Frozen (Heart of Dread #1)
by Melissa de la Cruz
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.
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.
The story starts with an explosion – inside a casino – where Natasha Kestal works as a blackjack dealer. Everybody dies in her table, including newlyweds. But this scene is just normal in New Vegas. Another day, another bomb, another frozen place, or so they say. After all, this is what the new Earth looks like.
Former Marine sergeant, Ryan Wesson or Wes, is forced to do something he really doesn’t want to do, so he forms his own motley crew. Natasha, or Nat, has magical powers that she is unable to control. She needs to hide in order to survive the brutality of New Vegas and avoid getting caught by the government. When she learns of the Blue paradise, she meets and makes a deal with Wes and his crew in order to get there. Of course, with this setup, one thing leads to another, until they find themselves embroiled in a situation neither one of them can escape.
I loved the fantasy and magical realms described in the book, something that only a Melissa Dela Cruz can deliver. I’m a big fan of her Blue Bloods series and the book turned into TV series Witches of East End (The Beauchamp Family). So when I was given an ARC by Netgalley to review Frozen, I grabbed the chance and indulged in her fantastic world. And I wasn’t disappointed. Frozen’s setting is Apocalyptic, but in the deep blue sea. Something I don’t get to read everyday. The action makes my heart beat faster, even causing palpitations. And the dragon – oh my goodness, the Drakon! It’s really worth the read! ’nuff said..
** ARC provided by Netgalley in exchange for an honest review. THanks to Hachette Children’s Books **
Melissa de la Cruz is the New York Times and USA Today best-selling author of many critically acclaimed and award-winning novels for teens including The Au Pairs series, the Blue Bloods series, the Ashleys series, the Angels on Sunset Boulevard series and the semi-autobiographical novel Fresh off the Boat.
Her books for adults include the novel Cat’s Meow, the anthology Girls Who Like Boys Who Like Boys and the tongue-in-chic handbooks How to Become Famous in Two Weeks or Less and The Fashionista Files: Adventures in Four-inch heels and Faux-Pas.
Melissa grew up in Manila and moved to San Francisco with her family, where she graduated high school salutatorian from The Convent of the Sacred Heart. She majored in art history and English at Columbia University (and minored in nightclubs and shopping!).
She now divides her time between New York and Los Angeles, where she lives in the Hollywood Hills with her husband and daughter.