Frozen | Melissa De La Cruz | Michael Johnston | Audiobook Review

Why Did I Listen To This Book?

I had two choices in format for Frozen by Melissa De La Cruz and Michael Johnston – either read the physical copy or listen to the audiobook copy. As you are reading this review, you know that I went for the audiobook. As my time is kind of short these days, I picked out the audiobook because I figured that it would be the quickest way I could get through Frozen. Also, I really wanted to read this book because I was told that it was going to have some fantasy elements and I LOVE me some fantasy. Also, the audiobook narrators are ones that I like – Dan Bittner and new-to-me Phoebe Strole. Alas, I did not make my way as quickly through Frozen  as I had hoped due to a few other pressing audio obligations, but still I made the book a priority EVENTUALLY and quite enjoyed the listen.

Frozen by Melissa De La Cruz and Michael Johnston | Good Books And Good Wine

What’s The Story Here?

There are two main characters in Frozen, the first of the Heart Of Dread series – Wes and Nat. Wes is a runner who is leading a crew of mercenaries. Nat is a blackjack dealer who is sick of New Vegas and who wants to find the Blue, which is like the promised land I guess. So, she hires Wes and his gang to take her. Along the way, they pick up some extra people and oh yeah, fall for each other because there’s this like deep attraction between them. Oh and we learn about slaves and people who are marked and fantastical creatures. Basically, there are a ton of things that are going on in Frozen that I will probably get confusing if I really, really go into depth.

What Did I Think Of The Characters?

Nat is an okay main character. I mean, I liked that she could deal cards and that she wasn’t weak or boring or anything. I thought she got attracted to Wes a bit too fast though. To be honest with you all, I liked Wes as a character more. He’s just got an involved backstory with military and crazy people and development and changes. He just sticks out more to me. I think the side characters, particularly the small men, were my favorite to read about overall. They add an interesting flavor to Frozen.

How Is The Pacing?

Frozen took awhile for me to get into, like I was not immediately on board. However, once the journey began along with a polar bear incident, I found that I was paying much more attention and the book seemed to go along faster when that all happened. Also, when we really get into the meat of marked people and also fantastical species. That stuff is interesting and sort of zooms the story along faster.

What’s The World Building Like?

Straight up, the reason that I gave this a three on goodreads, besides not falling head over heels for the book, is that I felt the world building was kind of confusing. Also, it seemed to remind me a lot of Ship Breaker but without all the philosophy/discussion angles. There are a ton of things going on with the world. There’s all kinds of magic and fantasy. Yet, the world is also frozen so like resources are not exactly plentiful. But at the same time, it’s a dystopia. Society is far from healthy. And it’s also futuristic. I don’t know, I am from the school of thoughts that I when I come across these sorts of books they seem like a jack of all trades, but a master of none. Truly, this book does not master any of the genres. I mean, yeah the plot is interesting and adventurous but meh. I just wanted more from it.

How Is The Narration?

Perhaps I am being a bit generous with my review of Frozen by Melissa De La Cruz and Michael Johnston, but what won me over to looking at the book more positively was the audiobook narration. I think that Dan Bittner and Phoebe Strole did a great job with the material that they were given. Both do voicing well and also voicing of the opposite gender well. That’s something that’s important to me when reading an audiobook. The audiobook is 7 hours and 51 minutes and produced by Penguin Audio. If you must read Frozen, go for the audiobook version.

Sum It Up With A GIF:

Kanye Shrug GIF

I would probably have liked this better if there was a stronger genre focus, but overall, my experience wasn’t too terrible. Thus, I award this book a shrug.

Disclosure: Review Copy Provided Via Publisher

Other reviews of Frozen by Melissa De La Cruz and Michael Johnston:

Starry Eyed Revue – “There just wasn’t anything decidedly special about the story
For What It’s Worth – “So much potential but didn’t quite meet it
My Shelf Confessions – “an interesting mix

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April is in her 30s and created Good Books And Good Wine. She works for a non-profit. April always has a book on hand. In her free time she can be found binge watching The Office with her husband and toddler, spending way too much time on Pinterest or exploring her neighborhood.
About April (Books&Wine)

April is in her 30s and created Good Books And Good Wine. She works for a non-profit. April always has a book on hand. In her free time she can be found binge watching The Office with her husband and toddler, spending way too much time on Pinterest or exploring her neighborhood.


  1. Yes! I do wish there was more of a genre focus. I think that it didn’t quite live up to its potential.

  2. it seems like there were a lot of ideas but none really got explored properly in order to provide a clear vision for the book.. Thank you for the review. I think the kanyeshrug was a good choice 🙂

  3. The world-building was the biggest problem for me as well. I was excited about the idea of combining these genres but then it just felt like they had started picking topics out of a hat *sigh*. I’m hoping the second book ties things together better!

  4. I haven’t been able to decide if I want to read this one. It sounds interesting enough to catch my attention but not interesting enough to hold it. I’m glad you enjoyed listening to it though. Great review!