Thursday, 9 October 2014
Review: Black Ice by Becca Fitzpatrick
Publisher: Simon & Schuster
Publication Date: October 7th, 2014
Source: Publisher **I received this book from the publisher in exchange for a honest review**
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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?
I'm a big fan of Fitzpatrick's Hush, Hush series. So of course I was ecstatic when I heard she had new book coming out. And one so very different from her previous series. No fallen angels involved. Black Ice isn't my go to genre of choice, in fact I really don't read much in the way of mystery/thriller/survival type books, and that isn't because I don't like a good mystery, it's just that I don't gravitate towards them. Anyhow, not my point. Fitzpatrick wrote it, so I was picking it up. Honestly, there was a small part in me that was really hoping Patch would some how make an appearance in the book. I mean he didn't have to be an angel. He could just be there in some way. Obviously that did not happen. #spoileralert.
Black Ice being the mystery/thriller that it is, there's really not too much I can say about the plot without giving major spoilers. But here's what I can say. Britt, and her best friend, Korbie, are on their way to Korbie's mountain side house for spring break when a freak snow storm leaves them stranded on a narrow and dangerous mountain side road. Britt knows they can't get her jeep running, so they must abandon it and face the cold trying to find shelter. This is where the girls stumble upon Mason and Shaun. At first the guys seem totally legit. Sure, Mason might seem overly brooding. And, Shaun might be a little two flirty. But they're in a warm cabin and can offer them shelter. Stranger danger signals should have been going off everywhere upon knocking on that cabin door. Obviously there was no alarm, so things go south pretty fast. The guys take the girls hostage and it leads to a pretty scary situation. Britt is pretty confident she can give the guys what they want; a way off the mountain without being seen. So she offers to lead them to the highway and in exchange they promise not hurt her. Once out of the shelter of the cabin things just keep going down hill. Shaun is a pretty scary guy. A scary guy with a gun. And Mason is putting off a vibe that is confusing, Britt. It kind of seems like he wants to help her. But that can't be right. These guys are fugitives. Britt is pretty sure one of them might even be a murderer after finding a dead body and evidence that points in the guys direction. But with things getting complicated, messy and dire and other things feeling not as they should be feeling(like Britt finding, Mason attractive) and add in the below freezing temperatures, Britt isn't sure she's going to make it out alive.
I can't really go into most of the character's profiles because of spoilers. But there are a few I can delve into. Let's start with the MC, Britt. Britt, is a spoiled daddy's girl. She's a very unlikable character to begin with. She's petty and a brat. For the first hundred pages I just cringed every time she opened her mouth or had a thought. I really wanted to throat punch her. Britt is also obsessed with Calvin, her ex and Korbie's brother. He dumped her about eight months ago, out of the blue. And since then she's be out to prove something. Like rather than going to a tropical destination for spring break, she trained hard so she'd be able to hike the mountain and prove to Calvin how strong she is. It's pretty obvious that the men in her life have seen her in a certain light. Or treat her kind of delicately. She's a girl and they want to be able to help her and protect her. Britt totally plays into that. Being taken hostage and having the guys believe that she is the only one that can get them off the mountain gives Britt a confidence boast. Especially when Mason, keeps telling her he believes in her. Even though Britt, knows she shouldn't be happy that Mason, of all people thinks she can take care of herself, she is. Britt does go through quite a bit of character growth through a very short time period. But it still didn't make me like her. She's still open her mouth and say something totally ridiculous. Britt is immature. She doesn't get it. As much as she came to realize that she is strong enough to take care of herself, she still didn't get it.
Korbie was on a whole different level of awful. How in the hell her and Britt are best friends, even friends, was beyond me. Everything was a competition with them. Korbie would get Britt going by saying something condescending and belittling and Britt would play right into her game. Korbie was just a plain old whiny bitch. Between her and Britt it really took a lot for me not to DNF within the first hundred or so pages. I was thinking that if this is the type of characters I have to deal with than no effing way. Korbie is just the epitome of a spoiled rich girl. Thankfully, Britt and her split up at just over the hundred page mark.
Mason, becomes another prominent character. But because he's one of, Britt's kidnappers I can't really go into too much about him. Britt, is obviously scared of him, but there's also something about him that is confusing. Of course he's really mysterious but he's also taken to her. He seems to see something in her. Their relationship definitely touches on Stockholm syndrome. As the plot progresses we start to learn more about, Mason and maybe things aren't as they seem with him, but he still kidnapped, Britt. I just don't see how that makes anything else he does alright.
As for the mystery element of the book, yea, I saw that "twist" coming from page five. I just saw it as glaringly obvious. The person was charming, creepy, psychotic with a very rocky past. It was never going to be anyone else. It kind of takes away from the book when it's too easy to figure out the ending upon cracking the spine. There were definitely a few smaller plot twists I didn't see coming. But the big one... Maybe I'm just a pro with my CSI skills.
The romance didn't sit well with me. It just felt wrong. And I can't get on board with that. There was also a lack of swoon. I need my swoon.
The beginning and end of, Black Ice was very underwhelming. The middle of the book though, definitely had me turning pages. Once you get rid of, Korbie shit gets real. The book turns into a survival story with a bunch of thrills. Even though I was 100% sure what was coming at the end, those middle pages still piqued my interest. Britt's trooping through snow and freezing temperatures well trying to figure out how she can get away from kidnappers without getting shot. I'd say that's a pretty shitty situation to find yourself in, I'm interested to see how you're going to get out of it with dying, too.
Although, Black Ice didn't live up to my expectations I still enjoyed it. Fitzpatrick's writing is snappy enough to keep me reading. Even when her characters mad me want to punch all the things. I'd give the beginning and ending a 1* but the middle was thrilling enough to earn 4*. So I can recommend, Black Ice as long you know going in the characters are going to be unbearable. But push through it and you'll come to the good stuff. I'd also suggest having a blanket and hot drink handy. Holy crap did this book get me shivering. I am not anticipating winter. Black Ice brought me a dose of it though. *shivers*