Author: Becca Fitzpatrick
Released: October 7th 2014
Publisher: Simon & Schuster UK
Length: 384 pages
Source: Publisher for review
Buy: The Book Depository
Britt Pfeiffer has never been that adventurous, but that's about to change. Wanting to impress her ex-boyfriend, Britt convinces best friend, Korbie, to take a trekking trip with her. But when a freak storm leaves the girls stranded they seek shelter in a cabin, where they find two knights in shining armour. Or so they think.Britt quickly realises that the girls need to get off the mountain, fast. In exchange for her life, she is forced to guide the boys down, and as they set out on a harrowing journey through the cold and snow, Britt realises the only way to escape with her life is to pretend she is on their side. But is gorgeous, sexy Mason an enemy or an ally? Tension mounts, and it's only a matter of time before things turn deadly . . .Dark and adrenaline-filled, Black Ice will have you on the edge of your seat right until the final twist.
Black Ice is a surprisingly exciting YA contemporary thriller, full of twists and heart-stopping moments. Thrillers finally seem to be finding their place in the YA market and I couldn’t be happier about it. This being my first encounter with Becca Fitzpatrick’s work, I didn’t quite know what to expect, but I needn’t have feared. Her control over the story is absolute, her sense of pacing is quite good, and her characters are flawlessly created, three-dimensional and very much alive.
Throughout the story, Britt proves over and over again that intelligence and emotional maturity don’t always come hand in hand. While fighting for her life during a snow storm in the mountain, she shows excellent reasoning and resourcefulness, even when faced with two kidnappers. She finds ways to save her best friend and make herself invaluable to her two kidnappers in order to be kept alive. Once she has no choice but to stop pretending to be helpless and incompetent for the sake of ex-boyfriend, her best friend and even her family, Britt quickly turns into a girl we can easily admire. But even through these trials, her emotional maturity remains that of a 17-year-old as her decisions keep being influenced by her ex-boyfriend Calvin. It would be easy enough to judge her for it, but it helps to remember our first love, and how enormous and wild and uncontrollable it all seemed. Keep in mind that the first cut runs deepest and you might be a little more understanding of Britt’s actions.
It is precisely through Britt that Fitzpatrick shows her excellent characterization. It likely wasn’t easy to get the mindset of a pampered 17-year-old girl just right, but she achieved it to perfection, the good parts and the bad. An excellent job was done with Calvin and Mason as well, especially Calvin through whom we witnessed the horrifying results of constant child abuse. If there was a weak spot in her characterization, it was in Britt’s best friend Korbie. Admittedly, her role in was tertiary, but I wished for more nuance to her character. As it was, I didn’t quite understand their friendship, which made some of Britt’s motivations equally non-understandable.
As for the plot, I believe it’s best to go into this blindly, like Britt did, and discover things as you go. Black Ice is a page turner, its every chapter full of danger and excitement. I must say that I wasn’t as surprised as Britt was by some revelations, but I still had no idea how things would play out, and I was kept on the edge of my seat throughout.
Even if you didn’t like Fitzpatrick’s previous work, I would definitely give this one a try. I haven’t read her Hush, Hush series, but this seems to be a step in different direction and one definitely worth your time.
A copy of this book was kindly provided by the publisher for review purposes. No considerations, monetary or otherwise, have influenced the opinions expressed in this review.