Best vampire book I've read for a while. 17 year old Tana wakes up after a party to find everyone slaughtered except for her ex and a young vampire. She frees them and decides to take them to Coldtown because they have all been exposed to the vampire virus.
This felt so fresh to me. The emphasis on being able to beat the virus by 'detoxing', the wording (Coldtowns and going 'Cold'), the viciousness of the vampires (especially Gavriel) and the twist at the end with the 'Spider'. I liked the inevitability of Tana's slide into vampirism but most of all I LOVED the ending. That little bit of openness left so much to the imagination yet gave me a good feeling at the same time.
The characters are all flawed. No one is really 'good' and I had trouble liking them at the start. Some were never redeemed and did awful things. But for me that gave the story depth and a sense of realism.
Some things felt slightly off. Little sister Pearl felt too obviously like a plot device to give a reason for Tana wanting to stay human.The chapters from her POV added nothing. In general all the flashbacks could have been integrated better into the main story and the pacing could have been tightened up. Although Tana was a very interesting character she did give the impression of being strangely removed from the violence around her.