- Release Dat : September 13th 2013
- Pages: 432
- Genre: Fantasy
- Publisher : Little Brown For Young Readers
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.
Coldtown follows the story of Tana, a teenage girl living in the not too distant future where Cold is the new black. Vampires are no longer in hiding and for the past ten years have been quarantined in Coldtowns. These seemingly extravagant, glamorous, and fantastic towns draw in young adults looking to become vampires; to be turned cold, to die, to live forever. But once you go into Coldtown there is no going back and not all is what it seems in Coldtown.
When Tana wakes up the morning after a party she finds everyone murdered by rogue vampires except herself, a crazy rambling vampire named Gavriel and her ex-boyfriend Aiden. Tana fears she may be going cold and finds herself on a journey to Coldtown.
I found the publication of this book. . . interesting. It seems the days of vampire YAs have come and gone. Which can only mean that whatever formula Black has come up for vampires must be a fresh one and it certainly is. Black blends the classics of vampirism with a few dystopian-ish /City Noir elements.
The first part of this book is more of a linear “journey” story the characters take to reach Coldtown. Every other chapter is cut with vignettes, anecdotal stories or blog posts that contribute to the main story. Along the way, we are introduced to few supporting characters but most of the major plot developments takes place at the halfway point
Suddenly sinister plots are revealed, plot twists happen and danger is around every corner. Coldtown becomes a dark gritty city full of promises and lies.
Then it just gets a bit confusing. There is suddenly so much going on and the fact that the main story is told only Tana’s POV limits the reader’s understanding of all the events. Tana felt more like the audience surrogate as the other plots started unfolding around her, she doesn’t really have any stakes (lol, get it ?) in the events.
As for the characters I liked Tana, she doesn’t seem overly insecure but she’s also not perfect. As you can imagine Gavriel, the rambling vampire, becomes somewhat of a love interest for Tana. He was certainly a character and I liked how Black wrote his ramblings. This was one of the times where I wanted there to be more romance between the characters. They have a few scenes together but I wanted a few more.
What stands out the most about this book is how modern it takes the idea of vampires. Black taps into our media-hungry culture showing how young people become fangirl/boys of the vampires. Instead of outright fearing vampires they become internet sensations, TV specials and the buzz of social media.
Like in the short story the use of social media plays a big part in this story. Sites like Tumblr (even gifs), Flicker, Livestreams and what could be Twitter get a shout out. The characters use these tools to talk to each other about Coldtown and prep those who want to get in. Although I will admit a part of me wonders if this will “date” the novel 10 years from now.
This novel is going to be a duology so I’m intrigued enough by the world of Coldtown to read the second book. I’m hoping for a little bit more plot-wise, but this is a great book to grab for vampire fans.
Overall the novel is a twist on the old vampire stories with a mix of a Dystopian with an Urban Fantasy vampire element thrown in. The novel is high on world-building, but what worked well in the short story just didn’t translate into a full-length novel.
*ARC received at Book Expo America