Frozen: Heart of Dread is the first in a YA dystopian fantasy trilogy set in a world that has been so damaged that the landscape is a frozen tundra and the oceans are toxic. Natasha Kestal escaped from a government facility that used its magically gifted inmates for sinister operations.
After escaping, Nat finds herself dealing blackjack in a casino in New Vegas, but she is still in danger, just a different kind. She decides to become a "runner" and make the perilous and expensive journey to the Blue, which may be only a pipe dream of a land with clean air and water.
She hires Ryan Wesson and his crew to get her there, but doesn't trust him. Wes may or may not be willing to turn her in and get his money without the danger. He can't decide. Nat, Wes, and his crew are all societal throw-aways that manage the best way they can in a jaded, corrupt society.
OK - the book feels like a sketch, an outline hastily filled in with thin characters, vaguely annoying romance, and skimpy adventures.
All of the characters had potential, but they never made it into a full-fledged, believable people. They remained undeveloped with just a cursory effort to flesh them out. The dialogue seemed to be trying for witty repartee, but felt stilted.
It also felt like the book just wandered around looking for an appropriate adventure, becoming less interesting rather than more interesting.
ARC from Goldberg McDuffie Communications/Putnam Juvenile
YA/post-apocalyptic/dystopian/fantasy. 2013. 336 pages.