his nightly broadcasts, dresses like Tom Wolfe in cream-colored suits, the better to show off the blood of his victims. The story begins when Tana awakens, hung over after a party, and discovers a bloodbath wreaked by vampires, which haven't been seen in her town in more than five years. Her complex past (her mother was infected by a vampire) left her with a healthy respect for vampires' monstrous appetites, as well as compassion for the infected. When she discovers her ex-boyfriend infected and shackled downstairs, and a vampire named Gavriel aids in their escape, she rescues Gavriel, too.

Black taps into both an adolescent sense of invincibility as well as the ageless wish to be desirable forever with her portrayal of healthy teens eager to gain access to the Coldtowns. For all the blood, the dance of predator and prey comes across as more sensual than violent, which serves to amplify Black's implicit question of whether seduction and corruption are one and the same.

This review first appeared in Shelf Awareness for Readers.
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