book review

Review: Frozen (Heart of Dread #1)

Melissa de la Cruz - Frozen

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.

I received this book from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

It started out so well! And then it went completely crazy and logic got lost somewhere along the line. That makes it sound like the book was really bad, but it wasn’t. I promise. I really enjoyed most of it (and then it got to a point towards the end where I don’t even know what happened). Anyway, let’s start with the good stuff.

Frozen tells the story of Nat, a card dealer who’s trying to find her way to a mythical land called “the Blue”. She ends up getting help from a guy named Wes and they embark on a crazy adventure with his crew through toxic, pirate-filled seas. You see, somehow the world in Frozen became, well, frozen and society in general is pretty terrible. And that is why Nat wants to escape. That, and the fact that she has magical powers. It sounds awesome, right? And it is, at least at the start.

One of the reasons I enjoyed it were the characters. Nat is brilliant and awesome, and I loved how she just went ahead and tried to do things. She was great, and I liked slowly discovering her back story. Wes, the other main character, was also so much fun (although I always seem to have a soft spot for ship captains). His growing relationship with Nat was really nice to read about. The only problem was that the story was told from both their perspectives and I swear the chapters sometimes switched in the middle, which was a bit confusing.

One thing that wasn’t so great was the world building. The concepts sounds amazing, but it was never fully explained. I still don’t know why the world is frozen? WHY? I did appreciate the fact that it mentioned what had happened to other countries though after everything went cold. That was very interesting.

Finally, the plot. This is the part that was awesome and then went crazy. Most of the book I really enjoyed the story line, but towards the end I didn’t understand why it was heading in the direction it did go. I think the problem was that there was too much going on. I mean, this book is really fast-paced. Crazy things happen in every chapter. Towards the end though, I personally felt like things took a weird turn and the twist at the end felt very unexpected. But who knows, maybe I failed to pick up on any clues.

It’s kind of hard to recommend this book, because I loved it and then I didn’t. I think it’s worth reading, just so you can see if you like the ending more than me. It is a good fantasy/post-apocalyptic book and I might just check out the sequel one day.

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4 thoughts on “Review: Frozen (Heart of Dread #1)”

  1. I’ve seen so many mixed reviews about this book, it makes it hard to decide whether I want to read it or not. I’ve heard the world building isn’t too great and that bothers me, I know it will really bug me when I am reading it.

    1. There definitely could have been a lot more world building in the book – I still don’t really understand why the whole world is frozen and stuff in the first place. I kept reading because I did really like some of the characters, and I thought most of the storyline was good, so I think it’s worth checking out.

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