Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Frozen, Melisa de la Cruz & Michael Johnson

Frozen (Heart of Dread, #1)
They were coming for her. She could hear their heavy footsteps echoing in the concrete hallway.

"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 what evil men do and the awesome power within us all."

Ah, fluff. Sometimes it's good to read something entertaining in a mindless sort of way, something formulaic and familiar even though one's never read the book before. Just so long as that's not all you read. Frozen is such a book; it's just what I needed before diving into the reading detailed in my New Year's Resolutions post. This is exactly the kind of book I want to read less of this year. 

We have our beautiful and clever and quick-witted heroine destined for something more, and a cocky hero; both of them are never sure if the other's actions are genuine. They're constantly second guessing each other, and despite their mutual attraction aren't sure if the other is to be trusted. We've got a crew of men, boys, really, who are all either Good or Evil, and a cobbled together world whose details make absolutely no sense. (There was a Flood? And a Freeze? And random magical people who just sort of showed up? And random attacking animals too? Please). 

And yet...I wasn't really thinking about any of that as I read the first part; I was just absorbed by the story. Although the grammar is pretty atrocious (get a copy editor!), I still found the book quite suspenseful and I raced through it in a few hours.

Towards, the end, however, the plot holes and sketchy writing got to be too much to ignore, and this significantly dropped my rating. The grammar really is terrible; I'm not sure how this book survived seemingly without being edited at all. 

Also in the last section random things happen that don't make any sense at all. The whole protection spell was never explained, and roles and rules are added willy-nilly. Like the drakon. That made absolutely no sense. 

I don't have much to say about Frozen. I can't say I'd recommend it. There are plenty of other light YA reads that are better developed and more fun (like Throne of Glass). 

(Also, bacon fruit? Really? And Willie Winkie patrols? You can't just throw in stuff like that and then not explain it).

325 pages. 

Rating: **

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