The coldest girl in Coldtown by Holly Black

cover image Indigo, 2013 (re-issued 2018). ISBN 9781780621296
(Age: Senior secondary - Adult) Recommended. Themes: Horror. Paranormal. Vampires. Dystopian. On cover it states: "Dark, decadent and seductive. Not suitable for younger readers." Tana wakes up after a party to find herself surrounded with corpses. The only people left alive are her vampire infected ex-boyfriend and a mysterious boy. Terrified, Tana attempts to save the three of them and sets out for Coldtown, a walled city where monsters and humans live together. Partying is the norm and live feeds show what happens 24 hours a day. The only problem for Tana is that once you go through the gates of Coldtown there is no return.
In this dark and wholly original vampire book, best-selling author Holly Black has come up with a unique story about vampires and humans that is very chilling and quite riveting. Her heroine Tana is forthright and courageous who does all sorts of crazy impossible things to save her friends and ultimately herself. Gavriel is suitably mysterious and other characters are all fully realised in this tale of love, hatred, revenge and fear. As a side issue Black examines the power that the media has over young people and the lengths that some people will go to be popular on their blogs and feeds. The notion of fan girls who are all too ready to swoon over the Cold Ones, especially the vampire celebrities, is a bleak one, but Tana is determined to stay human if she can, no matter what the cost is to her.
In this strange, often blood thirsty and violent road trip, Black manages a memorable look at vampires and the power of the media. In her acknowledgments, Holly Black writes 'This book is a love letter to all the vampire books I read over and over growing up.' She then gives a list which would be useful for readers who wanted a different type of vampire book with more depth to read.
Pat Pledger