Don’t make me go skiing in the Alps no matter how beautiful they are | One By One by Ruth Ware

Getting snowed in at a beautiful, rustic mountain chalet doesn’t sound like the worst problem in the world, especially when there’s a breathtaking vista, a cozy fire, and company to keep you warm. But what happens when that company is eight of your coworkers…and you can’t trust any of them?

When an off-site company retreat meant to promote mindfulness and collaboration goes utterly wrong when an avalanche hits, the corporate food chain becomes irrelevant and survival trumps togetherness. Come Monday morning, how many members short will the team be? – Goodreads

TL;DR: My first Ruth Ware, and I got to say: I was quite disappointed. But, if she convinced me of one thing, it’s this: I don’t care how amazing the skiing is or how beautiful the views are, but I will never, ever stay at an isolated chalet in the French Alps to ski.

I went into this story 99% blind: I knew it took place in the mountains, but that was it. I find that, for me, going into thrillers most, if not all, blind is the surest way to get the best experience out of it. That way, if the twists and turns are truly shocking, then you wouldn’t have been anticipating them in any way, and if the twists and turns are rather bland, then you wouldn’t have had your hopes up for no reason.

With that said, though, I’ve heard enough about Ruth Ware that my hopes had already been rather high even going blind into this book. The main reason for my disappointment is that this book is SO GODDAMN SLOW.

Stuff happen, but stuff don’t truly take off until the 40% mark, and even then, we’re – meaning the reader and the characters – don’t really know enough that’s going on to make assumptions. Unfortunately, there just isn’t enough suspense to keep us on our toes.

50%, 60%, 70%, and…finally, does the book pick up some steam…

…and then the twist is revealed. *Sigh.* The villain is so obvious. It’s so obvious to the point that while reading and suspecting, I was like, “No way, that’s too easy.” Alas, the villain really is that easy, and even writing this now, I’m afraid I spoiled it (but I haven’t, don’t worry). Furthermore, the villain’s motivation is really not all that convincing. Rather boring, actually, because we’ve seen such villains before.

What’s worse is that the way the climax gets wrapped up feels too much like a deus ex machina for it to be truly satisfying. *Heavier sigh.* The book doesn’t end there, though. Nah, we still got like 30 or some pages left.

With all that said, though, there are two things that saved this story from 2 topazes. First, Erin and Danny – they are awesome because a) they are not stupid, like so many MCs tend to be in thrillers; in fact, they’re so likable and levelheaded that I’m still thinking about how I want to be friends with them. Second, even though we don’t do deep dives in every character, each character is so different that I could not only differentiate among them but also wanted to get to know each one more.

Best of all is how, unlike the slimy corporate people featured in some thrillers, the Snoop team turns out to not be as slimy as I had been expecting them to be.

So, yay!

Read: 08/21/22 – 08/22/22

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