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September 11, 2013

Frozen by Melissa De La Cruz & Michael Johnston

Frozen (Heart of Dread, #1)

Title: Frozen (Heart of Dread, #1)
Author: Melissa De La Cruz and Michael Johnston
 Putnam Juvenile
Publication date: September 17, 2013
Genre(s): Young Adult (Post Apocalyptic/Sci-Fi)
Source: Publisher (Penguin Canada)
Format: ARC
Pages: 336
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 have to be honest and say that I was very hesitant in starting Frozen for two reasons. The first is that I have read two previous works by Melissa De La Cruz (Au Pairs and Blue Blood series) and really disliked both. The second reason is that some of my trusted blogger friends ended up disliking this book. I take pride in never getting influenced by other people's opinions and ratings when it comes to books but I already had history with this author. Nevertheless, I picked up Frozen and tried to remove any biases I had. Surprisingly, I ended up liking this novel much more than I thought I would. Granted, Frozen is not without any issues and problems, but it was an enjoyable read. 
The idea behind Frozen was fantastic. I thought a world that has frozen and a time where pirates and slaverers controlled everything outside of the little compound you are supposed to live in is new and intriguing. Of course I'm not for slavery or piratism, but this seemed like new territory when it comes to post apocalyptic/sci-fi novels. Also, the whole phenomena of pollution taking over the world and cities called Garbage Country and trashbergs (equivalent of icebergs but made up of trash) because of the overflow of garbage seemed different. However I do believe, while the concept was brilliant, the execution and progression of the plot had something lacking. Problems were solved too easily. Whenever they are put in a tight situation, the main protagonist and the people with her would easily get out of it scot free. Also, the plot seemed segmented and choppy at times. Especially the ending when a big revelation happened, I personally didn't see it coming because the authors did not give us proper background information or history on the world and the fantasy part of it (the marked and their abilities, the thrillers and their cause, as well as the sylphs).   
Towards the end when they reach their destination, I wanted a bit more emotions put into it. I mean, they've just reached the Blue.. that mythical place no one believed existed but all I got were descriptions of the nature I see everyday outside my room window. I think that is another issue I had with the book and that is the lack of emotions between all the characters. The romance was sweet, if not a tiny bit insta-loveish but I did like the friendship between some of the crew that helped the main protagonist, Nat, get to the Blue. I do know I seem to have had a ton of issues with this book but I have to point out again that I did enjoy it. It is one of those books that even with all its faults, you still end up really enjoying it. Definitely recommend it to fans of Melissa De La Cruz as well as adventure novel fans. 


  1. I'm glad that you decided to give this book a go Juhina and you ended up enjoying it. I tend to give most books a go these days too despite some initial disappointing reviews. I didn't really like De La Cruz Blue Bloods series, but enjoyed Au Pairs. Despite this not being typically my sort of read, I may end up giving it ago one day. Great honest review!

  2. I like De La Cruz's books, so I am hoping to enjoy this one too. I'm glad you ended up liking it. Great review.

  3. I like the idea of this world and that is definitely something that makes me interested to read this book :)

  4. This sounds interesting. I like the idea of a frozen world as well.

  5. Sigh, another average review for this book! Thanks for the honest review and sharing your thoughts on it.

    Jeann @ Happy Indulgence

  6. Currently reading this one. The story is quite slow but I love the characters and the adventure. Lovely review! :D


  7. I like ideas that are imaginative in fantasies but trashbergs? Hmmm...

  8. It's great that you've finally found a book but the author that was enjoyable! The idea of trashbergs is well, unique and very true to the current state of our world right now but uhh will still be careful before I start reading because good idea does not equate good story =P

    Alicia @ Summer Next Top Story

  9. I'm glad that you thought this one was really enjoyable, although you had issues with the plot and the conveniences overall. I agree, it seemed that everything would get wrapped up way too quickly for my comfort, which really did bother me at times. I found this one really hard to get through, but it's good to see some positive reviews out there. :D

    Fantastic review, Juhina! <33

  10. I'm too hesitant to read this because I also didn't like the Blue Bloods series. Still, the synopsis sounds really good. The issues you did point out does seem like the things that would frustrate me in a book...Let's just say I'm on the fence for now, haha!

    Anyway, nicely reviewed!