Sunday, September 15, 2013


Title: Frozen (Heart of Dread #1)
Authors: Melissa Dela Cruz and Michael Johnston
Edition: Paperback
Published: September 17, 2013
Publisher: Putnam Juvenile
Pages: 336
Source: Bought from National Bookstore
Category: Romance, Dystopia, Fantasy
Trailer: not available

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.
Frozen is ravishing!

I was so happy when I learned that Melissa De la Cruz will be signing here in Manila [together with Alyson Noel and Margaret Stohl]. Frozen is supposed to be released on the 17th but because of the event, it was released early here! I was so stoked to finally be reading it because I heard nothing but good things about it plus, it would be my first De la Cruz novel. I own the first 3 of her Blue Bloods Series but this was the one I first read. And you know what? It was surprisingly good!

Earth changed over the past hundred or so years. It was now covered in ice. In this dying world with very well developed technology, Marked people are being captured, locked up, sold or worse, killed because they have abilities and powers. Natasha is one of them. She only hides her prominent Marked eyes using special lenses and keeps a low profile by working in a casino in New Vegas. When the voice in her head keeps dictating she has to go to Blue, a paradise kept secret from the rest, she tries to follow it. She hires a team that would accompany her to travel. That's when she meets Wes.

Daughter of Smoke and Bone meets a frozen The Ward. Wall-E's world in the middle of Antarctica. Dragons mashed with pirates set in a distant future. You get the entire picture. I LOVED IT. I ENJOYED IT. I WAS LOST IN THIS WORLD IN SUCH FANTASTIC WAY. I loved how the authors merged Dystopia and Fantasy that didn't compromise the premise. I've seen mixed reviews of Frozen and I totally get what went wrong in the entire story BUT I loved it. My brain wanted to embrace it in a positive way. The romance sucked big time because obviously, it was a tiresome insta-romance, but the world building? PHENOMENAL. I never thought such genre combination would be this cinematic. It was THAT UHMAYZINGGGG. The magic, dragons, pirates, sylphs and "zombies" I just can't get enough of! Also, the Earth the authors described in the story was actually something possible to happen. The garbage, pollution, toxins and how Earth died weren't only scary but as a person, you would appreciate what the novel was trying to imply -- SAVE MOTHER EARTH. It was a very unique take on how to educate people about what we do to our environment. That alone made me hug and pet this novel with such ferocious energy. Not only that, it also showcases how we all strive to live a better life in a better place that most people would do the impossible to achieve this. Which to me means good news. We can also go to our own Blues with a little more push and perseverance.

I am not really a fan of the characters though. They're pretty much vulnerable and very predictable. Natasha was emotionally weak while Wes? He should know better. At this point, I cannot ship them yet because I felt like their characters weren't given enough time to develop. There was something lacking. Probably a chemistry. The bacon vest didn't help either. But at least at the end, I was enlightened about Natasha's power and Wes' back ground. I wanted more though, not only from them but the entire Wes Team and the creatures from Blue. I also wanted to know more about Blue and how it survived such earth destruction, not just about the magic it has.

Frozen is a novel built with strong world-building and a very promising premise. It is magical, futuristic and has well-constructed writing. Simply an artistic story one should never miss!

"There's always just a fraction of a second between life and death. Take as much as you can."


  1. Melissa really excels in world building! Her imagination never ceases to amaze me! Am so glad you enjoyed this despite the lack of characterization! Can't wait to read it myself! Great review, Kate! <3

    1. Yay! I wasn't really thrilled about the characters but you're right, I totes loved the world building! I cant wait for your review too!

  2. I was so not hooked by its synopsis before... but did you just mention DAUGHTER OF SMOKE AND BONE?!?! NEEEEED! :)))) Nice insights!

    Kyle @ The Selkie Reads Stories


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