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. The only problem is, once you pass through Coldtown’s gates, you can never leave.
One morning, after a perfectly ordinary party, Tana wakes up surrounded by corpses. The only other survivors of this massacre are her exasperatingly endearing ex-boyfriend, infected and on the edge, and a mysterious boy burdened with a terrible secret. Shaken and determined, Tana enters a race against the clock to save the three of them the only way she knows how: by going straight to the wicked, opulent heart of Coldtown itself.
Genre: Young Adult Urban Fantasy
A slow burn atmospheric read. It definitely felt like a modern love letter to old school vampire novels. Tana explores what is human and monstrous in this speculative world. Even though the romance is not the main focus of the book, I loved the chemistry between Tana and Gavriel. I also loved that they were both human and monstruous in their own ways.
Sometimes, the flashbacks were interspersed in between the plot progressive scenes which noticeably slowed my reading pace down. (This only mildly frustrated me when the plot started building up momentum towards the end.) Though this isn’t a bad note because a slower pace drew me in to consider Tana’s and Gavriel’s distinct past experiences. A slower pace also allowed me to stay longer with the characters in this eerie modern gothic world instead of rushing towards the end. I liked savouring the feeling of being inside this strange but familiar world.
And Tana finally understood that the wildness of the Eternal ball was the wildness of grief, the intoxicating dance of carnival, where one leaves oneself at home and becomes something else for a night, hoping the old skin will still fit when one comes back for it in the morning.
*The live-feed aspect to the vampire/coldtown phenomena was also very realistic. The story incorporates the current technology to document things in life. Teen bloggers, youtube and the supernatural are an inevitable collision in this world. I also liked the gender fluid approach to sexuality in the story. I enjoy urban fantasy because of that sense of realism.*