Coldtown was dangerous, Tana knew. A glamorous cage, a prison for the damned and anyone who wanted to party with them.
So imagine you wake up from a party to find you are seemingly the only one alive in the house – all your friends are dead, drained of blood by vampires. This is how this book begins – with Tana freaking out over the discovery, finally finding her ex-boyfriend Aiden still alive but infected, along with a mysterious stranger. They manage to escape, just barely, and Tana is horrified to discover she has been bitten as well. In the world they exist in, vampires are outed (so to speak), and they aren’t the good guys. If a human is infected, they turn “cold” and will turn vampire if they drink human blood However, if they can resist for 88 days, they are safe. Many of the vampires live in Coldtown, a quarantine area set up to try and keep the infestation to a minimum, and this is where our trio decides to head.
The stranger turns out to be a vampire named Gavriel, who is rather appealing despite the fact he has glowing red eyes. He and Tana seem to have a connection, and it’s quite clear that the two of them are the couple of the book. Once they get to Coldtown, she and Aiden realize it’s not the glamorous place shown on TV, and they will need to use all their wits to survive.
There’s several flashbacks in the book, detailing the relationship of Tana and Aiden, along with her own home life. I found things bogged down a bit here and there in these flashbacks, and I skipped bits to return to the action. However, I really liked the backstory on Gavriel, and could quite happily have read an entire book about him and his nemesis, Lucien.
Tana is a strong, resilient heroine and I was happy to see she didn’t back down from anything. Ms Black portrays the darkness of the vampire life extremely well, unlike some writers (ahem, sparkles anyone?) – while it can be appealing, the ugliness hides underneath. We get plenty of blood and gore and death from Ms Black, along with some surprises. My quibble is that I felt the ending was a bit of a let down, I would have liked more closure and to know how Tana turns out. It begs for a sequel.