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I Belong

Review: Dark Frost by Jennifer Estep

Title: Dark Frost

Author: Jennifer Estep

Genre: YA Urban Fantasy

Series: Mythos Academy (Book 3)

Publication Date: May 29, 2012

Format: Paperback, 352 Pages

ISBN-10: 0758266960 (Kensington Books)

ISBN-13: 978-0758266965 (Kensington Books)

Reviewed by: Emmy


I’ve seen so many freaky things since I started attending Mythos Academy last fall. I know I’m supposed to be a fearless warrior, but most of the time, I feel like I’m just waiting for the next Bad, Bad Thing to happen. Like someone trying to kill me—again.

Everyone at Mythos Academy knows me as Gwen Frost, the Gypsy girl who uses her psychometry magic to find lost objects—and who just may be dating Logan Quinn, the hottest guy in school. But I’m also the girl the Reapers of Chaos want dead in the worst way. The Reapers are the baddest of the bad, the people who murdered my mom. So why do they have it in for me?

It turns out my mom hid a powerful artifact called the Helheim Dagger before she died. Now, the Reapers will do anything to get it back. They think I know where the dagger is hidden, but this is one thing I can’t use my magic to find. All I do know is that the Reapers are coming for me—and I’m in for the fight of my life.

Quick & Dirty: The third installment follows the same patterns–lots of info-dumping and character clichés, but some good dialogue and much better character development this time around.

Opening Sentence: “If you guys don’t stop making out, I’m going to be sick.”

Excerpt: Yes

The Review:

The third installment in the Mythos Academy series picks up at the end of the school’s Winter Holidays. Gwen’s still looking up everything she can about the Helheim Dagger, which will free Loki from his prison and begin the next Chaos War.  Her mother, the last Champion of the goddess Nike, hid it somewhere before she died.  Now it’s up to Gwen and her touch magic to find the dagger and move it to somewhere safer.  Because the Reapers aren’t just getting more vicious, they’re getting desperate too. The Helheim Dagger is the last of the Artifacts needed to unlock Loki from his tomb.

Gwen’s already learned that her mother’s death wasn’t the drunk driving accident everyone’s always told her it was. But it was more than murder by Reapers — Loki’s Champion was the one who killed her. More than saving the world, Gwen wants to find the woman who killed her mom.   Gwen knows there are Reapers at Mythos, knows that there are probably some right under their noses.  Then Reapers strike at Mythos students, making the Academy the safest place they can be.  But when a routine questioning of Preston snowballs out of control, Gwen’s not the only one in danger.

In Kiss of Frost we met Preston’s Fenrir wolf. This wolf bonded with Gwen, she saved its life and the wolf returned the favor later.  So when Gwen finds the mythical creature at the gates of the Academy, as if waiting for her, she knows there’s more to this wolf than just a Reapers minion. The Fenrir wolf left the Reapers, for one thing, and Gwen never expected to see it again after the wolf saved her at the ski resort.

When a fellow student asks Gwen to find her ring, a gift from her dying mother, neither one of them expects to find the memory of a Reaper tainting the ring. Gwen’s little side business pulls her firmly in the way of the Reapers, once again, and their plans to free Loki.  Except this time she doesn’t have Daphne and her friends at her side.  Daphne’s been acting cruel since the day her magic quickened, Carson’s sticking close to her side, and Logan (*swoon*) is determined to keep Gwen from learning his secret.

Logan and Gwen’s relationship has moved beyond a few kisses. If it wasn’t for this one, single, solitary secret — part of which Gwen already learned at the ski resort in Kiss of Frost — they would be together in a heartbeat. But to be in a relationship with someone like Gwen you will never have secrets.  Every time they kiss Gwen will absorb every memory since they last touched, learn everything.  And Logan can’t handle that kind of intrusion. Even if it means losing her.

I’m a big fan of Logan Quinn, the swoon-worthy Spartan is a total badass and I’m glad this book at least offers some progression of Gwen and Logan’s relationship.  Gwen does still whine a lot about everybody keeping secrets from her, etc. but it’s nowhere near as bad as it was in the first two books.  What’s gotten worse is the info-dumping and exposition.  While the architecture was of considerable importance to the plot of Dark Frost, Estep seriously underestimates the amount of information her readers will remember.  Not just from book to book, but over the span of a few chapters.  It not only slowed the pace and cut out the tension in the story, but I definitely had to roll my eyes more than a few times.  That being said, this was just as entertaining as the first two books.  I’ll definitely be back for Crimson Frost, even if it’s just to read more about Logan!

Notable Scene:

After a few seconds, I realized the wolf was much faster than I remembered her being before–especially around the middle.  I reached out and put my hand on the creatures’s stomach. It took a second, but another little flicker filled my mind., another little spark that told me the wolf wasn’t exactly by herself anymore.

“Oh,” I said. “Oh. You’re going to have a baby puppy…or whatever.”

I didn’t know how much of my words the wolf understood, but she almost seemed to nod her head, like Finally, the silly mortal girl understands what I’m trying to tell her.

I didn’t know much about animals, but it seemed to me the wolf was much bigger than she should have been, given the fact that I’d only seen her a few weeks ago.  Did mythological creatures have their babies faster than regular animals did? Was that why the wolf was so large already? How soon would she have her puppy? I didn’t know the answers to any of the questions swirling in my mind.

The Mythos Academy Series:

0.5. First Frost

1. Touch of Frost

2. Kiss of Frost

3. Dark Frost

4. Crimson Frost

FTC Advisory: Kensington Books provided me with a copy of Dark Frost.  No goody bags, sponsorships, “material connections,” or bribes were exchanged for my review.  In addition, I don’t receive affiliate fees for anything purchased via links from my site.

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