Format: Paperback (library)
Published: 3rd Sep 2013
Score: 2 out of 5
Synopsis taken from Amazon:
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. It’s an eternal party, shown on TV 24 hours a day – gorgeous, glamorous, deadly! Because, once you pass through Coldtown’s gates, you can never leave…
A wholly original story of rage and revenge, love and loathing from bestselling author, Holly Black. Fans of TRUE BLOOD will love this dark and sexy tale.
After hearing so much praise for Holly Black and her writing I couldn’t wait to give this novel a go. I read Doll Bones last year and thought it was good, although being a middle grade I felt it lacked substance. On reading the synopsis of this YA vampire novel, I was sold. The blurb on the back says:
‘Coldtown was dangerous. Tana knew. A glamorous cage. A prison for the damned and anyone who wanted to party with them.’
Immediately I wanted to read it. I thought the novel was okay, it lacked lots of elements for me and I feel sad that it didn’t live up to my expectations because I was really looking forward to reading and enjoying it.
Firstly, the pacing. This book is very slow, the action doesn’t really take place until the last quarter. I desperately wanted this book to be good, I kept reading and reading waiting for the next page to wow me. Unfortunately, it didn’t. The novel is split into sections in which the author tells us more about the world, or provides insight into Tana’s childhood and how her mother died. When I got to the last few chapters I still felt like the story hadn’t moved on very much. I was confused as to what really happened in the story.
Secondly, the setting. Now, the world building and creation is great. The author spends a lot of time creating atmosphere and describing surroundings. I went into this novel looking forward to the glamorous, celebrity style, reality TV element. Again, this fell short. I just felt like I constantly wanted more. The premise was great, it just didn’t meet my expectations.
Lastly, and on a more positive note, Gavriel was the most exciting part of this novel. A dark, troublesome, handsome vampire. His back story was the most interesting, he was a well-built character who wasn’t just ‘boyfriend material’ – there is a lot more than meets the eye.
I know that a lot of readers absolutely love this novel and I have no doubt that many more will. I have realised that vampire books aren’t my favourite YA books to read, they don’t interest me. I’m gutted that I didn’t enjoy this as much as I had hoped. I appreciate Holly Black’s writing talents, this book just wasn’t a favourite for me.
Are there any other Holly Black books that you can recommend, that I might enjoy?