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 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?
In a futuristic frozen wasteland, it figures that Las Vegas survives. But outside the city, there is a different set of rules in this world of ice, with poisoned water, sub-zero temperatures and icebergs made of trash scattered in the sea. And with the ice comes weird new sub-species, magical people with special powers, from witches to dwarves. Not really sure how ice made paranormal creatures but I just decided to go with it. The fear of these people was much like reality anyway, the unknown making people do stupid things. So, it told of Nat as she makes her journey to the Blue, a safe and lush place where she won't be feared and where grass and plants still grow. Every hopeless pilgrim tries to get to the Blue but Nat has a map, one that many other people would love to get their hands on.
Even with all the weirdness and secrets surrounding her origins, Nat was easy to like. She worried about herself and the people around her, she was beginning a terrifying new adventure and she was attracted to this strange new hero in her life. Speaking of which, Wes was pretty cool, typical dark hero with a tragic past. He was quite sweet once he relaxed but he and the rest of his team struggled to fend for themselves and so were often left hungry. Wes especially suffered from the shakes.
The story had a real action/adventure feel once out on the open sea, with deadly pirates roaming the waters looking for easy prey. It did take a while to warm up, I think because the world building wasn't the best it could have been. Which is unfortunate because the writing was very good but a lot of things weren't explained or explored properly, for example the fact that America had taken over the world before the ice could. Plus, the ending was both insanely weird and sort of made sense. All in all, I think the overall story was entertaining and interesting but there was too many little things going on that confused me.
Published 2nd October 2014 by Orchard Books. Thank you to the publisher and Netgalley for my copy in exchange for an honest review.