Author: Melissa De La Cruz and Michael Johnston
Publisher: Orchard Books, 365 Pages (2nd October 2014)
From: Net Galley preview ARC
Add to: Goodreads
Order a copy: Amazon, Barnes and Noble, The Book Depository, Amazon UK
Synopsis: 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 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?
Review: 4 stars - America is now a frozen wasteland. Everywhere, including what once were the deserts of California is now covered in thick layers of snow and ice.
Natasha (Nat) Kestal is a blackjack dealer at The Loss casino in New Vegas. Nat used to hear a voice in her head telling her that it had been searching for her and now it was her time to search for it.
Nat is one of the marked. A person who is feared. Some of the marked have special abilities- Nat is not one of them.
A short time ago, Nat received a pendant from her manager at The Loss. Joe had thought it to be a map, but couldn’t get it to work. Nat knew otherwise, the voice in her head telling her it was more. With a bit of persuasion, Joe gave the necklace to Nat. Anaximander’s Map was now in her possession- the way to the Blue and freedom from persecution is in the palm of her hand.
Ryan Wesson (Wes) is a former marine sergeant and the leader of a once sought after mercenary team in New Vegas. Wes and his team are struggling to find work and feed themselves. After turning down a well paid job in the Pacific, a chance encounter with Nat secures him a job. Even if Wes does have his suspicions about the nature of the trip.
Accompanied by Shakes, Daran, Zedric and Farouk; Nat and Wes set off for The Blue. What follows can only be described as an action packed adventure across treacherous wasteland, frozen forgotten seas and against ‘pirates’. Who knows what magic will unearth itself.
I can’t say too much without giving away the entire plot. What I can say is I enjoyed the story overall. I’ve not read anything similar- dystopian fantasy but set in our own world.
What made the book better for me is that I’ve not long come back from California and can still picture the lights of Vegas appearing from the dark night sky. Imagining it amongst a frozen waste land is something almost magical to me.
There were a few moments where I got confused as to what was happening and had to re-read. The end seemed to be wrapped up very quickly. The journey there was long and the end was so quick; I read that a few times to make sure I hadn’t missed anything.
In my opinion Frozen could be thought of as an allegory for today’s environmental, cultural and political climate. There are a lot of similarities to what is going on in the world with global warming, racism and a constant struggle for power. Frozen brings these subjects to an accessible platform for younger people to understand in the form of a fun to read YA novel.
Well done to Melissa De La Cruz and Michael Johnston if this was your plan. If not, it worked anyway and I highly recommend reading it. My only advice to readers is to take your time with it so you don’t miss anything.