The Coldest Girl in Coldtown ~ Holly Black
"Welcome to Coldtown. Breakfast at dusk. Lunch at midnight. Dinner at dawn."
The Writing and Worldbuilding
This is my second foray into the writing of Holly Black and my first one didn't really impress me. Unfortunately, neither did this one, really. There's little that's unique or meaningful in her stories. She grazes the surface but can't seem to dip under. Between The Darkest Part of the Forest and this book, nothing is very different. Many of the characters are exactly the same (the MCs as a great example of this, though I found her to work better in this story than in the other one), and the endings both felt like set up for an non-existent and unnecessary sequel (because of how vague and unfulfilling they are). The writing itself is simplistic and unremarkable, relying too heavily on chapter epigraphs to provide meaning, and was often redundant when attempting worldbuilding, even if the concept was already adequately explained, and I felt like I was reading a lot of filler to make the book appear bigger even though nothing had actually happened.
Honestly the premise felt like True Blood for teens but less convoluted and less exciting. I'm trash for vampires so I did enjoy it, but it's not something I ever see myself reading again. Strangely, it felt like something Scott Westerfeld would have written, and he tends to be hit-and-miss a lot of the time, spewing the same meaningless, inoffensive teen novels that ultimately tend to hijack and burn their own virtues by the end.
But that's besides the point.
It was quick and fun and anticlimactic at the end, leaving no lasting impression, but it did keep me reading, and I liked some of the characters enough to care.
Tana: She's basically a better thought out version of Hazel from TDPoTF. She's headstrong and persistent. I liked her enough.
Aidan: He was funny and all and I really enjoyed his descent into madness but ultimately he was just a jerk and I don't really like people like him anyway, and found some of his actions at the end inexplicable because he lacked a clear character arc.
Gavriel: Definitely the highlight of the book. He's a little whacked in the head and has a lot of fun dialogue that I really enjoyed.
Midnight: She was the character that felt the most Westerfeldian. She would have fit right into the Uglies universe.
Pearl: Honestly I don't really see the point of her storyline.
Lucien: He's basically just a dollar store Lestat
Black has yet to impress me but I did enjoy the book enough to give it 4 stars. A lot of the scenes were quite visceral and I just have a soft spot for vampires, so it was okay. Likely won't reread but still fun.
We all wind up drawn to what we're afraid of, drawn to try to find a way to make ourselves safe from a thing by crawling inside of it, by loving it, by becoming it.
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