I picked up Ice Road Barbarians by Ruby Dixon on Kindle Unlimited because the listing was flagged as “Number 1 in Romantic Comedy” and since it’s obviously sci-fi, I thought it might be a delightful bit of space camp à là Spaceballs. But, you know, in book form. IT IS NOT THAT AT ALL.
I have been unable to get it to display with that tag now that I’ve read it, which makes me wonder if there was a glitch or if I only imagined it. Because, honestly, this book needs trigger and/or caution warnings all over the place. There is a graphic gang rape of what in tv would be called an extra in the first 20 pages. She’s barely named, but they spend several paragraphs describing her ordeal, why it happened to her, and what she could have done differently to avoid having that experience. Her name was Dominique, btw. I can say least give Dominique the courtesy of including her name here.
The rules the author establishes for the world essentially take any kind of valid consent out of the equation. I’m not certain if this was an intentional choice by Dixon, or if just didn’t even register with them that they were taking that away. In order to survive on the ice planet, humans have to act as a symbiotic host to another organism that helps their bodies function more efficiently. It also decided who their “mate” will be by resonating with the member of the opposite sex with whom they are the best generic match to create healthy offspring. Nevermind personalities or preferences or anything that shallow. Your mate is decided not by you, but by a parasitic organism based on genetic compatibility. That’s a big ol’ NOPE for me. I mean, what if they’re enormous fans of Rush and you’re doomed to listen to Tom Sawyer on repeat? I think I’d rather freeze to death on the Ice Planet. Which is your only other real option.
I realize that I’ve neglected to talk about the actual protagonists at this point even though my review is drawing to a close. I don’t care. Honestly, I didn’t even want to review this hate read, but I felt like I needed to put some of those warnings that are sorely lacking out there in the universe. This horror show of “sci-fi romance” is showing up as nearly FIVE STARS on Amazon after nearly 2000 reviews.