Title: The Coldest Girl in Coldtown
Classification: Young Adult
Format: Hardcover; 432 pages
Publisher: Little, Brown Books for Young Readers (September 3, 2013)
Author's Website: http://www.blackholly.com/
Notes: I received an ARC at BEA. Contains underage drinking, violence and gore.
ELEVEN YEARS AGO, vampires were thought to be the stuff of Legends.
TEN YEARS AGO, the legend was proved to be true as a single vampire, Caspar Morales, decided to seduce and bite his way across America in the style of the old fashioned Hollywood vampire movies infecting hundreds as he went.
SEVEN YEARS AGO, Tana's Mom was infected, and Tana got a first hand look at what the infection did to a person. An event which has haunted Tana for years.
TODAY, Tana woke up, after passing out at a party, to find all her friends and classmates who had attended, some whom she'd know since kindergarten, dead from a violent vampire attack. As she made her way around the house, she found only one other survivor, her ex-boyfriend, Aidan. He was tied to a bed and infected with a full fledged vampire tied to the bed next to him. Deciding she would not let another of her friends die, because vampires were in effect dead, she decides to get them out. With perhaps a misguided sense of righteousness, she also decides to save the vampire who had warned her they were not alone. While trying to escape, however, she'll find herself bitten too and the trio will seek out shelter in one of the nation's many Coldtowns.
When a person is infected they are said to have gone Cold. Their temperature drops, their senses heighten and there craving for human blood begins. The only proven way to prevent an infected person from becoming a full blown vampire is to keep them from drinking human blood for a total of eighty eight days. That's how long it takes for the virus which causes vapirism to be flushed out of a person's system. In the aftermath of spread of vapirism, the government established a number of Coldtowns across the country. These were towns where large outbreaks had occurred and the military had quarantined them off, effectively trapping within its walls a combination of vampires, the infected and those who were unluckily enough to find themselves in the wrong place at the wrong time.
NOW, the countdown begins. Can they survive eighty eight days without giving in to their hunger? Can they survive in a town full of vampires--a group known to usually feed and then kill its prey? If they can survive without being turned, can they find their way out? For nothing in this world is ever truly guaranteed, not even your freedom from a Coldtown.
Gavriel is the intriguing and mysterious vampire that Tana finds bound with Aidan at the beginning of the book. He seems the opposite of Aidan in many ways, and I rather liked him. We learn as the trio make their way into the Coldtown that he's come to Coldtown for a specific purpose, to kill someone. Who, we don't know.
Overall, I gave this one a 3 out of 5 roses. I liked the world Ms. Black created. The book had a nice pace, and there was a lot going on to keep a person's attention. It contained plenty of betrayal and a twist or two to keep things interesting. Plus, the cliffhanger as to whether or not Tana will turn or not was enjoyable. I suspect Ms. Black will throw in another twist as to how that will turn out in the next book. She strikes me as having the type of imagination that likes to mix things up to keep things interesting. While I didn't instantly bond with the characters, I was starting to warm to them by the end. I'm interested enough to know what Ms. Black will do in the next book to keep me reading.