Tuesday, November 12, 2013


I managed to stumble onto the best Halloween book ever, only I managed to do it after Halloween, because I decided to read the new Bill Bryson book first (I'm a history nerd.)  Anyway, here's the description from Goodreads:

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.

Coldest is the best kind of book--a book that takes big leaps, makes big, daring choices, all while deftly convincing you that it is entirely real, entirely plausible.  Teenagers make life or death choices in the cold light of truck stops, people find ways to charge their iPhones in the middle of quarantine zone, and the world watches predators and prey mingle on YouTube.  

I'll be honest, I felt some reluctance picking Coldest up.  As a lifelong fan of vampires, I'm still in vampire-recovery from the vampire/werewolf glut of young adult and adult fiction in the middle of the last decade, and I had my doubts that even someone as talented as Holly Black could make vampires interesting for me again.  Well, she did.  She managed to capture the essential terrifying truths of vampires--their undeath, their all-consuming thirst--as well as the cool parts, like walking around in slinky red dresses and un-ironically using a cane.  There's some graphically bloody scenes and some frank talk of sexuality which would probably lead me to say that this might be a sixteen-and-over read (depending on the teen, of course, everybody is able to handle different things at different ages) but other than that, I would say this book is a must for fans of paranormal, fans of horror or even just fans of edgy fiction.  So celebrate Halloween late and pick up Holly Black's latest.  You won't regret it.


  1. Bethany, great pick! I've been looking at this book because I'm a huge Holly Black fan. Her Curse Workers series is amazing. I love your take on it. Thanks and Val hugs! xo

    *skips off to order this one too* :)

  2. DUDE! I loved this story. The truth is, I disliked the way that every other chapter left the main action to give you background or history, and I still devoured the book in 2 days. Were it not for all of the convenient stopping points, I would have read this in a single sitting.

    And, since you forgot to mention in your lovely rave, can I just shout loudly: OMG GAVRIEL! :) Hottest vampire since The Lost Boys.