Sunday, September 21, 2014

Frozen by Melissa de la Cruz

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Title: Frozen (Heart of Dread #1)
Author: Melissa de la Cruz and Michael Johnston
Publisher: Hachette
Publication date: October 2, 2014
Pages: 368

Buy: Amazon
Rating: 2/5 stars   
Copy was provided by the publisher through an eGalley in exchange for an honest review. 

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 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. This is a remarkable first book in a spellbinding new series about the dawn of a new kind of magic.

Alright, I'm going to do this review with lists because of the following reasons: I think they're easier to understand, they are straight to the point, and they aren't all in-your-face like "Bam!" when readers see them. So if you like reviews with lists, be sure to tell me below so I can - hopefully - make your review-reading experience better!

First of all, Frozen! I did some research and discovered that this book was published by another publisher back in 2013, so that explains why I knew I had seen this cover before. Glad to know this wasn't named after that Disney movie. Anyway, I was a bit apprehensive to read this. As you might know, I'm unsure of the futuristic/dystopian + fantasy team. And, not gonna lie, I almost put this book down. However, I promised myself that I will not mark any book as DNF, so I read on and started to "befriend" this cold story.

Clever plot
So the world is frozen, everything is in chaos, people are dying, and magic exists. I thought it was smart of them to introduce this dytopian world and actually give history to the world. I'm not a fan of books that just tell you something happened without stating things that reinforced it to happen. So good job, Frozen.

Good message
In the novel, there are things called trashbergs -- basically icebergs made of trash. Does that sound impossible? Nope. Not at all. I'm not sure if the authors wanted to get this certain message across, but as I read the novel, things like global warming and pollution kept popping into my head. It's nice to read something with a true message once in a while.

Not quite sure about that romantic relationship, though...
Clearly Nat and Wes like each other, but seriously guys, the attraction-at-first-sight thing is getting kind of old. Is it just me, or do you also get annoyed when characters suddenly have a change of perception and they just don't know why, but they have a feeling it's because of him/her? I didn't fully support this relationship until the later part of the book, where they're both sailing and on the brink of death. I wanted more development.

Too little magic
One thing that made me excited about this book was the presence of magic. Sure, at the start there's a lot of magic, but that switches off quickly. Where is the voice in Nat's head? Hello, anyone in there? Also, even though it was mentioned that these marked people were feared and that these marked people also feared being discovered... I still think there should've been more magic. It's part of the plot. It should've been given more space in the plot.

Please explain why this is like that
Even though the horrible causes to the frozen world were given, the present conditions in the book weren't explained thoroughly. Maybe I missed something... but why is society made up of mostly young adults? We see the army but can we see the government, if there is any? And a license for a one night stand -- why? It's just a one night stand.

Zzz... sailing
I lost most of my interest when they started their voyage. It was mostly all about running into trouble in the ocean, starving to death, and a lot of awkward tension between Nat and Wes. And speaking of starving, it seemed like the characters managed to be strong even with that bad situation. Aren't you supposed to, I don't know, feel even a bit weak if you're starving? Or do they all have supernatural powers?

            When I start to read a book, I always look for a rhythm. I have to be in step with it. That's when I can say that I'm in the "zone" and that I have fully immersed myself in the story. It took me a long time to reach that with Frozen. 

The adventure is great, though. It's definitely exciting. New elements are added to the story all the time, which makes you want to keep reading to find out the whys and the whats. However, I felt like there were too many elements in the book. At one point it seemed that it was an attempt to shove all of the authors' imagination into one novel.

All in all, I'm pretty "Meh" about this book. It's not terrible. The writing is great. It's just not the kind of book that I think I'll remember after a week. Buuut if you're looking for adventure, then pick this book up, 'cause it is packed with excitement.


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