cover image The Coldest Girl in Coldtown

The Coldest Girl in Coldtown

Holly Black. Little, Brown, $19 (432p) ISBN 978-0-316-21310-3

In Black’s exquisitely imagined contribution to vampire lore, the creatures have shaken off centuries of clandestine existence and gone public, turning thousands into bloodsuckers like themselves. In an attempt to control their spread, the U.S. government has restricted vampires to ghettolike Coldtowns, where a glamorous, high-octane culture has developed, broadcasting its debauched parties to the world and creating a subculture of humans who fetishize eternal life and long to be turned themselves. Seventeen-year-old Tana wakes up after a wild night of partying to discover that almost everyone in attendance has been killed by vampires, “dried blood crusted on their clothing like rust... dotting their skin like freckles.” Wandering through the carnage, she finds her infected ex-boyfriend, Aiden, and a mysterious, half-mad vampire named Gavriel chained in a bedroom. Escaping the massacre, Tana drives them to the nearest Coldtown, knowing that if she enters, a quick death might be the best outcome. Replete with grisly violence, an intriguingly complex take on the mechanics of vampirism, and well-developed and memorable characters, this superior, dread-soaked tale will satisfy vampire addicts of all ages. Ages 15–up. Agent: Barry Goldblatt, Barry Goldblatt Literary Agency. (Sept.)