Saturday, 8 September 2007

Ice Blue by Anne Stuart

Oh dear, oh dear, oh dear.

I was half enjoying this rather slow-moving romantic suspense. Doing my best to ignore some lapses in pc-ness, when on page 152, I was hit by the most gigantic bulldozer of an offensive ethnic stereotype. I had to stop reading and start writing the review. In retrospect, the stereotyping started long before then. In fact it started the minute the hero, Takashi O’Brien, rescued the heroine Summer Hawthorne. Not to mention the token African-American best friend who gets killed for no good reason at all.

Although the word is not used in the novel, Takashi, exemplifies the word ‘inscrutable.’ I just chose to ignore that fact. What I couldn’t ignore was when on page 152 he declares that his special skill is that he 'knows how to fuck.’ Oh brother.

Time for my first poll.

a) I carry on reading.

b) I feed this crap down the trash disposal chute.

It goes without saying. My admiration of the author of Ice Blue ends. HERE AND NOW. (Not least because in this novel she succumbs to 'female author using a child abuse theme for entertainment purposes only' syndrome.)

In addition. I hereby appoint myself Official Spokesperson of the Society for the Prevention of Unnecessary Cruelty to Minor Characters in a Novel. Usually, completely innocent and harmless minor characters who are brutalised and deemed disposable purely for the sake of plot development. Only a reaching author resorts to such a strategy.

The list currently includes;

Micah from this novel. (We didn’t even find out he was black until he was dead)

Leanne from ‘If Angels Burn.’ (That poor girl. I completely despised the heroine for placing Leanne in danger.)

Of course. I did finish Ice Blue. And I think to myself. How predictable the plots for this series are becoming. I wouldn't say I know what will happen in each novel. I definitely can predict the order in which events occur however. Ice Blue is a pale pale shadow of Cold As Ice. Takashi would probably have done better with his Japanese intended. A movie I always vaguely remember seeing is Throne of Blood. Since then I just totally fall at the feet of scheming Japanese females.

Ice Blue is rather tame really. The first half is basically spent riding around in 3 different cars. I had difficulty in seeing what other reviewers have objected to. Is it that Takashi tries to murder Summer? Well. Both Peter and Bastian did pretty much the same in their novels. Of course in Cold As Ice, Genevieve gets retribution in that through her efforts to help Peter she nearly gets him killed a couple of times. Neither Summer nor Chloe managed to do that. But then, unlike Genevieve, they were pretty passive heroines. Another reason why Cold As Ice ROCKS!

Or that Takashi gives Summer the big O and then leaves her lying in a boneless puddle on the floor. At one point I thought these two were NEVER going to get it together. What was the point of the little sister and the weird cousin? Please don't let either of them have their own novel. And tbh the way Takashi treats Summer is a lot more interesting than the baddie part of the plot. You just know that on the day Summer presents him with their first child Taka-chan is going to have the most massive nervous breakdown as he remembers what he almost did.

Looking forward to Ice Storm. Out in November.

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