Frozen || Melissa de la Cruz & Michael Johnston

3:53 pm

Title: Frozen
Book 1 of The Heart of Dread series
Author: Melissa de la Cruz & Michael Johnston
Length: 352 pages
Publication date: September 17, 2013
Genre: YA, dystopian, fantasy
Rating: 3/5

"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." -summary from Amazon
The world in the book was really interesting. It was a very interesting mix of dystopian and fantasy. The premise was also interesting to me, and there were some unique elements to the world. An example is that the currency was heat credits, and things like salt were extremely rare and valuable. I live in southern Manitoba, where we basically are frozen half of the year, so I felt like I could relate to that plot point. The story was well-paced, and I found myself wanting to know what happened to the characters.

Unfortunately, the writing missed a lot for me. The world building was lacking. The point of view switched between the two main characters, and their voices sounded the same. It was hard to tell who the focus of the chapter was supposed to be on. The things that bothered me the most (which feel linked to me) is how quickly things happened, how easily they were wrapped up, and the lack of explanation of things. The characters sometimes seemed to hop from one situation to the next, and sometimes it was so quick that I flipped back to see if I missed something. The worst part was that the big battle scene at the end was way too short! It was very anti-climatic! Everything wrapped up way too quickly, and it didn't leave me wanting to know more about the story, yet I didn't feel satisfied. Which is not what the authors were going for, I don't think. Finally, the insta-love was a little annoying as well. The characters went from not liking each other, to liking each other, and again, you couldn't tell how or where that happened to change.

In general, I though the plot and the story itself were interesting. The writing itself is where it fell flat for me. I am certainly not in a rush to pick up the next book, but I might somewhere down the line. 

I received a digital copy of this book for free from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. All thoughts and opinions expressed are my own.

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