Tana, the heroine of Holly Black’s summer hit The Coldest Girl in Coldtown, is one of the most believable characters I have read in a very long time. She is brave without knowing, she is afraid but still acts, she is pensive and considerate and aware. She accepts her faults and mistakes, then forges ahead after considering the lesson from her mistakes.
While I typically give little consideration to vampire books, or the Teen Supernatural genre, I picked this one up from the library after author and vlogger John Green tweeted about picking up a copy.
Tana lives in a world where vampirism is as real as any other disease or contagious sickness, and the governments response is to cordon off specific cities as quarantine zones for the vampires. This world is rich and deep, it hold enormous potential for a dearth of stories. The story we get is of Tana, a mostly average high school girl who wakes up in a classmates farmhouse after a party, and finds her ex-boyfriend chained to a bed next to a vampire.
Their escape leads them through a wide series of adventures. While this story never had me on edge, it intrigued me with a myriad of perspectives, ideas and small background stories. As the story progressed, I felt closer to the characters.
While parts of the text are classic and cliché vampire lore, the characters are so much more three-dimensional than any vampire text I have spent time flipping through. The story starts on a personal level, then slowly moves to a national scale and pulls back to reveal the mythology the plot is structured on in a very clear and seemingly intentional manner.