Imagine waking up after a party to discover that all your friends are dead—except your jerky ex-boyfriend. Tana can’t believe that somehow a pack of illegal vampires not only wiped out most of her social circle, but that they then left her sleazy ex-boyfriend Aiden tied to a bed as snack for one of their own named Gavriel. Tana ends up escaping the awakening vampire hoard with both Aiden and the weakened vampire Gavriel, but in the process is scraped by an errant vamp fang. Worried that she and bitten Aiden are now Cold (a state of blood-hungry limbo between humanity and full on vampirism) Tana has no choice but to drive them all to the nearest Coldtown–walled cities that legally contain vampires and the humans who feed them. There she becomes drawn into a dark plot to destroy one of the most powerful vampires of all time, while becoming dangerously attracted to the moody, broody, and quite possibly insane Gavriel. This complex, richly characterized horror show is no Twilight, people. The near future setting is a chillingly real amalgamation of high Victorian camp and social media mania where I could see the imaginary Coldtowns all too clearly. Holly Black takes the tired blood sucker genre and pumps it up to a new level with atmospheric writing like the following platelet passage that, well, if you’ll allow me, makes your blood sing. “The scent of it was iron and basements and losing baby teeth so her big-girl teeth could come in. It was skinned knees and Gavriel’s mouth on hers. It was smeared walls and staring eyes.” You’ll want to make this one your first back to school read when it comes to a library, bookstore or e-reader near you!