Frozen: Heart Of Dread, Book One

Paperback | August 5, 2014

byMelissa De la Cruz, Michael Johnston

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From the New York Times bestselling author of Blue Bloods and Isle of the Lost (a Disney Decendants novel) the 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.
“The mix of adventure and fantasy will have you addicted!”

“A one-sitting read. The world-building in Frozen is absolutely addictive. You'll really feel like you're traveling through this frozen, post-apocalyptic country (with) the setting, the realistic characters and the fast pace.”
Romantic Times

“Fans of The Hunger Games will no doubt enjoy sinking their teeth into this exciting book.”

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From the Publisher

From the New York Times bestselling author of Blue Bloods and Isle of the Lost (a Disney Decendants novel) the 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—fr...

Melissa de la Cruz is the New York Times, USA Today, Wall Street Journal, Los Angeles Times and Publisher's Weekly internationally best­selling author of many critically acclaimed novels, including Isle of the Lost, a Disney Decendants novel. Her Blue Bloods series has sold over three million copies and the Witches of East End series i...

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Format:PaperbackDimensions:352 pages, 8.25 × 5.5 × 1 inPublished:August 5, 2014Publisher:Penguin Young Readers GroupLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0147512247

ISBN - 13:9780147512246


Rated 3 out of 5 by from Promising Introduction to Heart of Dread Series The first novel in the Heart of Dread series, Melissa de la Cruz and Michael Johnston's Frozen is a promising introduction to a post-apocalyptic world where magic is slowly returning. The Earth we know is gone and in its place is a frozen landscape and a broken America torn apart by civil war. The longer Natasha Kestal remains in New Vegas, the greater the threat that she'll be discovered as one of the marked, a feared group of people with mythical abilities. She's been hiding in plain sight by working as a blackjack dealer, but the military has been increasing their random tests. Desperate to get away when she sees her chance, Nat hires Ryan Wesson to take her to the rumoured paradise called the Blue where she hopes to find sanctuary. Wes is the leader of a young crew of mercenaries who may lie, steal, and cheat in order to survive, but there are still lines he won't cross. He's skeptical that a place like the Blue could possibly exist, but he accepts Nat's payment for passage anyways. What follows afterwards is a fast-paced adventure that doesn't pause for a breath! There's an immediate attraction that sparks between Nat and Wes, but in their dangerous world, it's difficult to know who can be trusted. Nat frustrated me at times when I read the novel. You can tell she's hiding a great deal of power, but she smothers and ignores it instead of exploring the possibilities. It's only when Wes tells Nat to believe in herself that she begins to find self-acceptance, that her abilities don't make her a monster. I just really wanted her to come to that conclusion on her own rather than being so dependent on Wes's opinion. I had my suspicions about Nat's dark secret, but once the truth is finally revealed, the novel wraps up so quickly afterwards that you don't really get a moment to glory in the revelation. After such a great build-up, I felt rather cheated that what could have been an epic battle for the final climax was rushed and over before it really began. I wanted more description! My feelings for the ending aside, the Heart of Dread series has the potential to become amazing and I can't wait to see what's in store for the characters next in Stolen.
Date published: 2015-07-02
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Interesting read, great characters The book was a little slow getting a started, but the characters grab you and take you on a wild ride. Cant wait for the next book.
Date published: 2014-12-08
Rated 3 out of 5 by from Quick read! I've been kind of dreading this one just because it has a low-ish rating on Goodreads, but surprisingly, I enjoyed it quite a bit. This book is about a post-apocalyptic world with a sort of fantasy twist. The world is frozen over and one of the last hubs of life left is in Vegas. One of the main characters is a girl named Nat, who's "marked", which basically means she has powers. And as always, those with powers are persecuted, used, captured, tortured, etc. The other main character is a hottie named Wes who is a runner. He basically smuggles people out of the country for a price. The way the prologue was written annoyed the crap out of me, so it really set my bar low for the rest of the novel. I was pleasantly surprised that I quite enjoyed the story and the world building. There are a couple things that I'm still not sure about, like draus. I have no clue what those are. ANYWAYS. I zipped through this one and so I didn't pick up on all the details that I would have liked to. I liked that there was tension between Wes and Nat and they didn't have too much of an instalove-y thing. It may just be because I wasn't reading so closely, but I almost thought she was his sister at one point because of a thing. I was just like. "no. No. NO." with a smile on my face. That would have been a fabulous twist. But obviously they were meant to be together and that wouldn't have happened. I thought it was interesting how in this world, everything was done quite young and people died quite young too. Most died in their thirties or so and one of the characters was remarkable because he was in his fifties or so. (or not because details are fuzzy for me.) Anyways, with that ending, I'm actually interested in reading the next one. I'm also very interested in it because I really like Wes a lot.
Date published: 2014-11-07

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Read from the Book

Some say the world will end in fire,Some say in ice.From what I’ve tasted of desireI hold with those who favor fire.But if it had to perish twice,I think I know enough of hateTo say that for destruction iceIs also greatAnd would suffice.—Robert Frost, “Fire and Ice” It’s time to begin.—Imagine Dragons, “It’s Time” THE VOICE OF THE MONSTER They were coming for her. She could hear their heavy footsteps echoing in the concrete hallway. In a way, the sound was a relief. For days upon days she had been left in the room, alone, in total silence, with little food and water, the weight of solitude becoming ever more oppressive, the silence a heaviness that she could not shake, punishment for refusing to do as she was told, punishment for being what she was.She had forgotten how many days, how many months, she had been left here, alone with only her thoughts for company. But not quite alone. I warned you about waiting, rumbled the voice in her head. The voice that she heard in her dreams, whose words echoed like thunder, thunder and ash, smoke and flame. When it spoke, she saw a beast through the inferno, carrying her aloft on black wings through dark skies as it rained fire upon its enemies. The fire that raged within her. The fire that destroyed and consumed. The fire that would destroy and consume her if she let it. Her destiny. A destiny of rage and ruin. Fire and pain. The voice in her head was the reason her eyes were not brown or gray. Her clear tiger eyes—hazel-green with golden pupils—told the world she carried a mark on her skin, one that she kept hidden, one that was shaped like a flame and hurt like a burn, right above her heart. The reason she was imprisoned, the reason they wanted her to do as she was told. The girl did not want to be different. She did not want to be marked. She did not want to be what the voice said she was. What the commander and the doctors believed she was. A freak. A monster. Let me go—she had implored the first time she had been brought to this place—I’m not what you think I am. She had insisted they were wrong about her from the beginning of her captivity. What is your talent? they had demanded. Show us. I have none, she had told them. I have no ability. I can do nothing. Let me go. You’re wrong. Let me go. She never told them about the voice in her head. But they found ways to use her anyway. Now they were coming, their heavy footsteps plodding against the stone. They would make her do what they wanted, and she would not be able to refuse. It was always this way. She resisted at first, they punished her for it, and finally she gave in. Unless . . . Unless she listened to the voice. When it spoke to her, it always said the same thing: I have been searching for you, but now it is you who must find me. The time has come for us to be one. The map has been found. Leave this place. Journey to the Blue. Like others she had heard the legends of a secret doorway in the middle of the ruined Pacific that led to a place where the air was warm and the water was turquoise. But the way was impossible—the dark oceans treacherous, and many had perished attempting to find it. But perhaps there was hope. Perhaps she would find a way to do what it sought. Out there. In New Vegas. Outside her window, far away, she could see the glittering lights of the city shining through the gray. Before the ice, night skies were supposedly black and infinite, dotted with stars that shone as sharp as diamonds against velvet. Looking up into that dark expanse you could imagine traveling to distant lands, experiencing the vastness of the universe, and understanding your own small part in it. But now the sky was glassy and opaque at night, a reflection of the bright white snow that covered the ground and swirled in the atmo­sphere. Even the brightest of stars appeared only as faint, distant glimmers in the blurry firmament. There were no more stars. There was only New Vegas, glowing, a beacon in the darkness. The city lights stopped abruptly at a long arcing line just a few miles out. Beyond the line, beyond the border, everything was black, Garbage Country, a place where light had disappeared—a no-man’s-land of terrors—and past that, the toxic sea. And some­where, hidden in that ocean, if she believed what the voice said, she would find a way to another world. They were closer and closer. * * *She could hear their voices outside, arguing. The guards were opening the door. She didn’t have much time . . . Panic rose in her throat. What would they ask her to do now . . . what did they want . . . the children most likely . . . always the children . . . They were here. The window! the voice bellowed. Now! Glass smashed, broken, sharp icicles falling to the floor. The door burst open, but the girl was already on the ledge, the cold air whipping against her cheeks. She shivered in her thin pajamas, the arctic winds blowing sharp as daggers as she dangled on the knife-edge, two hundred stories in the air. Fly! I will hold you. Her mark was burning like a hot ember against her skin. It had awakened, as a rush of power, electric as the sparks that lit up the sky, snaked through her limbs, and she was warm, so warm, as if she was bathed in fire. She was burning, burning, the mark above her heart pressing on her like a brand, scorching her with its heat. Let us be one. You are mine. No, never! She shook her head, but they were inside now, the commander and his men, raising their guns, training their sights on her. “STOP!” The commander stared her down. “REMAIN WHERE YOU ARE!” GO! She was dead either way. Fire and pain. Rage and ruin. She turned from the room and toward the city lights, toward New Vegas, frozen city of impossible delights, a world where every­thing and anything could be bought and sold, the pulsing, deca­dent, greedy heart of the new republic. New Vegas: a place where she could hide, a place where she could find passage, out to the water, into the Blue. The commander was screaming. He aimed and pressed the trigger. She held her breath. There was only one way to go. Out and down. Up and away. Fly! roared the monster in her head. The girl jumped from the ledge and into the void.

Editorial Reviews

Praise for Heart of Dread Book 1: Frozen:“The mix of adventure and fantasy will have you addicted!”—“A one-sitting read. The world-building in Frozen is absolutely addictive. You'll really feel like you're traveling through this frozen, post-apocalyptic country (with) the setting, the realistic characters and the fast pace.”—Romantic Times“The well-paced action is taut, the characters diverse and finely drawn. And while this is a multiple book series, the ending of this first story is fully satisfying and doesn't leave the reader dangling until the sequel comes out.”—New York Journal of Books“Fans of The Hunger Games will no doubt enjoy sinking their teeth into this exciting book.”—School Library Journal“De la Cruz and Johnston score a hit. The action soon accelerates and readers will find themselves completely immersed in the authors’ dangerous world. Lots of fun.”—Kirkus Reviews