★ ★ ★ ★ ☆
I remember the phase when The Coldest Girl in Coldtown was a regular occurrence on my dash, and so when I saw it on display in the library, I thought I’d give it a go (especially since I thoroughly enjoyed my first Holly Black novel last year!) The Coldest Girl in Coldtown was an enjoyable read too, although its predictability and cliche characters brought it short of The Darkest Part of the Forest.
As vampire novels go, The Coldest Girl in Coldtown offers something different from the stereotypical romanticisms and Twilight-esque storylines. With the geographical restrictions imposed by coldtowns and a contemporary setting that didn’t resolve around high school, Black presents a strong plotline that is a testament to her strong style of writing and vivid imagination. Once again, the plot fails to employ romance for the sake of it, or conjure an extremely irritating narrative voice.
However, there were several elements that didn’t quite live up to the high polished standards of other elements. Black managed to fall into the trap of vampire speak, along with many authors before her – I mean, if vampires have adapted with the times and are so good at blending in, why do they insist on using archaic language? – and employed several other “safe” vampire ideas that made it a little on the predictable side. And don’t get me started on quite what role the title plays!
I wouldn’t say The Coldest Girl in Coldtown isn’t worth reading, especially if you’re a vampire fanatic. Quite the contrary, actually, since I did race through it whenever I had time, but if you’re new to Black, it’s probably best to be aware that it’s not her strongest work, and she is a truly incredible voice of YA fantasy. A deserving read, but I wouldn’t say it was my favourite fantasy read of the year.
Recommended for fans of:
- The Replacement by Brenna Yovanoff
- Neverwhere by Neil Gaiman
- Zeroes by Scott Westerfeld