A few things about The Coldest Girl in Coldtown:
1. This is not MY ordinary “vampire” story. You guys, I’m not sure that I will ever tire of vampire books – and I’m okay with that! I pretty much love all types of vampire mythology. This book feels like fresh air to me when I consider that it is not only a standalone novel but it is also a bit dark and moody and a little bit bloody times. It’s like an honest-to-goodness vampire story where the creatures are a bit on the frightful side and I have to admit that I like that.
2. The beginning of the story is a little crazy. Immediately, I feel thrust into a world that is already chaotic. Main character Tana wakes up in a bathtub after being passed out at a party BUT she finds that the party has taken a horrific turn while she was unconscious. Nearly all of her party-going friends have been killed – slaughtered and drained – except for her ex-boyfriend Aidan and a red-eyed vampire that is unknown to her. Aidan has been bitten, which places him at risk for turning “cold” – so they need to not only GET OUT OF THERE FAST but they need to get him to a Coldtown ASAP.
3. I like the idea of the Coldtowns. My favorite vampire societies are those that openly mix humans and vampires – there always seems to be drama, dilemma, and something interesting going on. There are usually fringe humans wanting to be bitten and turned – they’re so odd to me, but it works out perfectly for the vampires when they need to feed. There are also usually a few within the group that are fighting for/rising up against something. In this society, both of these occur but in ways that had me chuckling a little even though the story was a little creepy.
4. Being bitten = becoming infected, not becoming a vampire. After the bite, comes the craving for blood. This is what we have come to expect from vampire novels! If the bitten can hold out and not give into the temptation to feed, he just may be able to fight the vampiric infection and return to normalcy. It takes 88 days to determine if the infection has been flushed out of the human body, but clinics no longer take on these patients due to an incident in the past in which a waking previously-sedated patient attacked a doctor. This is unfortunate! Sometimes the bitten victims can work through their craving for blood by taking drugs or drinking, but this does not always work. Sometimes, if you have some really great friends, they’ll tie you up and help you through the hunger by not letting you feed – but this is risky. If you DO feed, you just may become COLD aka a vampire forever.
4. Ah, yes, the romance. In the beginning, Tana rescues Aidan and resolves to help him NOT become a vampire. This is despite not being his girlfriend anymore and despite poor treatment from him in the past. I initially had a not-very-fantastic impression of Aidan, but I have to admit that he grew on me fairly early on and I ended up liking him quite a bit. That past romance, however, is not the love story of this book. The vampire rescued by Tana in the beginning of the story is Gavriel, and HE is the love interest in the book. It is an interesting romance, though, because it crept up on me and was very slowly-building. Gavriel is a fun and dangerous and beautiful-in-a-vampire-way character, so I liked when the romance began to build. There is never a place in the story where the romance is a super-huge deal, I think, though by the time the book is over, I found that I liked it a lot.
The Coldest Girl in Coldtown is really an odd story, but captivating in its own way. I have admit that the first time I read this (and listened to the audiobook at the same time), I felt like I was on hold throughout the entire book, just waiting for something to happen – like that feeling you get when you are watching a scary scene in a movie and you just KNOW something is about to happen and you’re waiting, waiting, waiting. There is a feeling of urgency, hurry-up, almost-there that I felt all the way through the story. I can’t say that I feel it detracted from the story because this IS an urgent story. Coupled with the urgency is the dark, atmospheric, almost gritty mood and I really think this is one heck of a vampire tale. I remember finishing this the first time and thinking that it was really cool, although I was surprised at how long it is.
On this second read/listen, I want to make sure that it is known that THIS STORY IS EVEN BETTER THE SECOND TIME. The urgency is still there – that feeling of something-is-about-to-happen, something-is-about-to-happen – even when I know the outcome of the story! STILL, STILL, STILL I believe it made it even better because I understand more fully WHY the urgency and WHAT comes next and I want all of my friends that love audiobooks and that love to re-read to PLEASE CONSIDER trying to grab a copy of this in audiobook format for a second listen. I can’t say with certainty that the book is improved with the audiobook, but I can doggone well say that it is made massively enjoyable with it.