I just finished reading this and I’m reading it again so it’s probably obvious that I liked it.
Disclosure: I love the way Holly Black writes, and I love what she writes. I haven’t read all the Spiderwick Chronicles yet (because my kids get scared and I have to stop) but the books of The Curse Workers trilogy are among my absolute favourites, I love Valiant and I was sick with envy and also (a little) with love at the tortured fae knight of Tithe.
It would take a lot to make me hate something Holly Black wrote.
I’ll try to come up with a negative… um. I didn’t like the writing quite as much as I liked the writing in the Curse Workers, and I have a feeling that might have been because it’s third person past instead of first person present. I know lots of people prefer third person past, but I find fpp ridiculously immersive and instantly involving. Not much of a negative, because I still loved the writing. There were sections — especially of conversation — that I loved beyond all reason.
Second maybe-negative: vampires. I’ve read a fair number of vampire books over the last few years (Sunshine by Robin McKinley was probably my favourite, with all the cinnamon rolls and the fantastic touches of worldbuilding — I so badly wanted the story to continue and I’m sick that she never writes sequels — but I enjoyed Twilight and the Sookie books and lots of others too, and I read Anne Rice all those years ago (but I confess I probably liked her witches books better than the vampire ones)). I was so very sure I was sick of vampires. There was a stage when I picked up a book, discovered the love interest was a vampire and put the book down again straight away.
This isn’t really a negative either, for The Coldest Girl in Coldtown, because I didn’t hate these vampires at all (except the ones I was meant to hate — I mean, they didn’t make me groan and close the book just because they were vampires).
But… (the rest of this post contains kind-of spoilers for The Coldest Girl in Coldtown — proceed to page 2 if you don’t care)