Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Title: Black Ice
Author: Becca Fitzpatrick
Narrator(s): Jenna Lamia
Series:  n/a
Length: 11 hrs 20 mins
Publisher: Simon & Schuster Audio
Publication Date: October 7, 2014
Source: audiobook received from publisher, galley from publisher via Edelweiss
Purchase: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Audible

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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?

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…

The Hush, Hush series was one of the first series I picked up after I started reading YA regularly, and while I admit that I enjoyed the story at the time, I know without a shadow of a doubt that I would not have the same experience were I to re-read those books. I actually never finished the series because I was rather upset when a fourth book was announced for a series that was originally only planned for three books. (Even back then, I hated being duped into buying more books in order to get the full story I was promised.)

But I was intrigued by the premise for Black Ice: the mountaintop survival story, the kidnapping aspect, and how any of this was going to result in some sort of romance. Unfortunately, as with the author's other series, I found that this story revolved too much around the possible romantic entanglements and spent much less time on the survival portion of the novel than I would have liked. I figured some sort of Stockholm Syndrome-type relationship was going to develop, and I wasn't wrong. But did both potential love interests have to be such forceful, chauvinistic neanderthals? One ex-boyfriend and one kidnapper...I suppose I shouldn't really be surprised. And after my previous experience with this author's work, I'm not really. Honestly, I might have been more inclined toward the romantic aspect of the story had it not been for that epilogue, though.

But I digress. As a psychological thriller, this story worked for me. I did predict pretty early on who was the good guy, who was the bad guy, and who was the even worse guy. But the way in which the author unveils each character, shows his true side and his motivations, was kind of clever and entertaining. I only wish the females in this story had been half as clever. Britt semi-redeems herself along the way, but I don't think there was ever hope for her friend Korbie. These girls make bad decision after bad decision and pretty much live in complete denial of real life. Thinking they were ready to survive a backpacking trip, let alone a snowstorm on a mountain, was really a bit far-fetched. Britt does show that she at least prepared for their trip here and there along the way, but I wish she'd trusted her instincts a little more when it came to all those men.

I'm really glad that this book was a stand-alone, at least. I enjoyed the audiobook narration, so I might have pushed myself to continue if it were to become a series, just for that fact. One of the stars in my rating is for the narration alone. I've heard Jenna Lamia narrate a few YA novels over the years, and I think she does a great job of portraying these young characters. For one, she actually sounds like a teenager. Her voice definitely conveys the youthfulness necessary to sound like a character in a YA novel. I can think of many examples where that wasn't the case and it was a detriment to my listening experience. And she didn't do that thing that a lot of females -- in general, not just narrators -- do to make their voice deep enough to portray a male character. You know, where you drop your chin into your chest and try to make your voice sound as deep and manly as possible, but all you end up sounding like is a fraud. The male equivalent would be using an unnaturally high voice to portray female characters. Both are equally annoying and seem like rookie mistakes when narrating an audiobook. I'm glad that this wasn't an aspect I had to deal with in this audiobook, especially since there were other areas that I wasn't necessarily impressed with.

Black Ice had its problems, but I found it entertaining enough to keep me listening, even if it was mostly to prove my theory correct. I don't think I'll ever find a favorite among this author's work, but I'm not completely opposed to it, either.

GIF it to me straight:
How about y'all worry a little less about hugging and a little more about surviving that snowstorm? 

About the author:

Becca Fitzpatrick grew up reading Nancy Drew and Trixie Belden with a flashlight under the covers. She graduated college with a degree in health, which she promptly abandoned for storytelling. When not writing, she's most likely prowling sale racks for reject shoes, running, or watching crime dramas on TV. She is the author of the bestselling HUSH, HUSH Saga. Her new book BLACK ICE arrives in bookstores everywhere October 7, 2014.

Find Becca:

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1 comment:

  1. Great review, I'm a little anxious about reading this...


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