(Heart of Dread #1)
Release Date: September 17, 2013
Publisher: Putnam Juvenile; 336 pages
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.
Have you ever felt trapped or stuck? Have you wanted a way out? That things are just so bad where you are, that you just know that even though the journey will be tough and long that anything can be better than what you are currently going through. Well that's exactly what majority of the characters in Frozen are going through. The world has been destroyed, and is now covered in layers of ice. But there are rumors of a land filled with warm weather and plush plants, a paradise called "The Blue"
Our main character is a young blackjack dealer working New Vegas named Natasha. Nat is marked. When the world became covered in ice, new creatures were born. Children were born with special abilities. Some could predict the future, move objects with their minds, and some could even read minds. Other species also emerged such as Sylphs who were beautiful and have immense power. Anyone who is marked has odd colored eyes and has a mark on their skin. Marked citizen are hunted and either sold as slaves or killed. Nat wears contact lenses to hide that she is marked.
After winning a token that helps her believe in the Blue's existence, Nat meets Ryan Wesson (Wes) and his crew. Together they begin the journey towards the Blue, and our story begins.
Hands down my favorite part of the book was Nat and Wes's relationship. I loved the chemistry between them. Their banter just pulled me in. I seriously just wanted them to get it on. Their sexual tension is really what kept me reading. Numerous times while reading I kept saying, "Just kiss already!" Their game of cat and mouse never got boring for me, it was interesting trying to see them both try to get the upper hand. They are both characters that are hard not to like.
Unfortunately while I loved the characters and the dialogue, the story itself didn't really draw me in. The relationship aspect was really what kept me reading the book. I wanted a little bit more explanation about these new creatures and how they really came to be. There were a few times in which I was a little confused and had to go back and re read certain parts because I wasn't comprehending. I just wanted more. I felt like with maybe about 50 more pages of description, the story would have been easier to read.