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Preview: Frozen by Melissa de la Cruz and Michael Johnston

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 was excited for this book as soon as I heard that it involved a futuristic Las Vegas. What I didn't know from the outset was that it also involved pirates and dragons. All of that certainly makes for an unusual combination, but de la Cruz and Johnston pull it off, weaving these details into a fascinating futuristic world. Sadly, I wasn't as drawn into the actual story, as I felt the plot was a little bit all over the place and not quite as satisfying as I wanted it to be. Frozen is still an interesting and enjoyable read, but some of the little details may distract readers from fully appreciating it as a whole.

Rating: 3.5

Review copy from BEA

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