Tuesday 9 June 2020

Book Review - Frozen

Title: Frozen
Author: Melissa De La Cruz & Michael Johnston
Series: Heart of Dread (Book 1)
Publisher: Orchard Books
Release Date: 2nd October 2014
ISBN: 9781408334

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 Review
I love dragons, always have so when I saw these books in the shop at 3 for £5 (yes i got the whole trilogy) I had to have them, plus the books are cool, the first one has blue pages to match the cover, the second red and the third yellow. They looked interesting and well presented and the blurb sounded pretty intriguing so I was sold on it straight away. However, once again they were relegated to my shelves and have been there for the last couple of years.
I was looking for my next read last week and hoping for something that would grab me as my last read was disappointing (Looking for Alaska). So I picked this one up with high hopes. And overall I have to say that I'm a bit torn about it, I didn't absolutely love it, but I didn't actually fully dislike it either. I'm going to try and sort out what I feel for this book with this review.
So to start, the premise is good, I had high hopes about the futuristic dystopian world covered in ice and a mystical land called 'The Blue' that could be a myth but you know is going to be real.
We start off meeting an unknown girl who is locked up because she is 'marked', and people seem to fear this. However she doesn't seem to have any particular talents, other than a strange voice in her head which tells her to do things. She then manages to break out of the prison and soar away - not quite flying but certainly gliding through the air. Quite a powerful start and it did hook my interest - i wanted to know more.
We then skip ahead a bit and find 'Nat' a young girl who is working at a casino in 'New Vegas', desperate not to get found out - obviously our mystery girl from the opening chapter who is now hiding her mark under carefully fitted clothes and covering her magical weird coloured eyes with special contact lenses. She is biding her time, trying to plan a way out and journey to 'The Blue'.
Chapter change and we are introduce to 'Wes', formerly named Ryan Wesson, he is a 16 year old retired war veteran (!?) Apparently this world is rather screwed up and kids are signed up to fight and serve then can retire at 16. He now does odd jobs - not all of them legit, and works basically as a 'runner'. However he is tired of political mess and turns down a big job that involves killing a lot of civilians. He would rather starve than cause harm to innocent people. Desperate for food, along with his group of mismatched miscreants, they decide to try a con at the local casino. This is where they meet Nat.
Cut forward and Nat hires Wes and his crew to take her across the oceans (now dirty, rotten and acidic) and into The Blue. What follows next is a long journey where they encounter practically every problem you could think of, and some that you couldn't. But I just found myself tuning out a bit, the book wasn't badly written or particularly boring but it was quite slow. I would read a whole chapter and then realise I had no real idea of what I had just read and then I'd have to go back through it. I would then take it in and realise it was actually quite good. But this was recurring, for some reason I just couldn't seem to absorb the plot or the characters, I kept switching off.
Despite this, I was enjoying it overall. My favourite character is definitely Shakes and I hope we see a lot more of him in the next book. I like Wes and think he has a slightly arrogant, yet somewhat charming personality. I didn't really get much from Nat, despite her being the main character, so we will see where it goes.
The ending of this book picks up from 0-100 in the last couple of chapters and suddenly it's more exciting and finally we actually have a dragon!
To me this book felt like a rather long and slightly slow world builder, I feel like it was 360 pages preparing us for what is to come in book 2. It wasn't bad by any stretch of the imagination and bits of it were actually really enticing, and if book 2 is going to fly away with the world we have just created, then I will take it. I just hope it does pick up the pace a bit.
Overall the book wasn't exactly what I expected, it was slow in places and slightly predictable, but I think I did enjoy it overall. I still can't explain it, it just left me feeling a bit empty, but also hopeful.
I'm going to read book 2 and grasp the hopeful feeling and approach it with an open mind.

My Rating

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