Screw the Cullens and all the other infamous vampires, Holly Black’s vampires are perfect, they’re neither kind and caring “vegetarians” nor cold-hearted predators without a scrap of humanity left inside of them. Holly’s vampires border on the tightrope walk of both, they’re monsters in their own ways, some without a single ounce of remorse for all of the lives they’ve stolen while others can feel so remorseful they’re driven to suicide, but all of them are possessed with the hunger for human blood that can drive them insane and make them do terrible things.
This story really had me on edge, from the very first page I was drawn in, Tana, our seventeen year old, female protagonist wakes up from a party to find out that everyone there had been slaughtered by vampires while she had been passed out drunk in the bathtub. On her way to escaping she finds a chained up vampire with her ex-boyfriend Aidan who’s been tied and gagged to a bed, but also bitten.
Being bitten by a vampire, or more specifically being infected by vampire blood, will cause someone to go Cold, the transitionary state between human and vampire, where only drinking human blood will seal the deal and drive the nails in your coffin. However, if the person doesn’t want to be a vampire they can try to quarantine themselves and sweat out the vampire toxins, but the problem is that very few people make it to the eighty-eighth day when they can say they’ve been cured.
Knowing all of this beforehand Tana decides to try and save Aidan anyway, and the vampire boy named Gavriel. With a few slick maneuvers Tana manages to avoid the vampires that killed all of her friends and help Aidan and Gavriel get to Coldtown, a place where vampires and infected humans are placed to live to stop the infectious disease of vampirism from running rampant. Along the way there them meet a few people, run into a few scrapes, and when they do get to Coldtown everything is not as it seems, friends become enemies and monsters became lovers. Coldtown is the place where people have to face their inner demons everyday.
I loved this story, the plot twists were genius, and even though I wish the story would have ended a bit better, I found the whole thing awesome. I loved Gavriel’s madness, I liked everything about him more than I did Tana herself, even though I liked how she upgraded herself from sad teenager looking for help anywhere she could find it to a complete badass who takes the bull by the horns.
I rate the book 4.5/5, a very high praise considering how much I didn’t like the ending. I hope there’s going to be a sequel, there could be, but there definitely doesn’t have to be, everything got wrapped in pretty red bows and there were no loose ends hanging around. Anyway this is definitely a book I’d recommend for people to read, it’s a good thriller and Holly Black is an excellent writer.