From New York Times bestselling author Melissa de la Cruz and Michael Johnston comes this remarkable first book in a spellbinding new series about the dawn of a new kind of magic.
Welcome to New Vegas, a city once covered in bling, now blanketed in ice. Like much of the destroyed planet, the place knows only one temperature—freezing. But some things never change. The diamond in the ice desert is still a 24-hour hedonistic playground, and nothing keeps the crowds away from the casino floors, never mind the rumors about sinister sorcery in its shadows.
At the heart of this city is Natasha Kestal, a young blackjack dealer looking for a way out. Like many, she's heard of a mythical land simply called “the Blue.” They say it’s a paradise, where the sun still shines, and the waters are turquoise. More importantly, it’s a place where Nat won’t be persecuted, even if her darkest secret comes to light.
But passage to the Blue is treacherous, if not impossible, and her only shot is to bet on a ragtag crew of mercenaries led by a cocky runner named Ryan Wesson to take her there. Danger and deceit await on every corner, even as Nat and Wes find themselves inexorably drawn to each other. But can true love survive the lies? Fiery hearts collide in this fantastic tale of the evil men do and the awesome power within us all.
Goodreads Rating: 3.65 with 3,868 ratings
Genre listing: Young Adult, Fantasy, Science Fiction, Dystopian, Romance, Magic, Post Apocalyptic, Dragons, Adventure
Get the Book: Amazon, Book Depository
Before I start this review, I received an e-book copy of Frozen by Melissa de la Cruz and Michael Johnston for free through Net Galley in exchange for an honest review.
Frozen was an interesting dystopian story. I feel like it combined a lot of interesting parts of different stories. There's a little bit of something for everyone in the first installment of the Heart of Dread series.
I found a good majority of this story to be slowly paced. There's a lot of background story as to why things are frozen in this post-apocalyptic world, and getting to know Wes, Nat, and even some of the side characters. We find Nat trying to run to a mythical paradise to escape her inevitable fate. The world's pretty bleak everything is gray, weak, and overly militarized.
Even though it's slowly paced, there is still enough action to keep a reader's attention, or at least, there was for me. When you get to the end, there is an information bomb in the last 20-30 pages. Once you get to that point, everything starts to click into place and moves a little faster. I didn't feel like anything that happened was a surprise, though. The story goes along as expected, with no big plot twists.
I think this is going to be one of those types of series where the second book is way better than the first. I liked the book; I just wasn't super drawn in and attached to it like I wanted to be. I think the second book comes out in a few weeks, so maybe I'll be more drawn into that one. I will say I was kind of disappointed with the lack of magic. It's there, but it's not as big of the story as one would think. I'm hoping that's just because Nat doesn't know what she is and that there will be a lot more magic in the second book.
One thing that I found incredibly annoying was that the authors got cutesy and wrote it in "Textlish" which is supposedly the language used in this world. It made it hard to read, and I was constantly annoyed by it. I hAtE wHeN ThInGs R wRotE oUt lIkE tHis is a good chunk of how the book is written. It gives me headaches. I would have preferred it if there were one or two examples of it, but then everything else was normal. I think it took away from the story.
Overall, I liked the story. I'm not in love with it, but I'll probably read the second book to see if it gets better, maybe, if I can suffer through more Textlish.