Series: Heart of Dread #1
Published by Penguin Group USA on September 17th 2013
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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.
In the future, the world is frozen. Those that were lucky enough to have survived the transition have all migrated to the few remaining cities. Carving out whatever kind of life they can. For Nat, surviving in this hostile environment is especially difficult. She is a Marked. Someone with special abilities. What her power are, Nat doesn’t know, but she does know that whatever they are make her different… and being different is a very bad thing.
I have been a long time fan of Melissa de la Cruz. Her Blue Bloods series is in the top of my favorites list. When I discovered that she was going to be coming out with a post-apocalyptic book, I could not wait to get my hands on it. I loved the cover. I loved the concept. Even before I read the first page, I was so certain that I was going to fall in love with this book. I was wrong.
Frozen starts off with a killer opening. We met Nat and the not so quiet voice her in head. Nat has no idea what the voice is or really what it wants. She just knows that she fears it and whatever powers she may have. Flash forward a bit, and Frozen hits hard with a few bit of info dump. Now, in a book like this, I really didn’t mind the info dumping. It was needed to a certain extent and put down some of the ground rules surrounding this world. My problems with Frozen really did not begin to emerge until we met Wes.
Wes, our love interest, was not a bad character. I really did enjoy the constant banter between him and Nat. The problem was I never got a really good feel for his character. He was there. He gives a few sly remarks. Saves the day a time or two. Him and Nat hit it off. All in all, pretty regular stuff, but in the back of my mind, I always felt like something was missing from him. The same feeling I had about many of the rest of our secondary characters. They were there, they did stuff, but in the end, they felt forgettable. Sadly, even days after just reading Frozen, I don’t think I could name another character besides Nat or Wes.
Those flaws aside, I was willing to give Frozen the benefit of the doubt. By the half way point, however, I began to question why I was still reading Frozen. It is a nice enough read, but there really was nothing that was standing out to me. Begging to me to get to the bottom of. Sure, I wanted to know what Nat’s powers were, and what the deal with the Blue was. But Frozen‘s pacing goes along at such a break neck speed from one part of the journey to another that it was hard to really get a feel anything. Instead, I felt like another piece of the crew following along as we went from city to city, point to point in search of this mysterious Blue.
In a way, I am glad to say I finished Frozen. I liked it well enough, but no where close to what I had been hoping for. Frozen seemed to focus much more on the journey itself than anything else. All the interesting bits that I wanted time to explore got blown by so quickly that I never was able to take a moment and enjoy them. Even the supernatural element of the read, like most everything in Frozen, got glazed over. Almost like it was in there as an after thought. I am not sure where this series is going, but at this point, I am not sure I will be continuing to follow along with the journey.