This book had me worried. I thought: "Another book about vampires, here goes the 'cheese'!..."
I could not have been more wrong! There is nothing cliche about Holly's Black take on vampires.It is so cleverly written and so different than everything else out there. I was happily and gladly surprised!
If you are looking for a romance book (twilight style), look away. There is a little romance here, but not much, just little snippets here and there. Enough to keep you wondering.
The book is described as a "wholly original story of rage and revenge, of guilt and horror, and of love and loathing" (goodreads). The description could not be more accurate!
The main character, Tana, lives in a world very much like ours. Except of-course, there are vampires. Unlike other books with vampires on it however, vampires are neither hidden or taking over the world. The vampires are contained in Coldtowns, modern cities that got infected by vampires and were therefore guarded and blocked from the rest of the world. You can go in, but you are not allowed to get out. The world in which the book is set is very well written and very well described. And because it uses modern towns and locations it is somewhat very vivid in your mind while you read it. You feel a part of the book. Any author that manages to that deserves great praise.
Tana herself has a terrible past of vampire infection in her family and knows the threat of being sent to a coldtown well.
When we first encounter Tana she is like any other teen going to parties, struggling with an ex, etc. But she wakes up after a party very hangover to find everyone at the party dead. Well, almost everyone. And here is where the story gets interesting!
This is a rather dark yet mesmerizing story! Holly Black doesn't shy away from gory scenes but somehow manages to make them sound beautiful at the same time as it is terrifying, She has got an amazing talent for story telling! I honest can't believe I've never read anything of hers before. As soon as I am done with this review I will be adding some of her work to my TBR list.
Tana is through out the book a determined, strong and brave character. But not unafraid. And there is great beauty to that, she becomes a very relatable character fast.
Her rather odd connection to vampire Graviel is very well portrayed. It is not romantic until almost the end of the book, it is thrilling and frightening and exciting all at once. He is one scary powerful vamp!
I really love the way Holly Black portrays Gavriel. He is not a monster and he is not a goody vampire either. He is a badass vamp that has and is still causing bloodshed. Here is"I would kill everyone in the world....or not, obviously..."
a little snipped (with spoilers cut out):
The twists and turns in the story are not many but enough to keep you on your toes. Enough to have you not wanting to put the book down. I read this whole book (it is not a small book) in 3 sittings. Why sleep when you can read right? haha