I think a lot of us are wary when we come into contact with a YA vampire novel. But, for some reason, I was absolutely drawn to this book the moment I saw it come into my bookstore (it’s probably the cover, seriously, it’s beautiful). Holly Black brings us a full-length novel, inspired by the short story. The story follows a young girl named Tana who wakes up from a house party in the bathtub unharmed, but realizes that the other party patrons have been murdered by vampires. She discovers only two other survivors–her ex-boyfriend and a chained-up vampire and she decided to rescue them and deliver them to Coldtown.
I found this story addicting, though it took me quite a few pages to be totally glued to it. It starts slow but when it picks up, it picks up quickly. Also, there are several characters and I feel that some of them aren’t totally fleshed out; I did find myself confusing some characters with others. Every chapter, the story switches from the past to the present; sometimes the it’s Tana’s past and sometimes it’s Gavriel’s (the vampire’s) past. I think that this is done very well and while sometimes I find this kind of writing style unnecessary, I didn’t feel that way reading this.
I am surprised that this story is a stand-alone as of right now; Holly Black has stated that she has no immediate plans to continue this story. I have to disagree that this story felt finished to me. Did it end on a cliffhanger? Not necessarily but it definitely didn’t end with a conclusion.
Holly Black’s vampires are a happy medium between Stephanie Meyer’s and Anne Rice’s. All in all, a good story with good characters.