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Wow. That pretty much cover it. I mean this book had layers upon layers and such hidden depth. Each twist took me by surprise and made me hungry for more. Loaded with dynamic characters who you will love and hate at the same time!
Tana is the lead character in the book and usually the POV the narrative comes from. She is by no means perfect and has some serious flaws, but she manages to be endearing, just can't help rooting for her to succeed.
We encounter many characters throughout the story, all have two sides and many have hidden agendas. The story fits together like an intricate puzzle, there are many flashbacks that help the reader understand back stories. Motivations can get murky until all is revealed. It was great having these flashbacks narrated from the POV of the supporting characters, it helped add insights.
The Vampire angle in this book felt fresh and unique. It was almost like Vamps meets Zombie outbreak. Especially when it comes to the Cold Towns and the way infected people are quarantined. The world building was solid and had me wishing this would be a series instead of a solo read.
I listened to the audiobook narrated by Christine Lakin, who has a unique style. She has a very dry tone that lent itself to the read. More matter-of-fact than monotone, steady and swiftly paced. I really enjoyed the slightly jaded energy that her read gives the characters. Here voices were distinct and consistent throughout. I am not sure I would have liked her style in a more energetic read, but she really works here in Coldtown.
Overall, I liked the premise and the fascinating characters, really well paced and entertaining from beginning to end. Some might find the book rather dark for the YA audience it is intended for, personally the teens I know would love it. The characters are young but face greater challenges and have to make difficult decisions. I like that the book wanted to focus more on the bigger story than the hint of romance. Too many YA books feel they have to be a romance, there is a much better story there than a kiss or two.
I have read other books by Ms. Black, but they were for a younger audience and do not really compare. This was fabulous and I would love to see a sequel!