Melissa de la Cruz
Series: Heart of Dread #1
Genre: Fantasy, Mythology, YA
Publication date: September 17th 2013
by Putnam Juvenile
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.
-A copy was provided by G.P. Putnam's Sons for review-
I haven’t read a book I could describe as truly terrible in a long time. I was surprised at every turn of a page that I was still reading it. I’m not really sure why I kept reading. A fruitless hope that it would suddenly turn into a good book? Or catch fire? Either way, this book has taken hours of my life I will never get back! ROBBERY! This is a book that, if read drunk… would still be terrible. Beer goggles can never be thick enough – well I guess once it blurs the words so much you have to make up your own…
Ok moving on.
How did I go about hating this book so much? Mostly the fact that this whole world is filled with nonsense and contradictions, then add to that a mish mash of any kinds of paranormal… thing you can think of. Zombies, Nymphs, Drakons, “Smallmen”, polar bears, you name it. Its shell is a post apocalyptic world where everything is frozen over, people are starving, supplies are scarce, but wait… one of the main characters has a ship and drives a Hummer! When he’s not starving, that is, because otherwise it would be uncomfortable I suppose. Although, this is the same character who, in the same paragraph as admitting he can’t read, reads the author’s name off a book, then later on could tell a label was written in French. So obviously, he’s speshul!
Not as speshul as Nat, though. SHE has a voice in her brain telling her to do things! I thought that’s when we diagnosed schizophrenia, but I’m no doctor. At least she hasn’t let it affect her ego:
“So what if I was? Interested, I mean.” He shrugged. “It wouldn’t be a surprise,” she [Nat] said. “I’m sure half the crew has a crush on me.” She rolled her eyes.”
We can’t blame them for all their awesome, though, because much of the human brain is not wasted on lesser things anymore, like written language. Written language has devolved into “amalgam of symbols and acronyms”, basically very simple text speech. For instance, a book in this world is titled XLNT <3 LULZ – yeah LULZ is right! No disrespect to its author, I’m sure it’s an excellent read full of lulz! (Sometimes I surprise myself with my cleverness!) But anyways, there’s not much reason to read anymore since most information in this world is relayed via videos and images – you know, like we do with newborn babies…
How about we give it up for the quotes that speak for themselves:
It was after curfew, when the only vehicles allowed in the streets were the Willie Winkie patrols […] Wait for it… LULZ!
Every citizen an armed citizen, was the country’s unofficial motto. (Pssst – what is everyone shooting at?)
“[…] to keep things confidential, to make us forget… they used to put us in ice baths, to freeze our memories somehow.” Think twice next time you give your feverish kid an ice bath! Should we tell the hospitals?
“Wailers. Like funeral wailers,” Nat said, thinking of the elaborate funeral rites that had become the norm for those who could afford it, where professional mourners were hired to wail and cry and pull their hair to show the level of wealth and the depth of bereavement of the family. The more elaborate the show of grief, the more expensive.” THIS IS REAL!
It’s Bacon Fruit. Tastes like fruit, looks like bacon. I just… I…
[…] and they were kissing, and kissing, and kissing, and his mouth was on hers […] Bravo! *claps enthusiastically*
Oh oh, and they need a license for a one night stand! I wonder what’s written on it: = 1 NYT 53X?
On a positive note, at page 30 or so, we get a super duper exciting car race/crash: A full 3 paragraphs of thrill! … No, never mind, I didn’t like that either.
*Quotes in this review were taken from the uncorrected proof.*
1 Cold Espresso