Review: Frozen by Melissa De La Cruz & Michael Johnston

Title: Frozen
Author: Melissa De La Cruz and Michael Johnston
Publisher: Orchard Books
Publication Date: October 2nd 2014
Part of A Series?: Yes, Heart of Dread #1
I Got A Copy Through: The Guardian Children's Books Website
Blurb Description: 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.
Frozen was an extremely promising book with all the right elements, but it failed to use them in the right way.
I hate giving negative reviews but I kept hoping that the story would pick up, that something would happen to tie everything together and give the book that adrenaline burst it desperately needed, but nothing happened.
Natasha Kestal lives in a brutal world. The earth as we know it doesn't exist - the only thing that exists is the cold. Cold, garbage and no fresh water is what humans have reduced Mother Earth to. And from the ice came a new species, one with extraordinary abilities and a legend; a legend of a place called The Blue - where the sun still shines and the waters flow.
She is one of these Marked, as they call them, and her only safe haven the mythical land no one has ever found.
'"He liked her, he wanted her to like him, but only so he could use it against her later. Definitely messed up. But what choice did he have?
And here began my problems.
For cutthroat mercenaries, the group of boys escorting Nat to the Blue certainly didn't seem like them, but more like love sick boys that can't make decisions and don't have any semblance of loyalty. At sixteen, they're 'educated', have served time in the army and are scarred, with blood on their hands but that maturity that they should have had wasn't there.
The Blue and the creatures that came form it gave rise to more and more questions that there weren't any answers to, especially about Natasha, who she is and what she can do. Everything felt vague and even though there are two more books, even a few answers would have helped.
Moreover the bond of brotherhood that was supposed to be there wasn't and the romance aspect was more like a dragged out version of insta-love because for the life of me, I couldn't see the appeal, the desire they had for one another or the why.
All I can say is that I was disappointed and Frozen is something I simply can't recommend. At All. 

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