For What It's Worth

Monday, October 27, 2014

Review: Black Ice by Becca Fitzpatrick


16059938Sometimes danger is hard to see... until it’s too late.

Britt Pfeiffer has trained to backpack the Teton Range, but she isn't prepared when her ex-boyfriend, who still haunts her every thought, wants to join her. Before Britt can explore her feelings for Calvin, an unexpected blizzard forces her to seek shelter in a remote cabin, accepting the hospitality of its two very handsome occupants—but these men are fugitives, and they take her hostage.

In exchange for her life, Britt agrees to guide the men off the mountain. As they set off, Britt knows she must stay alive long enough for Calvin to find her. The task is made even more complicated when Britt finds chilling evidence of a series of murders that have taken place there... and in uncovering this, she may become the killer’s next target.

But nothing is as it seems in the mountains, and everyone is keeping secrets, including Mason, one of her kidnappers. His kindness is confusing Britt. Is he an enemy? Or an ally?

BLACK ICE is New York Times bestselling author Becca Fitzpatrick’s riveting romantic thriller set against the treacherous backdrop of the mountains of Wyoming. Falling in love should never be this dangerous.

Goodreads | Source: Finished copy provided in exchange for an honest review

Review:
I had zero intention of reading Black Ice until it showed up at my door for review (unsolicited). Right on the cover is the tagline “ DANGER IS TO HARD TO RESIST’'. The back cover copy promises the MC’s attraction to her captor. This kind of thing does NOT make me want to read a book. It makes me want to run screaming.

But…several of my blogger friends who feel the same actually enjoyed this one so I thought I would give it a try and was pleasantly surprised. I had issues with a few things but this is a really suspenseful stand alone novel.

This is a tightly woven story that leads one way then abruptly turns you around in a new direction. I did figure out the key mystery early on but it’s not quite so simple. The survival aspect of being stuck in the mountains, during a snow storm, where no one can reach you and not being sure who you can trust was creepy. Danger is all around and not just from one person.

I really wish Black Ice stuck to that because it felt like Fitzpatrick was trying to hit several points and it didn’t quite gel for me. It was part thriller, part coming of age with a romance/love triangle plot thrown in for good measure. 

The captor romance wasn’t as horrifying as I thought it would be. It evolves at a slower pace and isn’t all – OMG look how hot you are, let’s hit the sheets! Britt has reason to be conflicted to both possibly trust her captor or remain loyal to someone else (I’m staying cryptic because the less you know about it going in the better) – but it didn’t fit with the very real danger going on around them either. Britt relies a lot on her “gut” and for the most part she’s always wrong so there’s a lot of back & forth that got annoying after a while.  While I could have bought into the romance and even the triangle (it’s very mild) it does enter that he hurt me so now I don’t like this guy – no he’s bad/rude too so now I like the other guy territory at times. It was very distracting from this otherwise riveting novel. How about option C Britt? ALL the guys are awful, I shouldn’t trust any of them and I need to rely on myself?

Britt starts off 100% unlikable. She expects men to do everything for her. Her dad, brother, her ex, the guy at 7-Eleven. She kind of treats people like crap. I was ok with that though because I think that's the point and there’s a parallel between Britt and the serial killers victims. Also, the story is about Britt’s growth to not be that shallow person anymore - to rely more on herself. The problem for me was – I don’t think she ever truly got there. Right until the end most of her actions are made in the hopes of getting a reaction front he men in her life. She wants to be taken seriously, approved of or lusted after etc. I sort of get it and in a different story it would work better but again – it feels odd in the context of a kidnapping/serial killer plot. But to be fair she’s a resourceful, smart girl. I liked her. I just wish she didn’t need to hear it from everyone around her and need to be validated all the time.

The most disturbing thing in Black Ice though is the friendship between Britt and BFF Korbie. It’s awful. Just awful. Their friendship and initial foray into the woods is like watching a bad horror movie with two hot mean girls giggling as they stumble upon a cabin with hot boys. It’s so stereotypically bad that I was disappointed. They are only BFF’s because they kept saying it. Not because I saw any evidence of it. The end was just bizarre and kind of unbelievable to me with a really strange epilogue tacked on. I suppose it would make fans happy but what a switch in tone and filled with plot holes.

I guess that all makes it sound like I hated Black Ice and I didn’t at all. I was actually quite enthralled with the mystery which was done SO well. I just really wish that a few things were revealed earlier to make the romance work better or that the romance wasn’t the main goal. I think it would have eliminated some of the ick factor I experienced.

29 comments:

  1. I liked this one as well but I agree with those problem areas. Especially the whole bff thing. Korbie annoyed me beyond belief.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I get that the Kobie friendship had a point to it - she (Britt) matures but I still don't think it was executed very well.

      Delete
  2. I had weirdly mixed feelings about this too. I thought the thriller aspect was well done, but agree that the characters were pretty unlikeable and the romance a little dicey. She has really bad taste in guys lol!
    Jen @ YA Romantics

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. The thriller aspect was WONDERFUL. The romance was iffy at best - not to mention she fell for every single guy in the book at some point.

      Delete
  3. It's always easier to talk about the things you didn't like over the the things you liked. I'm happy you gave this book a chance though Karen! A Stockholmish romance would make me run for cover too!

    I think I'll check my library for this! :)

    Amber Elise @ Du Livre

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Unfortunately, what I didn't like about this one is something that's a really BIG pet peeve of mine but I gotta say - it was an excellent thriller and I would still highly recommend it.

      Delete
  4. Publicists are great at twisting book bloggers' arms, and getting them to review titles they weren't planning on reading by sending out un-requested ARCs. Those sneaky buggers! ;) Despite your issues with this novel, I'm pleased that you liked it overall because it's waiting for me on my kindle Hehe!

    Carmel @ Rabid Reads.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I'm SO not a fan of falling for your kidnapper so I passed on this one (when I got it at BEA). I don't want to review books I'm sure I'll hate but given the chance to read it I have to say I liked it (mostly). I'm glad I read it despite my issues.

      Delete
  5. I don't like books with mean girls that aren't supposed to be portrayed as mean girls ... you know what I mean?
    I have this but haven't had a chance to start it. I am a fan of Becca Fitzpatrick and thus, looking forward to it.
    Loved your review!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. If you're already a fan of hers then I'm sure you'll love this. Some of the mean girl stuff is there for a reason. I just didn't like how it was dealt with int he end.

      Delete
  6. Suspense and standalone caught my interest! I think I'd be with you on the romance and horrible best friend. I've read several reviews that were not favorable towards korbie at all.
    Thanks for the review!

    ReplyDelete
  7. I agree about their friendship, man was that hard to read

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It really was. I do think that was the point - to show Britt's growth in the end but I didn't' like how it was built up then brushed off.

      Even so - I enjoyed the book.

      Delete
  8. I have a feeling I would have the same problems that you had in the book. I may library book it as I'm curious now that I've gotten a few positive reviews of this. At least now I know what to expect. Brilly review!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Despite the things I didn't like I would say buy it. It's really good overall.

      Delete
  9. Oh this is one I'm wanting to read. I've seen mixed on it but I do enjoy ones like this now and again :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Even with what annoys due - I think it had more pros than cons.

      Delete
  10. I really enjoyed Black Ice and the mystery really kept me on edge for the most part. I agree about the friendship, not easy to read about. This had a completely different feel than Hush, Hush-one that surprised me in a good way. Wonderful review and glad you enjoyed it as well :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I haven't read Hush Hush. As I mentioned in other comments - I think the friendship was meant to be unhealthy. I just didn't' like how it was brushed over int he end. I think it deserved more closure or something I guess.

      Delete
  11. I know you didn't love it as much as me, and I can totally see your issues with the book. I am glad that the romance wasn't the main thing. Yeah the friendship was different. I loved that it was stand alone and Better than the hush hush series lol

    ReplyDelete
  12. I was a little hesitant of this because of all the negative-ish hype around Fitzpatrick's Hush, Hush series; and it sounds like my gut was right here. :( It's a shame the characters and the romance in general are so unlikeable; but I do love the sound of the well-written thriller aspects. Thanks for sharing and, as always, BRILLIANT review! <3

    ~ Zoe @ The Infinite To-Read Shelf

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I haven't read Hush Hush but of my friends that have read both - they say this is MUCH better concerning the guys and romance.

      The thriller part is so good I think it's worth picking up despite my few quibbles with it.

      Delete
  13. Definitely impressed that this one ended up pleasantly surprising you (in some ways at least...) because I admit that I had assumed that it would be an automatic no for me, as well.

    ReplyDelete
  14. It sounds like this one should have focused more on the mystery aspect. I'm glad you gave this a shot though and found it worthwhile overall.

    ReplyDelete
  15. I haven't tried this author, but the suspense aspect has me ooh so curious. It is on my wishlist.

    ReplyDelete