Tuesday, August 5

Early Review: Frozen (Heart of Dread #1)

Frozen (Heart of Dread #1)
Melissa de la Cruz and Michael Johnston

Published By: Orchard Books
Publication Date: October 2, 2014
Date Read: July 20, 2014
Genre: YA - Dystopia
Source: ARC from Books With Bite
Format: Paperback
Pages: 365
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From Goodreads:
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.

"You're crazy. Getting cocky again.
If I am, it's because I'm betting on you."

Frozen is one of those books that totally sneaks up on you and messes with your brain and you know it's one you're never going to forget. I saw Frozen mentioned a few times but never really felt like I needed to look it up. Until I saw it go up on Netgelley with Hachette Books. I saw the stunning UK cover and I just needed to read it. When I heard it was a dystopia novel, I needed to read it more. When I saw it on sale at YALC 3 whole months before publication... I had to buy it. Frozen is one of those books that you think you know how it's going to be and it totally blows your mind because it is how you thought but so much more awesome. Frozen is one of the most unique novels I have ever read.

Nat has been in New Vegas for only a few weeks and she knows it is time to move on. For Nat, and others like her, staying in one place for too long is dangerous. She has to wear contacts just to survive the day. Nat is marked... a being of magic and since the freeze everyone is afraid of the magic. She needs to get to the mythical land "The Blue". And until she gets there she will never be safe. Gaining a crew of runners, Nat sets on her way to find the Blue. But when she starts to develop feelings for Wesley, the head of the runners, things get a whole lot more complicated.

I have to admit I was really nervous and a bit skeptical about Frozen at first. I have read the first few novels in Melisse de la Cruz' Blue Bloods series and while I found them enjoyable I didn't find them very memorable or anything special. I thought Frozen sounded so awesome and I was really scared I would also find it just another book. I really needn't have worried. Frozen drew me in right from the very first page and I couldn't put it down. I later found out that Michael Johnston is Melissa's husband and let me tell you this man-and-wife writing partnership is something special because Frozen is one of the best books I have read this year.

Nat is one of those characters that for the first few chapters you don't really know how you feel about them. I really didn't have much of an opinion on Nat to start. She just was. She was the cause of the storyline and that's it. But the more I read the more I couldn't stop reading and I realised it was because of how much I actually liked Nat. She is awesome. She is magical, and strong and badass, while at the same time having this amazing vulnerability that just makes you, as the reader, sympathise with her. She is awesome.

Now let me tell you, Frozen holds your next book boyfriend and he is called Wes. He is absolutely wonderful and amazing and I absolutely adored him. Wes is that character that is kind of an ass at first but the more you read and get to know him the more you fall in love with him. I adored him by the end of the book and looking where he was in the beginning of the book and where he is at the end it's unreal how amazing a journey he goes through. He has such an amazing character arc and growth. I absolutely adore him.

Frozen is such a unique and different book from anything I have ever read. I am a huge fan of dystopia novels. I love them but the majority of dystopia books can be kind of similar because they wholey focus on the corrupt governement and society. What I adore about Frozen is that you have that aspect but you also have the magical, fantasy aspect which makes the story that much more addictive and endearing. It made Frozen completely unputdownable for me.

Frozen is jam-packed with action, intrigue, romance and magic. I loved every moment of it. The dystopic aspects are so well written and fantastically developed. The magic is excellently merged into the storyline and the characters go on such an action-packed and amazing journey... both literally and figuratively. This is without a doubt one of the most amazing, heart-stopping and phenomenal novels I have ever read. The writing is phenomenal, the storyline is mind-blowing and the characters are lovable. Frozen is a strong start to what is bound to be an epic series. I cannot wait for the second book in the Heart of Dread Series. A definite must-read for everyone.

"But see, the thing is, it doesn't matter that you don't need me, because... I need-"

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