Reading Level: Young Adult
Size: 432 pages
Publisher: Little, Brown Books for Young Readers
Release Date: September 3, 2013
Stand Alone or Series: Stand Alone?
Source: eGalley for review from NetGalley.com
Rating: 4/5 stars
I got a copy of this book to review through NetGalley(dot)com. I have really enjoyed Holly Black’s Spiderwick Chronicles and Modern Faerie Tale series so I was looking forward to her next young adult series. This was a very good young adult book that’s part dystopia/part vampire story.
In a world where vampirism is a highly contagious virus, vampires are put in Coldtowns to protect the rest of humanity from them. This book follows a girl named Tana who wakes up at a party and finds all of her friends slaughtered. She finds her boyfriend infected (going Cold) and doesn’t know if she herself is infected or not. She also finds a somewhat crazed and strangely kind vampire chained up in the room with her boyfriend. This all leads Tana to take a desperate trip to the closest Coldtown and their she finds that Coldtowns aren’t anything like publicity would lead normal humans to believe.
You can’t help but compare this book a bit to Julie Kagawa’s Blood of Eden series. Humanity is a lot better off in this book, this book portrays a world that looks like it is on the way to becoming a world like the one portrayed in the Blood of Eden series. Vampires are not the good guys in this book, they are fairly vicious. Although some of them try to fit in with human society.
The situation in the Coldtowns definitely has a dystopian vibe to it. Everyone on the outside thinks that life in Coldtown is all parties and glitter, but once Tana gets in there she finds out it’s not like that at all.
The description throughout this book is fantastic, the scenes really come alive in all their gothic dreadfulness. There is some seriously wonderful description here and that made this a darkly lyrical read.
Tana is easy to engage with as a character; she is a good girl and tries to do what’s right but is constantly fighting with a daring and darkness that she finds alluring. She is a bit of a wild child, but strangely pragmatic as well.
Gavriel is the strangely insane, yet kind, vampire that tries to befriend Tana. He was a wonderful character full of vampiric creepiness as well as a strange humanity. He has some seriously interesting secrets and I really enjoyed reading about him.
The world is a bleak one without much hope and Tana is forced to find a way to survive in it. There are some very violent and gory scenes in here as well; as I said it is similar in tone to Kagawa’s Blood of Eden series…just a little less bleak.
They plot was a bit predictable. I pretty much figured out Gavriel’s secret right when we meet him. That being said there are still a couple good twists and turns. The book was very engaging and hard to put down.
Overall I enjoyed the story, it was a good one. The story is nicely wrapped up, although there could be another book after this one because there are some loose ends. The world is an interesting one, the description throughout is spectacular, and the characters are engaging. I would recommend to those who enjoy dystopian vampire type stories. I would especially recommend to those who have enjoyed Kagawa’s Blood of Eden series since the subject matter and tone are similar.