Monday, October 27, 2014
Review: Black Ice by Becca Fitzpatrick
Sometimes 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
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.