Frozen by Melissa de la Cruz and Michael Johnston had such an interesting premise that I couldn’t wait to read it. A frozen planet is a type of disaster I hadn’t read about before; throw in the possibility of dragons showing up and I’m totally there. Unfortunately there was a bit of smashing of fantasy and dystopia instead of elegant interweaving in my opinion. I’m still excited about the next in the Heart of Dread series, since it seems to promise a much more integrated fantasy element, mwahahaha.
Note: I received an ARC of Frozen from my friend. There might be some changes in the final version.
Frozen by Melissa de la Cruz, Michael Johnston (Heart of Dread #1)
Published by Putnam Juvenille on September 17th, 2013
Genres: Dystopia, Fantasy, YA
Page Length: 336 pages
How I got my copy: Borrowed
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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?
- The earth has gone back to a snowball, plus the beginning of the book starts in a basically lawless New Vegas, so cool (pun totally intended, hehe). These were both pretty awesome ideas to explore.
- Very soon into Frozen, Natasha’s voice in her head start speaking and hinting at the interesting things to come. I was quite a fan of this mysteriously deep voice that seems to be able to affect the world around Natasha as well as freak her out, haha.
- The romantic tension between Natasha and Wes was funny to read about, but there were a couple of romances among the secondary characters that were even cuter. There is even a homosexual couple, gasp!
- The biggest problem I had with Frozen was the fantasy element. There is a really cool dystopian plot with the frozen Earth and struggling government, but then all of a sudden zombies, dragons, elves, dwarves and who knows what else get thrown in. It seemed forced and unexplained. I’m hoping this gets fixed in the next book.
- Sadly, very little time is spent actually in Vegas and so we don’t get more than a peek at the dystopian government and how humans are struggling to live in this new world. Again, there is lots of room to fix this in the rest of the series, keep your fingers crossed!
- Does anyone actually become instantly attracted to a person and then fall in love? Sure perhaps my interest was peaked when I first met my to-be boyfriend, but it’s annoying when the future romance is so obvious, even if it isn’t quite insta-love….
While Frozen by Cruz and Johnston had a lot of potential, it didn’t quite live up to it for me. I enjoyed Frozen, and will be watching for the next in Heart of Dread (gotta figure out where that series title comes from!), but I wasn’t as happy reading it as I had hoped. If disparate fantasy and dystopian elements are okay with you, then certainly check out Frozen, but prepared to be a bit discombobulated at times ;-).
Frozen by Melissa de la Crus and Michael Johnston
© 2013, Anya. All rights reserved.