Saturday, September 21, 2013

Frozen by Melissa De La Cruz and Michael Johnston

Summary (from Goodreads):
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.
I wasn’t really sure what to expect from this one. On the one hand, I love Melissa De La Cruz and the Blue Bloods series. On the other hand, I’ve read some really terrible reviews for this book. I have this one signed. It’s another ARC I picked up at BEA. I was going to put it for a while and see if any positive reviews came in, but something speeded it up to the top of my TBR pile (maybe a little chaos of moving and not having books organized as they should be?).
Any way, I can see what people didn’t like about this book. I really can. There were a number of things that kind of bothered me. But, as a whole, I found the story to be lots of fun. Mix Las Vegas, a frozen planet earth devoid of almost all resources, a main character marked and in hiding because of some unknown super power, and the ultimate quest to find a world that’s not destroyed by ice, vast amounts of garbage, and really terrible people.
There is a lot going on. There’s kind of a smorgasbord of supernatural creatures. There’s elves, dwarves, people with super powers, and zombies. Add that to the world’s problems, and there is even more going on. Most of the world is frozen. People who are marked are collected for experiments and really terrible missions by the government. The government seems mostly to be about keeping people in their place (with lots of weapons). There’s orphans everywhere, random bombs going off all the time, killer arctic polar bears, mass piles of garbage littering everything, and slavery popping up everywhere you go.
There were a few moments where I had to backtrack, and be like “She’s adding more?” The only thing missing from this world were vampires. Maybe she’s waiting for book 2? There were moments when all of these things were great and made the story super entertaining, and then there were other moments where it did kind of seem like the author were just throwing more in because they could.
Overall, I loved the supernatural party and the crazy dystopia mix-match of all terrible things.  I would have loved them a lot more if they were all detailed a little further. I guess my problem is not in all of the stuff, but in all the stuff that is left out. I feel like if you’re going to throw in so much, you have to explain things a little more.
Like why exactly is it that elves can do? And why exactly were so many supernatural characters dying? And if kisses can work as defense spells, why weren’t more characters kissing? There were just so many questions I had because so many elements of the story and the world’s background were rushed through. Also, if you need a license to have a one night stand, why were so many random characters seeming to hook up without one? Also, what???
I super loved the quest. There were things going wrong at every turn, and much of the book read like a pirate adventure story (on top of all the other things!). It was interesting to see the all the mixings of a classic fantasy quest story with the inevitable failures of a dystopia. Some of the book was also a little terrifying. There’s a scene where everyone I grew to love was entrapped in metal cages, frozen in the brutal elements and being shipped off as slaves, and hearing all the brutal stories of what happens to slaves and what happens to the people bought by priests or even to the people bought for meat, was just pure horrifying.
Overall, I loved the story. I loved the characters. I loved the adventure, the quest, and all the problems that happened along the way. I found the main character a little weak in moments, but so unbelievably fantastic by the end. I loved Wes and all of his principles and his inability to leave helpless people stranded. There were some loopholes in the plot that possibly could have been avoided with a little more description and world-building (all fantasy needs good world-building!) There seemed to be a few moments where the authors were just throwing stuff in because they could and not because it actually added to the overall story. But, it was also kind neat to see these supernatural characters/elements mixed in with such a futuristic backdrop. I give it an 8/10.

No comments:

Post a Comment