Series: Heart of Dread #1
Published by Putnam Juvenile on September 17, 2013
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.
When I first picked this book up, I went into it knowing it had gotten a lot of bad reviews – Not all bad, but mostly bad. I’m a huge Melissa de la Cruz fan, though. I loved Blue Bloods and I REALLY love the Witches of East End books. Plus, the concept of Frozen was interesting. I wanted to like it! Unfortunately, I did not.
There was a lot of action in the beginning, which is normally good. Except it was all really confusing. It was like information overload, with no explanation at all. I was intrigued by the world and I wanted to know more, but I didn’t feel pulled in by the characters or story at all. And all this was only on page 33 of the book. So I pushed through, figuring it would get better.
And then I was 98 pages in and I STILL didn’t care about Wes or Nat (our two man characters. The story is told from each of their POV’s). I felt really detached from these characters and I really didn’t care about them, or what happened to them. I appreciated that they didn’t experience stereotypical “love at first sight.” They were both weary of each other and kept their distance. But I just didn’t care about them.
Also, at several points along their “journey” to find the Blue, Nat and Wes ran into “trouble.” Each situation was meant to be “really bad,” but the characters always seemed to get out of danger too easily. Nothing ever felt dire. I never felt afraid for them, because I knew they’d escape. There was just no sense of danger.
Nat’s “reveal” to the Wes’s crew felt anticlimatic, too. Of course, some of the characters freaked out and went crazy and Wes himself didn’t give a damn. It was just… I expected more drama, more… something. I kind of wanted Wes to be shocked and shun her for a day or two before coming to terms with it. Maybe that doesn’t fit his character’s personality.. I don’t know. But I wanted something more, and I didn’t get that something more.
There was a lot of filler and background in Frozen, and it’s very obvious the author(s) was setting it up for the second book. I know that’s necessary, but it felt like they put TOO much filler and background in.
The ending wasn’t terrible. A little cliche at some points, and totally not cliche at others. I still never saw that spark between Nat and Wes, and I still felt detached from them. The ending had some unexpected surprises that weren’t awful, and I’ll still be picking up the second book when it comes out, because now that the world has been “set” – for lack of a better word – I feel like it might pick up in book two and get interesting. I’m still a huge Melissa de la Cruz fan, and I’m willing to give Frozen #2 a shot!