Shelf Control #203: The Coldest Girl in Coldtown by Holly Black

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Welcome to Shelf Control — an original feature created and hosted by Bookshelf Fantasies.

Shelf Control is a weekly celebration of the unread books on our shelves. Pick a book you own but haven’t read, write a post about it (suggestions: include what it’s about, why you want to read it, and when you got it), and link up! For more info on what Shelf Control is all about, check out my introductory post, here.

Want to join in? Shelf Control posts go up every Wednesday. See the guidelines at the bottom of the post, and jump on board!


Title: The Coldest Girl in Coldtown
Author: Holly Black
Published: 2013
Length: 419 pages

What it’s about (synopsis via Goodreads):

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.

The Coldest Girl in Coldtown is a wholly original story of rage and revenge, of guilt and horror, and of love and loathing from bestselling and acclaimed author Holly Black.

How and when I got it:

I picked up a copy at a library sale a few years back.

Why I want to read it:

I’m on a Holly Black kick! I just finished the amazing Folk of the Air trilogy, and I want more! And while this isn’t a faerie book, it still sounds pretty awesome to me. I understand it’s a vampire story… which is okay by me. And I like the fact that this is a stand-alone, because I have more than enough ongoing series that I’m trying to keep up with.

What do you think? Would you read this book? 

Please share your thoughts!


Want to participate in Shelf Control? Here’s how:

  • Write a blog post about a book that you own that you haven’t read yet.
  • Add your link in the comments!
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  • Check out other posts, and…

Have fun!

Flashback Friday: Vamped

Flashback Friday is my own little weekly tradition, in which I pick a book from my reading past to highlight — and you’re invited to join in!

Here are the Flashback Friday book selection guidelines:

  1. Has to be something you’ve read yourself
  2. Has to still be available, preferably still in print
  3. Must have been originally published 5 or more years ago

Other than that, the sky’s the limit! Join me, please, and let us all know: what are the books you’ve read that you always rave about? What books from your past do you wish EVERYONE would read? Pick something from five years ago, or go all the way back to the Canterbury Tales if you want. It’s Flashback Friday time!

My pick for this week’s Flashback Friday:


Vamped by David Sosnowski

(published 2004)

From Goodreads:

Martin Kowalski is an eighty-year-old man stuck in a twenty-year-old body. He works the graveyard shift. He has a poster of Bela Lugosi on his wall and a box of uneaten Count Chocula in his pantry. He drinks stem-cell-derived blood from cleverly packaged and marketed juice boxes. He is, in short, a vampire. But since his wildly successful scheme to turn as many mortals as possible into vampires — “vamp” them rather than kill them — resulted in a new immortal majority, Marty finds little of interest to fill his countless days.

From the deeply imaginative mind of David Sosnowski — who gave us the critically acclaimed junkie-angel classic Rapture — bursts this neo-vampire novel studded with pint-size vampires known as “screamers” (children who were vamped and are none too happy about it); priest vampires who helped convert their flock into lifetime members of the Church; stripper vampires who lap-danced their way into customers’ veins; and one very small, very outspoken human girl.

When Marty decides to end his endless life of soul-crushing ennui — call it vampire affluenza — a three-foot blond obstacle is thrown in his path: Isuzu Trooper Cassidy, a refugee from a human hunting preserve. At first he thinks “midnight snack,” but before the sun comes up, Isuzu is the one snacking on his prized cereal collection as she charms him into staying undead long enough to raise her in a world rife with danger and almost entirely populated by vampires yearning for the taste of real human blood.

Most of my Flashback Friday books have been rather serious ones, all in all. Vamped is decidedly not.

Sorry, humans, but in the world of Vamped, the vampires have won. Pretty much no humans live “in the wild” in this world, although a few tasty specimens are kept for hunting and sporting purposes. Instead, vamps live off of synthesized blood in a world they control… and for Marty, at least, it’s all rather boring. Life eternal equals life of no change, and it’s hard to find a reason to keep going. But when Marty finds a tiny human creature on the loose, his world is turned upside-down. Although it may sound like Vamped verges on becoming a sweet, gooey, sentimental, little-girl-saves-grumpy-guy kind of story, it’s actually a whole lot darker and funnier than that. There’s danger lurking around every corner, and Marty has to be both brave and inventive if he has any chance whatsoever of keeping Isuzu alive.

While the vampire genre is so overdone these days, Vamped has some fresh elements that make it a very fun read and a real stand-out among the crowded vampire bookshelves. (I myself was particularly tickled by the concept of Alaska becoming a vampire vacation fantasyland — what could be better than a place where the sun disappears for months at a time?) I’m surprised that more people haven’t heard of this book. I’d place it in my vampire book collection right alongside Christopher Moore’s outrageously awesome Bloodsucking Fiends, You Suck, and Bite Me. I’ve mostly run out of patience with the topic of vampires in general — but I’ll always make an exception for a vampire book that can make me laugh.


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Counting Up the Vampires

I used to read a lot of vampire books. Then I lost interest. Then I got interested again. Then I lost interest again. But for some random reason, the topic of reading vampire books came up the other day in a casual conversation. These things happen. And I got to thinking about how many vampire books I’ve read — and from there, started wondering just how many vampire books I actually have in my house.

Being the numbers geek that I am, I decided to find out. So I marched around my house with a clipboard, writing down the title of every book under my roof that includes at least one vampire character. After some debate, I even threw in books that are on my children’s shelves and are not, strictly speaking, mine.

Et voilà!

Here is my list of vampire books that can currently be found in my house. Please note that this is NOT a list of every vampire book I’ve ever read — just the ones that still live with me. Consider them all part of my collection, except for the ones marked oh-so-cleverly with a (k) — that means they belong to one of my kids.

bloodsuckingDraculaVampedSalem's LotfledglingTwilight (Twilight, #1)Dead Until Dark (Sookie Stackhouse, #1)sunshinefevre-dreamThe Radleysbloodshotthe-hunger

Alphabetically by title, with books in a series listed together:

  • All Souls Trilogy by Deborah Harkness
    • A Discovery of Witches
    • Shadow of Night
  • Anita Blake: Vampire Hunter by Laurell K. Hamilton
    • Guilty Pleasures
    • Blue Moon
    • Micah
    • The Laughing Corpse
  • Anno Dracula by Kim Newman
  • Attack of the Vampire Weenies by David Lubar (k)
  • Backup by Jim Butcher
  • Bites and Bones by Lois Metzger (k)
  • Bloodshot by Cherie Priest
  • Buffy the Vampire Slayer (graphic novels)
    • Season 8, volumes 1 – 8
    • Season 9, volumes 1 – 3
    • Angel & Faith, volumes 1 – 3
    • Buffy Omnibus, volumes 1 – 4
    • Tales of the Slayers
    • Tales of the Vampires
    • Fray
    • Spike
    • Spike vs. Dracula
    • Spike: Asylum
  • Bunnicula by James Howe (k)
  • Children of the Night by Dan Simmons
  • Dracula by Bram Stoker
  • The Dresden Files by Jim Butcher
    • Storm Front
    • Fool Moon
    • Grave Peril
    • Summer Knight
    • Death Masks
    • Blood Rites
    • Dead Beat
    • Proven Guilty
    • White Night
    • Small Favor
    • Turn Coat
    • Changes
    • Ghost Story
  • Etiquette & Espionage by Gail Carriger
  • Fevre Dream by George R. R. Martin
  • Fledgling by Octavia Butler
  • The Graveyard Book by Neil Gaiman
  • Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince by J. K. Rowling
  • The Historian by Elizabeth Kostova
  • The Hunger by Whitley Streiber
  • I Am Legend by Richard Matheson
  • In the Forest of the Night by Amelia Atwater-Rhodes (k)
  • Jane True series by Nicole Peeler
    • Tempest Rising
    • Tracking the Tempest
    • Tempest’s Legacy
    • Eye of the Tempest
    • Tempest’s Fury
  • Mercy Thompson series by Patricia Briggs
    • Moon Called
    • Blood Bound
    • Iron Kissed
    • Bone Crossed
    • Silver Borne
    • River Marked
    • Frost Burned
    • Homecoming (graphic novel)
    • Moon Called, volume 1 (graphic novel)
    • Moon Called, volume 2 (graphic novel)
  • The Parasol Protectorate by Gail Carriger
    • Soulless
    • Changeless
    • Blameless
    • Heartless
    • Timeless
    • Soulless (manga) volumes 1 & 2
  • The Passage by Justin Cronin
  • The Radleys by Matt Haig
  • Salem’s Lot by Stephen King
  • Sookie Stackhouse series by Charlaine Harris
    • Dead Until Dark
    • Living Dead in Dallas
    • Club Dead
    • Dead to the World
    • Dead as a Doornail
    • Definitely Dead
    • All Together Dead
    • A Touch of Dead
  • Sunshine by Robin McKinley
  • Teeth: Vampire Tales by Ellen Datlow (editor)
  • Twilight by Stephenie Meyer
    • Twilight
    • New Moon
    • Eclipse
    • Breaking Dawn
    • The Short Second Life of Bree Tanner
    • Twilight: The Graphic Novel (volumes 1 & 2)
  • Vamped by David Sosnowski
  • Vampire Trilogy by Christopher Moore
    • Bloodsucking Fiends
    • You Suck
    • Bite Me
  • The Vampire Archives by Otto Penzler (editor)
  • The Vampire Survival Guide by Scott Bowen
  • The Vampire Chronicles by Anne Rice
    • Interview With The Vampire
    • The Vampire Lestat
    • The Queen of the Damned
    • The Tale of the Body Thief


vamp-archivesChildren of the NightYou Suck (A Love Story, #2)Interview with the Vampire (The Vampire Chronicles, #1)bite-metouch-of-deadBlood Bound (Mercy Thompson, #2)Soulless (Parasol Protectorate, #1)Soulless: The Manga, Vol. 1 (The Parasol Protectorate Manga)Shadow of Night (All Souls Trilogy, #2)Twilight: The Graphic Novel, Vol. 1 (Twilight: The Graphic Novel, #1)Buffy the Vampire Slayer: Freefall (Season 9, #1)

Again, I’m not including here all the various borrowed/lent/lost/given away books which I’ve read over the years, such as the rest of the Sookie Stackhouse series, Meg Cabot’s two vampire books, and oodles more. I also did not go through my various supernatural-themed anthologies and short story collections to hunt for vampires. (Honestly, I was running out of steam). Feel free to jump in and correct me if I’ve included anything that shouldn’t be here; for example, I’m assuming there’s some form of vampire (White, Red, or Black Court) in each of the Dresden Files books, but I didn’t actually go back and check.

My head is spinning a bit, but if my count is correct, that makes 112 vampire books living in my house. Sheesh. I’m not sure what conclusion to draw from all this, except the obvious: That’s a lot of vampires.

Still, this was a fun little exercise, and certainly any excuse for pawing through my bookshelves works for me.

So how many vampires are lurking on your shelves?