{ARC} Book Review: Frozen by Melissa de la Cruz and Michael Johnston

September 19, 2014 Review 0 ½

I received this book for free from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

{ARC} Book Review: Frozen by Melissa de la Cruz and Michael JohnstonFrozen by Melissa de la Cruz, Michael Johnston
Series: Heart of Dread #1
Published by G.P. Putnam's Sons Books for Young Readers on 2013 September 17
Genres: Science Fiction
Pages: 320
Format: E-book {ARC}
Source: Netgalley
Buy on Amazon
Goodreads
half-star

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.

I should have listened to Queen Elsa’s Let It Go when I was reading this dreadful book because as I went deeper, the story just got crazier (in the most negative way possible).  I should have let it go when I was still at 30% because it was the most terrible book I’ve read after Journey to Rainbow Island.  The only redeeming quality that Frozen has is that it was so ridiculous I could not stop myself from laughing every time I turn a page.  What ever happened to the saying that two heads are better than one? Apparently, that is not usually the case as clearly demonstrated by this book. Two authors and what? A hogwash story set in a nonsensical and full-of-inconsistencies world.

Where should I begin with this review? Okay, let me consult my Goodreads reading status updates and my mobile phone because I swear, this book made me so industrious in writing a lot of notes which I normally don’t do whenever I am reading.

First things first, let me make a brief summary of this book.  In Frozen, the world is in ruins because of the Great Wars, Black Floods, and The Big Freeze. Obviously, after the occurrence of the latter, everything got covered in ice. And then, due to some unexplained miracle, magical creatures started appearing from the ice as if they are the goddess Venus (who was born from sea foam) themselves. But despite the said catastrophes, Las Vegas was still able to survive but only barely.

Now, the mentioned magical creatures are actually being hunted by the government because uhm, well, the book forgot to explain it clearly. Anyway, just roll with it. So our heroine, Nat/Natasha, is a magical creature pretending to be a blackjack dealer but all the while plotting to go to the Blue.  To the majority, the Blue is a fabled land believed to be pristine and the salvation of those who wanted to experience the world before the catastrophes.

One of the first questions that popped up in my mind was this: When is Frozen’s story set? In 2020? In 2100? In year 3000? Apparently, the authors forgot to mention that very unimportant detail.  So what does a reader should do? Take things at face value? Or make a hypothesis through deduction? I did the latter and so my quest started.  I took down notes of possible evidences that will clue me in as to when the story happened.  So the quest started.  In Frozen, the citizens are still using Hummers, Porsches, and Bentleys as a means of transport.  The story explained that the citizens were innovative enough to salvage some of the machineries from the world before and make it work. And yay, they still have drag races and casinos despite all what happened! But the surprising thing is that they really don’t have an idea as to how the world worked before the catastrophes happened and their little knowledge of the world-before was acquired from the videos that the existing citizens managed to save and pass them from generation to generation. So what does this mean? Since Nat and all the characters of this book still know how to drive Hummers, Porsches, Bentleys and gamble, they couldn’t be so far off from the last generation that experienced the world-before. So one can say that Frozen happened during the 2050s to 2200s.

But then, that couldn’t be right because later into the book, it was revealed that Chernobyl in Ukraine is already teeming with life. What nonsense is this?

When she (Nat) was still in school, she’d learned about a town in Ukraine called Chernobyl, where a nuclear reactor had exploded.  The place was so radioactive that it wouldn’t be fit for humans for hundreds of years (are you sure?) and it was still off-limits now. The whole area was declared an exclusion zone, an evacuated land where no one was allowed to live. In reality, though, the Chernobyl exclusion zone TEEMED WITH LIFE.

Authors, I don’t mean any disrespect but here’s a fact: The isotopes that were released from that nuclear explosion will remain radioactive for THOUSANDS of years and not just hundreds.  To be specific, those isotopes are from uranium and plutonium that have half lives of thousands of years.  The director of the Chernobyl power plant, Ihor Gramotkin even said that it will take ~20,000 years for the place to become habitable again.

If we consider that figure to estimate when the story of Frozen took place, we are looking at year 22, 000 and beyond. Will there still be Hummers, Bentleys, and Porsches, and casinos during that time after such devastating catastrophes?  And in between those periods, I am pretty sure that there will be other batches of calamities that will struck the world that will either render humanity to evolve or fully eliminated.

But you have not seen it all yet.  I am greatly astounded with the authors’ devotion to the story.  Aside from the fucking expensive vehicles, the world of Frozen is also experiencing extreme shortage of resources.  The value of salt becomes as important as fuel. One crystal of salt is enough to buy a ship.  Really? Should I go now and hoard sacks of salt because apparently, it will save my ass when the apocalypse comes.

And oh, did you know that water also became an extremely rare resource? Extremely rare like only the filthy rich can afford it. And thus, the majority of the ultra-stupid population were forced to drink this substance called Nutri.

“Clean water was precious but synthetics were cheap and sanitary, so like most solid citizens, her only choice was to drink Nutri, a supposedly vitamin-and-nutrient-rich, sweet tasting concoction that was spiked with faint traces of mood stabilizers, just the thing to keep the population obedient.  The chemicals gave her a headache, and more than anything, she just wanted a taste of pure, clear water. Once a week, she saved up enough for a glass, savoring every drop.”

Question, the community has enough resources to create Nutri and load it with vitamins and mood stabilizers, why not allocate such resources to melt, purify and sanitize ice (the world is covered in ice, remember?)? For sure, the process of melting, purifying and sanitizing ice is cheaper compared to creating Nutri and does not take a lot of brain powers, isn’t it?  Even a 10 year old can figure such a thing.

Just when I thought that the book is already done with making a fool out of me, it introduced me to this language called “textlish.”  Because of what happened, the people have found no valid reason to learn to read anymore. Formal language was replaced with textlish which can be described as high form of Jejemon.  If you are a Filipino, you already have an idea what textlish is.

Here’s an example of English words and phrases converted to textlish:

  1. Love =<3
  2. LOL= Lulz
  3. I miss you= iMiszqcKyuH
  4. You= yuHh

If you want to be a master of textlish, just keep on practicing by txtng ur fwendz ucng ol dos oful nd phaking shrtctz.

I don’t think I still have the strength to continue with this review.  There’s absolutely no redeeming quality about this drivel. The main characters and all the other fools are brimming with contradictions that I just hope that they all die from the cold.  The plot is also saturated with various plot devices including the dreaded deus ex machina.

0.5 stars for the laughs.

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