Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Book Review: Frozen (Heart of Dread #1)

Release Date: September 17, 2013
Authors: Melissa De La Cruz and Michael Johnston
Publisher: Putnam Juvenile
Length: 336 pages

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.


Protagonist: Nat is like most protagonists with powers that they don't understand and are feared by the general populous. At the beginning of the book she has no control over her powers and fears and loathes herself. She feels that she's a monster and that she doesn't deserve to be happy. Due to a sequence of circumstances, mainly guided by the monstrous voice in her head, Nat finds herself escaping New Vegas and heading on the open and toxic sea to find the paradise commonly referred to as "The Blue." On this voyage is Ryan "Wes" Wesson the leader of a group of "criminals" who make their living ferrying souls out of the RSA (Remaining States of America.) Wes has an agenda of his own and he wont give it up easily. I really loved these two characters both together, which we'll get to later, and separately. Nat is just that right amount of vulnerable where she is still able to be a very strong narrator, she's clever, witty, and while she isn't a major badass (yet) she's well on her way. Wes, while always on the side of the highest bidder, does have a moral code and is fiercely loyal to his crew. He may be hiding a secret or two, but other than a casual mention here or there it isn't expanded on much.

Romance: I really enjoyed this romance, as I stated above. It wasn't a slow burn, and there was a "connection" between the two characters shortly after their journey, but it wasn't something that even resembled insta-love. If I had to describe it simply, I'd say that it was the progressed the perfect amount for a stand-alone, but since this is a series I'm interested to see what will be introduced in the future. From what I can tell there won't be a love triangle, but then again anything could happen. I really enjoyed their flirtation and their chemistry is phenomenal.

World-Building: The world that this book takes place in is a frozen post-apocalyptic dystopia with a small degree of Fae lore built in. It's not a stretch to liken it to a naval Under the Never Sky adventure, with a new Ice Age instead of Aether storms. Honestly I found a lot of similarities in the themes of this book to both the Under the Never Sky and the Darkest Minds trilogies. There isn't so much that I would in anyway claim that these authors would committing some sort of copyright infringement, but it's enough so fans of those series, like myself, would find a lot of joy in reading a story with similar themes.

Predictability: These authors are so very evil! Haha, okay that might be a bit harsh, but some of the things that happens in this books are crazy. Honestly, I have no idea how I went on reading at times. I think most times I would just hope that the magic of this world would get our heroes through the roughest and most horrifying things. Of course there are sad moments and infuriating moments that I had no idea were coming and then some less intense moments that were easily picked out a mile away but those were rare and far apart. It was hard to get a good read on the flow of this book which made for a great reading experience.

Ending: This was a really sad ending, not the saddest I've read but definitely top five material. It was absolutely heart-breaking and while I'm sure that the sad parts will get rectified in the next installment, it will make for a seemingly longer wait for the chance to read the next installment.


I loved this book so much! If you're a fan of Under the Never Sky or The Darkest Minds (Mainly UtNS though) I'm sure you'll LOVE this book as much as I did.


1 comment:

  1. I've been really wanting to read this one! I'm glad that you liked it!