Thursday, 7 August 2014

Review: Frozen (Heart of Dread #1) by Melissa De La Cruz

Frozen (Heart of Dread, #1)Frozen

Author: Melissa De La Cruz
Series: Heart of Dread
Publisher: Putnam Juvenile
Pages: 336
Release Date: 2nd October 2014


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.

Review: 2 out of 5 stars 

My feelings about this book are conflicted, I love the premise for the story but overall it baffled me and unfortunately left me feeling quite underwhelmed. I was confused about what I was reading – a mashup of Fantasy, Dystopian, Paranormal? It regrettably didn’t work for me.

Our MC  Natasha Kestal is a sixteen year-old blackjack dealer in what is now known as New Vegas she hopes to find a runner to take her across the dangerous waters to a rumoured land known as The Blue, a place where Nat won’t be judged and killed should her secret come to light. When Ryan Wessen offers to make the trip she jumps at the chance but it didn’t come without drama, miscommunication and danger, especially with the beings they encounter along their journey.  

Nat and her ability intrigued me in the initial stages and Wes and his back-story was quite sad; a few of the moments between them were quite cheesy and she trusted him way too easily, I would have enjoyed their relationship a little more if it wasn’t rushed right from the onset, there wasn’t a build up to the trust I feel was needed in this circumstance.

The post-apocalyptic world in Frozen is exactly that – frozen, people are starving and even fresh clean water is so rare that people do what they can to survive; I think the concept for this fantasy dystopian world is extremely unique but unfortunately I was left confused and bored at times as it didn’t hold my attention, events were too conveniently handled and the execution fell short for me, there was a lot going on. I was intrigued by those who are marked and their unique abilities and their segregation from society because of the powers, this aspect was one which kept me interested but it felt out of place in this book.

We get twists and turns, action, betrayals and an unusual cast of characters who were unfortunately clichéd YA but unfortunately I found the plot and world-building to be lacking in depth and to be inconsistent; I couldn’t fault Melissa De La Cruz’s writing but overall this book wasn’t for me at this time.

About the author: Melissa de la Cruz is the New York Times and USA Today best-selling author of many critically acclaimed and award-winning novels for teens including The Au Pairs series, the Blue Bloods series, the Ashleys series, the Angels on Sunset Boulevard series and the semi-autobiographical novel Fresh off the Boat.

Her books for adults include the novel Cat’s Meow, the anthology Girls Who Like Boys Who Like Boys and the tongue-in-chic handbooks How to Become Famous in Two Weeks or Less and The Fashionista Files: Adventures in Four-inch heels and Faux-Pas.

She has worked as a fashion and beauty editor and has written for many publications including The New York Times, Marie Claire, Harper’s Bazaar, Glamour, Cosmopolitan, Allure, The San Francisco Chronicle, McSweeney’s, Teen Vogue, CosmoGirl! and Seventeen. She has also appeared as an expert on fashion, trends and fame for CNN, E! and FoxNews.

Melissa grew up in Manila and moved to San Francisco with her family, where she graduated high school salutatorian from The Convent of the Sacred Heart. She majored in art history and English at Columbia University (and minored in nightclubs and shopping!).

She now divides her time between New York and Los Angeles, where she lives in the Hollywood Hills with her husband and daughter.

Frozen (Heart of Dread, #1)
US Cover


  1. Yikes! Dystopias should not be boring, that's for sure. They're supposed to hold our attention with their crazy worlds and interesting characters. Great review though, it sounds like it might not be for me as well. My attention span is zilch these days.

  2. Oh Noooo the curse of the gorgeous cover..I had high hopes but from your review I know I will be very disappointed . Thanks Sharon, I am glad you enjoyed aspects.

  3. I really appreciate your honest review. I don't think this one will be for me either


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