The Coldest Girl in Coldtown Audiobook Review

the coldest girl in coldtown audiobookBook: The Coldest Girl in Coldtown by Holly Black, Hachette Audio, September 3, 2013

Book Info: YA Paranormal, Audiobook received for review from Hachette Audio. Running time: 12 hrs, 6 mins. Read by: Christine Lakin. Also available in hardcover, 432 pages from Little, Brown.

Rating: 3.5 / 5 Stars

More Info: Goodreads | Audible | Amazon

Publisher’s Summary:

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.

The Coldest Girl in Coldtown is a wholly original story of rage and revenge, of guilt and horror, and of love and loathing from best-selling and acclaimed author Holly Black.

The Coldest Girl in Coldtown is my first Holly Black book, and even though I don’t read a lot of vampire books anymore, I always hope to find one that makes me fall in love with them again. I liked Anne Rice books back in the day, and I read Holly Black is a fan of the Vampire Chronicles too. Black has written a rich vampire story you can sink your teeth into, so to speak. It’s dark and scary and puts you on edge; set in a world that fears yet glamorizes the Cold Ones.

The book starts off with a bang as the main character Tana wakes up after a party and finds almost all the partygoers dead.  The two survivors are her ex-boyfriend Aiden, now infected by the vampire virus, and the chained, mysterious vampire Gavriel. The trio sets off to Coldtown, the safe place to go when you’re infected, even though you might not ever get out. Once you’re bitten, you can halt the virus if you don’t bite another human for 80 days, a challenge for these bloodthirsty “newborns”!

Tana has a personal family history with vampires, and teaming up with Gavriel and Aiden is a huge risk. I connected with Tana and found her to be an awesome heroine. She fights her own battles, taking on a vampire or two, and is a devoted friend. And I did ship her with Gavriel- loved their chemistry.

Gavriel is a live wire, and reminded me a little of The Morganville Vampires Myrnin. He’s of course beautiful and sexy, though a dangerous and vicious creature. We get to know his back-story through flashbacks, and why he is the way he is. There are some romantic moments in their way, but this isn’t that sort of vampire book.

I liked the colorful characters in this book, the humans and the vampires, though Tana and Gavriel were by far my favorites. Sometimes I got a little lost in the details of the story- there’s a lot going on to keep track of. I did like the language Black uses and though I listened to the audiobook, I wouldn’t have minded reading her words in print as well. I appreciate that she sets out to tell a darker vampire story with more gore and less romance. Some of my favorite details were the beginning of chapter quotes about death.

I listened to the audiobook, read by Christine Lakin. I had heard a sample of her narration before the book came out and knew I wanted to experience the audiobook. I believe this is Lakin’s first audiobook, and she really sells the story and takes you to Coldtown. I liked the tone of her voice for the book, and she sounds age and character appropriate. Pacing, voices, emotion all come together perfectly for Lakin as though she was an audiobook veteran. Another thing that’s cool about this audiobook is the use of scary music to set the mood- it made me jump at times! I highly recommend the audiobook for an even more chilling book experience.

The Coldest Girl in Coldtown is good and scary to kick off fall reading. Though I prefer realistic fiction to paranormal, this was a nice change of pace. I’m even more interested in diving into Black’s back catalog with the Curse Workers series.

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14 thoughts on “The Coldest Girl in Coldtown Audiobook Review

  1. BermudaOnion says:

    I’ve been excited about this book since BEA but, for some reason, I thought this was a vampire story that really isn’t a vampire story, if you know what I mean. Kind of like Feed, by Mira Grant, is a zombie story but that’s not what the book is really about. I still want to read this one but I’m a little less excited about it after reading your review.

    1. Lucy says:

      There is some social commentary, with the vampire groupies that go to Coldtown wanting to be turned. The writing is quite lovely too, and I’d get lost in the authors words. Interested to see what you think when you get a chance to check it out.

  2. Tammy Sparks says:

    I have a copy that I still need to get to. This is one of those books where the reviews seem to be all over the place, so I’m curious to see what I think of it! Thanks for the audio review!

    1. Lucy says:

      The reviews are mixed, aren’t they? And yes I’m definitely curious to see what a horror fan such as yourself makes of Coldest Girl!

  3. fishgirl182 says:

    Thanks for the review, Lucy. This is in my TBR pile. I may read it in Oct to be properly scared. I loved Anne Rice when I was younger, too. It was my first vampire book. Little did I know how much I would come to love them.

    1. Lucy says:

      Hope you check it out in October. I’m interested in your take on Coldest Girl. I loved horror as a teen and jumped right from Judy Blume into Stephen King and Anne Rice. It is a nice change of pace to read horror now.

  4. I want to try a Holly Black book out..maybe in October!

    1. Lucy says:

      Yes, a great choice for Halloween!

  5. bookgoonie says:

    I like that it takes a darker view of vampires and less campy. Do you think the audio made it harder to keep up with the details OR details be damned the audio creep factor worth the frustration?

    1. Lucy says:

      Hmmm that’s a tough question. I tend to think that the audio experience made the book better, details be damned 🙂 You’re kind of stuck with the audio though and can’t as easily skim as you can with a book.
      It is refreshing to read a dark vampire book these days!

  6. kay says:

    Ha, I am glad to read you quite enjoyed this one! I have read Holly Black only twice before; a book I didn’t really enjoy, and a vampire short story I loved. So ever since I have been wanting to try her again, and this one really intrigues me! I usually love vampire stories, and I love them scary, so it all sounds good to me!

  7. Annie says:

    I haven’t read any Holly Black yet, so I might make this my first as well! It sounds like the audiobook was really well read so I think that’s the route I’ll take. 🙂 Back in the day I also read a bit of Anne Rice, and while I loved her books I think I was too young for them really (13/14) as I’m pretty sure they used to give me nightmares! lol. I heard a while ago that she has a new werewolf series out so I might give that a try. And while I’m thinking about it, I’ll probably add Queen of the Damned to my wishlist in iTunes!

  8. Quinn says:

    I’m so glad you enjoyed the audiobook. I think I’m going to read Coldtown via audiobook. I just read White Cat b y Black via audiobook and really enjoyed it. It’s narrated by Jesse Eisenberg.

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