This book may be unsuitable for people under 14 years of age due to its use of language, mental illness, sexual content, drug and alcohol use, and/or violence.
{Frozen: Melissa de la Cruz & Michael Johnston}Frozen by Melissa de la Cruz, Michael Johnston
Series: Heart of Dread
Published by Speak on August 5, 2014
Genres: Dystopian, Fantasy, Science Fiction, Young Adult
Pages: 352
Format: Hardcover
Source: Store Bought
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{Synopsis} – 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.

{My thoughts} – Nat is an interesting character. She breaks out of some prison she was being held in against her will in the beginning of the book and then she ends up working as a black jack dealer in a place called New Vegas. She had gotten this far by following a voice in her head. A voice that rarely was quiet and a voice that new what it wanted.

Wes is cocky but kinda on the cute side guy. He knows what he wants and he has moral. He won’t do something that will cause harm to another unless he can’t prevent it, but if he has no choice harm will occur. He also doesn’t like to leave any of his pals behind in danger which makes him a great traveling companion.

{Part One} – Nat figures out that she needs to get to a place called New Crete. When she gets there she should be able to use a map, which she had acquired from her ex-boss Joe to lead her to The Blue. The Blue is rumored to be the perfect place where none of the bad stuff has effected nature and all. She finds a runner to take her and that runner is Wes. While they are attempting to leave the Strip in order to get over the fence into what is known as the Garbage Pile they are caught outside after curfew by patrol. They have two choices: Surrender or fight. They chose to fight and ended this part with a nice bang.

{Part Two} –
I didn’t enjoy reading this part as much as the first. I felt cheated. The first part ended with so much action. I assumed it would carry into the second, but no, that’s not what happened. Instead we were given lots of flirting parts between Wes and Nat. Yes, they kept the story and adventure going but it wasn’t holding onto my interest well. Instead I had to push forward hoping for it to get better.

{Part Three} – Sadly, this portion only slightly reached my expectations. We had more flirting and Nat finally showed her true colors. Their ship got some what ruined, but it wasn’t action packed enough to pull me back in. We also learned more about Nat’s back story and that Wes has a twin sister. It would also lead one to assume that all the flirting is eventually going to lead to some romance. Still, however, I am still not impressed with the book at this point.

{Part Four} – This part was a bit more entertaining. We got to learn more about the night that Wes’s sister went missing. We learned more about Nat and who she was before she landed in New Vegas. We also were introduced to some miner excitement.

{Part Five} – I am happy to say that this portion for the most part redeemed the book for me. It brought back the action and the adventure and sucked me right back into it’s pages. The only thing I think is that some of this action should have happened much early and been strewn throughout the book and not just in the first and last part. The action to me is what was making the book readable and pulling me into it’s story line.

{Quotes I Enjoyed} –
1} She had forgotten how many days, how many months, she had been left here, alone with only her thoughts.
2} I warned you about waiting, rumbled the voice in her head. The voice that she heard in her dreams, whose words echoed like thunder and ash, smoke and flame. When it spoke, she saw a beast through the inferno, carrying her aloft on black wings through dark skies it rained fire upon it’s enemies. The fire that raged within her. The fire that destroyed and consumed. The fire that would destroy and consume her if she let it.
Her destiny a destiny of rage and ruin.
Fire and pain.
3} She held her breath, there was only one way to go.
Out and down.
Up and away.
Fly! Roared the monster in her head.
The girl jumped from the ledge and into the void.
4} He only knew as much as the rest of them – that after the ice came, dark hair and dark eyes were the norm, and the rare blue or green or yellow eyed babies were born with strange marks on their bodies.
5} Mage’s marks the gypsies whispered, fortune-tellers who read palms and tarot in Vegas’s dark alleys.It’s started. Others will come out of the ice and into our world.
6} This is the end.
The end of the beginning. The beginning of the end.
7} The marked were deemed dangerous, and people were taught to fear them.
8} The world had ended long before the snows had came, his father liked to say. It had ended after the Great Wars, ended after the Black Floods, the Big Freeze only the latest catastrophe. The world was always ending. The point was to survive whatever came next.
9} Nat had no idea how to use her power or how to control it; like the voice in her head, it came and went without warning, and if she tried to summon it directly, it was even more elusive.
10} She could feel the monster inside her, feel its anger, impatience, and power; but it came and went like the wind and could abandon her at any moment.
11} Feeling her gaze on him, he turned around and caught her eye. He smiled and she smiled back, and for a moment they were just and ordinary boy and girl in a car, neither a runner or a client, nor mercenary or thief, and Nat saw a glimpse of how normal things could be. The voice in her head was quiet, and for once in her life, she felt as if she were just like anyone else.
12} There would be fire and smoke and devastation in her future. She would be the catalyst for something terrible. She could feel the power within her, the wild, savage, and the uncontrollable force that had the ability to destroy entire worlds.
I am the monster she thought, the voice is mine.
13} Wes spoke directly into her ear, his strong arms around her, and she had never felt safer. “You have to accept who you are, Nat. Once you do, you can do anything you want.” He chuckled softly. “Or maybe, to tap into your power, all you need to do is think of me.”
14} “There’s always just a fraction of a second between life and death.” Wes thought. “Take every second you can.”

Final Conclusion: 4 Star Rating.