reviewed by Kristy Kemper Hodge, Corvallis-Benton County Public LIBRARY
Recently, I listened to the audiobook of Holly Black’s The Coldest Girl in Coldtown, read by Christine Lakin, and I highly recommend giving it a listen. This is vampires as you have never experienced them before! Black creates a semi-post apocalyptic world, a world where vampirism spreads like a disease and infected cities are quarantined behind guarded walls and called Coldtowns. At the center of this story is Tana, a strong 17-year-old girl, older sister, and general bad-ass who rises to the ever-escalating occasion as the story progresses.
Tana wakes in a farmhouse at the end of an all-night party as the lone uninfected survivor of a vampire massacre. She rescues her infected, charismatic ex-boyfriend and a chained up vampire, who then join her on a madcap adventure to a famous Coldtown. On their journey they encounter many dangers along the way, including violent vampires hunting them down, crazed vampire wannabes, and themselves as they deal with their own vampirism and infection. Well-timed flashbacks fill in Tana’s horrific back story as well as the impact of her nationally-broadcasted story on her family. Once they arrive in Coldtown, there are increasingly terrifying dangers to be faced and Tana is constantly pushed further and further down a road to brutality just to survive.
With twists and turns you won’t expect – and some that you will see coming due to Black’s subtle foreshadowing – this compelling story will have you ensnared. It’s got just the right blend of action, suspense, gore, horror, romance, and humor as only Holly Black can deliver. Hopefully, you, like me, will find yourself thinking about the characters and their mad world whenever you’re not reading or listening to this excellent new teen vampire novel. The characters are incredibly engaging and endlessly fascinating. This is especially so because of Christine Lakin’s skillful voice acting; she has distinct, identifiable voices for each of the characters that help them come alive in the listener’s mind.
If you like fast-paced, enthralling stories with a sci-fi-fantasy twist and appreciate a great voice actor, then give this audiobook a listen. I dare you to turn it off midway or not spend your non-listening time thinking about the characters who you will doubtlessly get attached to.