Thursday, October 9, 2014

Black Ice by Becca Fitzpatrick

Black Ice by Becca Fitzpatrick
Release Date - October 7, 2014
Publisher Website - Simon and Schuster
Publisher Social Media - Twitter
Pages - 400 pages
My Rating - 2/5
**received in exchange for an honest review**

Here is the Goodreads synopsis
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…
My feelings for Black Ice can be traced back to one quote. This may seem extreme but it was the beginning of what I consider it's downfall, and what lead to my rating.
“I tapped my cup to his, grateful to have found Shaun, because for a minute there, I'd thought I was going to have to save myself. Instead, I'd wandered into the protective care of a sexy older man.” 
Everything that there is to know about Black Ice can be linked back to this quote that happens quite early in the novel. Black Ice was, sadly, not the book for me and it largely had to do with it's main character.

Britt spends a large majority of her time waiting to be rescued by men whether it be her father, her ex, or even her kidnapper. She also spends a lot of time thinking badly of her supposed best friend. These elements combined immediately made me uncomfortable. The quote above is a perfect example of Britt's personality. Sadly, even when Britt think she's changing and becoming 'stronger' it's really just a segue to another scene where she relies on the guys in the novel, or bashes her best friend. She never really grows as a character, and even offhandedly mentions that a girl was drunk when she was murdered, as if that minimizes what happens to her.

The aspect I found the hardest to get past was having Britt and her friend ignore what was obviously creepy and scary behaviour from guys because they are good looking. I don't think it sets a good example for young girls who will read this, and it enraged me because looks should not excuse acting like a jerk (or illegal behaviour).

Mason (or Ace has he is called) is meant to be the kinder, gentler kidnapper. The one who gives Britt all kinds of Stockholm Syndrome like feelings. There is an excuse for every behaviour, but sadly they are not quite good enough. I spent a lot of this novel comparing it to the stunning Stolen by Lucy Christopher, as they both deal with similar elements. Where Lucy Christopher was able to make you feel something for Ty, and never excuses what he does to Gemma, Becca Fitzpatrick does the opposite. You're not suppose to question what Mason has done because he's sweet to her (and this a stretch). She tries to excuse it, instead of owning how wrong his actions are. It creates a dynamic that doesn't feel right, and leaves a icky aftertaste to the romance.

While the characters, even those aside from Britt, were not engaging, luckily the other elements were. The mystery of who the murder was kept me engaged even when I desperately wanted to shake Britt. The killer's reasons for his crimes were, sadly, easily imagined. The murderer was some what surprising which allowed for some twists and turns to the story that were greatly needed. Becca created tension, doubt, and intrigue by offering up viable suspects, and plenty of red herrings.

Where the story does shine is in the survival elements. The portions where Britt is trekking through the wilderness and how she and her captors survive the cold weather were actually interesting. If this had been a story of survival and these men not have kidnapped her this might have been a different story and one I actually enjoyed. Becca obviously did her research when it came to this aspect, and it paid off. The story is some what saved by the fact that this part of it was incredibly readable.

A novel that made me, at times, uncomfortable with the way it portrayed women, and especially in  how they related to men. Sadly, this was one that was not for me regardless of how much I enjoyed the other elements of the story.

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