Frozen (Heart of Dread #1)
by Melissa de la Cruz, Michael Johnston
published by Putnam
genre: YA, Dystopia, Fantasy
Summary (Goodreads): 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.
My Thoughts: This was a hard one for me. There were many times that I thought I would not be able to finish it. It had a good beginning and end but the middle dragged out way to long. Also, this is YA only because you are told the characters are teenagers but nothing about the story felt like it. The majority of the characters are already retired or discharged from the military but you are supposed to believe they are only 16. Most of the story I forgot that they were teens until the authors pointed out their ages.
The world that the authors built was interesting in some ways but too current in others. Something happened (if it was explained, it wasn't something that stuck with me) that left the world covered in ice. There seems to be no hope anywhere. The government is in charge and every little thing is monitored. The problem was that this is supposed to be some time in the future but all technology was stagnant to current day. They have all these trained military people and none of them have any initiative to try and better what they have, they just fix it back to old ways.
I liked the characters. Nat was the most interesting and the only reason this was above a 3* read for me. Going with her on her journey to The Blue and finding out about her powers along the way was the reason I kept reading. I had to know about the voice in her head. I could have done without the insta-love/ attraction between her and Wes. Even if you hadn't read the blurb it was a very telegraphed story line.
Overall, whether I read the next book is going to depend on what it focuses on. If it's more about all the different fae and what about the ice is killing them, I will probably give it a try. There is also where they are going with Nat's story. The final "battle" saved this book and also set up some stories to be played on.
Rating: 3.5 (I wavered between a 3 and 4 so just went to the middle)