High Intensity by Bel-wah

A trek up Mount Everest is dangerous business. Veronique “Ricky” Bouchard has reached the summit of the highest point on earth more than once. Now she’s taking on a new type of challenge: being a guide for an adventuring company catering to wealthy climbers. The reclusive climber knows it will be a difficult task but, with the loss of her only friend and climbing partner, she decides to take the money to finance her solo climbs.

The author introduces us to the rest of the climbing team and clients, many conficting personalities and, most, with a feeling of entitlement which certainly rubs Ricky the wrong way. The expert mountaineer is primarily partnered with Allison Peabody, a spoiled young stockbroker who begins the adventure for all the wrong reasons.

This story took me awhile to get into. The writing, itself, I found distracting. It’s not a smooth read. The dialogue was pretty good except for the near constant elipses and oddly placed pauses. When the characters are climbing the mountain and are in low oxyginated air, I can see the pauses in the middle of sentences happening regularly, but not everywhere. It threw off the natural flow of the conversation. At least it did for me.

The other issue I had with this story is that there was too much foreshadowing. Too much. I already know that there will be some problems on the climb, that’s a given from the basic premise of the story, but I shouldn’t have been hit over the head with hints about what, specifically, was going to go on. Don’t get me wrong, there were some surprises but many.

It wasn’t a terrible read but it wasn’t great, either.