Review: Frozen by Melissa de la Cruz & Michael Johnston

Frozen (Heart of Dread, #1)Published: September 13, 2013 by Hatchette Children’s Books
Format: e-ARC
Pages: 336

This review is for the first book in the series Heart of Dread.

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 Kestel, 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?

Frozen was a really, really weird book. It has really (intentionally) odd punctuation, and capitalization, and in the end, I just couldn’t really get past that. I loved the idea of the world and I wanted to know a lot more about it, but I couldn’t get into the characters.

I really tried to get past the capitalization and stuff, but I had a REALLY hard time with it. It really annoyed me that I couldn’t seem to find a pattern or reason to it, and that kind of preoccupied me for a lot of the book. So while I tried not to let it affect my rating, it did in the end. I found it so distracting that I had a hard time focusing on the story.

I did enjoy the story (what I could focus on), and the world, as I mentioned before, but didn’t care for the characters much, and I’m a person who generally needs to care about characters to enjoy the story, so that was a pretty major problem for me, but I did enjoy what was there enough to want to continue the series in the future. Overall, I enjoyed where the story took me, though I was MAJORLY disappointed about one thing toward the end, something I thought could have been a really interesting twist, but then I was let down… a lot. :(

Another issue I had was that I kept forgetting the book was intended for a YA audience, not because of the writing or anything like that, but because I kept forgetting that the characters are supposed to be 15-17 years old, for the most part. I… did not buy that, at all. They act like teenagers at times, but most of the time, I didn’t feel like the characters were teens at all. Maybe that’s part of the point, that the world being the way it is forced them to grow up, but every time that was brought up I was kind of thrown for a loop. Definitely could have done without that, lol.

I wanted a bit more background on Nat and Wes, and how the world came to be the way it is in the book, but hopefully we’ll get more of that in future installments in the series.

I received a copy of this book from the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

Rating: 2 out of 5 stars

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