Mini ARC Review: Frozen by Melissa de la Cruz and Michael Johnston

Series: Heart of Dread #1
Genre: YA Fantasy/Sci-Fi/Dystopian/Apocalyptic?? 
Page Length: 365 Pages
Publication Date: October 2nd, 2014
Publisher: Orchard Books
Source: e-ARC via Netgalley 

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.

Why don't I listen to myself? STOP READING Melissa de la Cruz's work. Just stop. Save yourself the aggravation, Rachel. I thought since she co-wrote this book it would be safe to read. I thought it would be okay. Boy was I wrong.

I'm not even sure what to classify this book as. Fantasy? Dystopian? Sci-Fi? It's a mesh of so many different genres. Pick one, not three. Pick ONE and develop the story towards that genre. There were small bits of each genre thrown into the mix which heavily weakened the story. There were too many various elements brought in one after another. Zombies, Nymphs, "Smallmen," polar bears, drakons, warlocks, mages you name it! And get this, zombies are called "Thrillers" after Michael Jackson's song. It was all just overwhelming. The characters were dull and had no personality. I could have a more intellectually stimulating conversation with a telephone pole. The romance was so unbelievably bad and inconsistent. The world-building was so illogical and outlandish and inconsistent. What the heck?? English and literacy are gone. It's been replaced with Textlish. I kid you not. This hurts my bookish heart. How could these writers stand tormenting the English language with this drivel?? Another point that killed me. They say there's not a lot of water left. Ummm excuse me. You live in the icy tundra. MELT THE ICE YOU IMBECILES. Nothing in this book is explained. Everything is just told to us as a fact. I want to know WHY. It gets better: they drive in a Hummer for a long period of time in this book, and they never stop for gas.

Has anyone read The Brave New World by Aldous Huxley? I feel that the authors were on a soma holiday (soma is the drug that people took in BNW) when they wrote Frozen. This book contains all of those silly thoughts you've ever jokingly said ("What if...") and added them to the book. I think Cruz and Johnston created this book as a cruel joke. It's not funny.

This book was a horrifying nightmare that thankfully is over. Frozen was a disastrous read that I urge readers to stay away from.


  1. :( I haven't read anything by her and while I don't fancy reading the WoEE books, I love the show (even though I originally didn't think much of it). I'm so sorry you didn't like this one. I've heard it's not very good :( HAhaha! The imbeciles comment made me laugh out loud and lol! It does seem like (based on your description) that the authors were under some sort of influence when writing this lol. Sorry you didn't like it, Rachel.

  2. Um wow this book sounds terrible. I got the book but never read it, and now I'm not so sure I want to. I've never read one of Melissa's books though, so I'll have to start it sometime >.< I hate when text language is mixed with English though, so if I ever do get to reading this one, it'll probably get on my nerves as well.

  3. Wow, this book sounds like a mess...
    I'm sorry you didn't enjoy. I remember reading a negative review of Blue Bloods on your blog awhile back, that's also by Melissa de la Cruz, right?
    Since I started getting annoyed just by reading your descriptions of the book, I'm going to wager that my best bet is to not read this one xD

  4. OH NO - I also got a copy from Netgalley as well, but haven't even gotten myself into it yet.

    uh oh.

  5. Oh, lord. I snagged this off Netgalley and my body is overwhelmed with regret and dread right now. This looks like the kind of book that I take great pains and effort to avoid and now I am stuck with it :( At least that will give me a new book to rant about, but still :( Sorry you had to endure this, and sorry I have to go through the same thing soon! ><

    Faye at The Social Potato

  6. I got this off netgalley and read this before I realized that this was the same book that received such low ratings on GoodReads. :( Gah, I agree! It was disastrous, as much as I hate saying it. I'm sorry you had to go through the same mess that left me an angry fuzzball. Do you think some chocolate shake could make you feel better?

    "I think Cruz and Johnston created this book as a cruel joke." Agreed. Agreed. Agreed.

  7. Ugh, oh no....:((( I downloaded this from NG and now I have to read it...but I really don't want to. Started it but it's so confusing and not good at all. Can I skip it yout think? Or maybe I can read like 30% and then do a DNF review? Yeah, think I'll do that LOL
    Sorry it was so bad, Rachel. Though I understand!

  8. Wow, you really didn't like this book. :D Man, I would have bought this for the sole reason that I like the cover and the title, but after this review and the comments I'll probably give it a wide, wide berth.

  9. I'm staying away from this one despite the fact that I've really liked all of the other Melissa de la Cruz books I've read. This isn't the first time I've heard that it's a mess. I applaud you for finishing the book! I don't think I could've lasted long before just quitting and moving on. :D Great review!

  10. I seriously laughed out loud reading this review. I agree that one genre is best (two can be done by a good writer) and world building should not be nonsensical.

  11. I was actually hoping this would be as brilliant as Frozen the movie so I could have an excuse to use some Let it Go GIFs in my review. Oh well! :( To be honest, though, I'm actually kind of patting myself on the back right now because I saw this on NG, but something in my gut told me to stay away from it - LOL! So good job self! ;)

    I'm sorry this was such a disappointment Rachel! I completely see where you're coming from though! I always find genre mash-ups annoying (stick with one genre already - geez!) and it's never fun to read about boring, underdeveloped characters. :( And the world building sounds AWFUL. English replaced by Textlish? WHAT IN THE WORLD?!?!

    Definitely skipping this one. Sorry it was so horrible, but thanks for taking one for the team! <3 HILARIOUS review! <3

    ~ Zoe @ The Infinite To-Read Shelf

  12. Hey Rachel! I just wanted to let you know that I tagged you for the Book Life Tag, which is a lot of fun! I hope you'll participate :) Check out my post here:

  13. The cover looks like Disney Frozen, but the book sounds so dystopian, which is great! Judging from the blurb I would read it, but your review says otherwise. Are you sure it was that bad?

    The Life of Little Me

  14. I've never been a huge fan of her books, either and I haven't read anything by the other author but I will DEFINITELY be staying away from this one. It sounds awful. I truly hope someone else out there enjoys this, though.

    Thanks for the honest review!

    Ashtyn @ Wonderland’s Reader!

  15. I've seen so many negative reviews of this book now I'm definitely going to stay away. Far away. I must resist that cover if I see it in the bookstore! It's making me mad and I didn't even read the book. Text speak, are you serious? Ugh.

  16. Ugh, I gave this a two stars with a DNF. I usually skip to the end of DNFs to see what ultimately happend to the characters, but I was so disinterested in everything about this book, I didn't even bother.

  17. Eh, I totally understand where you're coming from. :( I actually adored the first part. I thought it was setting up this AMAZING story...but then it all kind of avalanched (looool) into a slop of sad intentions. Why didn't they explain ANYTHING?! Why didn't they melt the ice?! Hehe. And there was definitely too much magical things going down. If they'd stuck to just a few maybe it would've worked better?!

  18. Oh wow, it seems you really disliked this book! I also just got it from Netgalley and now I am not sure if I should start soon or save it down the track for later, It seems like it tried to mesh too many things together and turned out all wrong :/ Thanks for the review, though.

    Check out my review and giveaway;

  19. YES!! This book was horribly slow. It seemed to drag on and on...


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