Title: Kiss of Frost
Author: Jennifer Estep
Genre: YA Paranormal
Series: Mythos Academy (Book 2)
Publication Date: December 1, 2011
Format: Paperback, 368 Pages
ISBN-10: 0758266944 (Kensington Publishing)
ISBN-13: 978-0758266941 (Kensington Publishing)
Reviewed by: Emmy
Logan Quinn was trying to kill me. My Spartan classmate relentlessly pursued me, swinging his sword at me over and over again, the shining silver blade inching closer to my throat every time. A smile tugged up his lips, and his ice-blue eyes practically glowed with the thrill of battle…
I’m Gwen Frost, a second-year warrior-in-training at Mythos Academy, and I have no idea how I’m going to survive the rest of the semester. One day, I’m getting schooled in swordplay by the guy who broke my heart—the drop-dead gorgeous Logan who slays me every time. Then, an invisible archer in the Library of Antiquities decides to use me for target practice. And now, I find out that someone at the academy is really a Reaper bad guy who wants me dead. I’m afraid if I don’t learn how to live by the sword—with Logan’s help—I just might die by the sword…
Quick & Dirty: Gwen’s narrative voice is much stronger and the characterization definitely more in depth! The plot is once again a little obvious, but still a quick, enjoyable read.
Opening Sentence: Logan Quinn was trying to kill me.
This installment in the Mythos Academy series picks up right where Touch of Frost left off, and Estep makes it easy to remember everything that happened. Mythos Academy is one of many academies designed to train the descendants of warriors to fight the Reapers. Gwen however is not a warrior. She’s a Gypsy blessed with the gift of psychometry which lets her see images or feelings from anything she touches. After everything that happened to her in Touch of Frost, Professor Metis decided Gwen needed help catching up on her fighting skills and chose Logan to be her tutor. Mythos Academy is going on holiday in this book to the Winter Carnival. Gwen is less than excited to go, but our favorite Valkyrie Daphne talks her into it. Because someone’s after Gwen and all signs point to it being a Reaper.
Gwen is still hurt by everything that happened between her and Logan. Unlike in the first book though, Gwen isn’t overly angsty about it. She’s still dealing with the death of her mom but her depression doesn’t dominate the story this time. As the narrator she is once again witty and sarcastic, but does have some rather repetitive thoughts that can slow the story down at times. While Gwen wavers from a frustrating lack of confidence to a ridiculous amount of over-confidence in short spans of time, she is an entertaining narrator.
And for those of you who hated Logan-freaking-Quinn in Touch of Frost, I promise you’re less likely to want to push him off a bridge in this sequel. All of the characters, Gwen included, become much more likable. This can be attributed to both deeper characterization on Estep’s part and the fact that Gwen no longer hates Mythos Academy. Because Gwen’s the narrator, her perspective of the school and its students was very negative in Touch of Frost, but the school seems to have grown on her now. The characters evolve away from the stereotypes that plagued the first book and become far more engaging. They actually end up stealing some of the spotlight from Gwen’s adventure as Estep begins incorporating minor subplots.
My biggest critique of this book is that Estep spends a considerable amount of time telling what the reader needs to know instead of showing us. At points it feels like Estep is talking to us through the mouths of her characters. The reader sees this particularly in Metis’s myth-history class. Metis is always talking about precisely what Gwen needs to know at the time. While it does help move the plot along, this convenience also makes what’s coming rather obvious to the reader. The other problem we seem to have with Mythos Academy is that despite it being a school for magical and supernatural kids, whenever something magical happens no one believes Gwen. It’s frustrating that everyone just writes it off as paranoia, particularly given the fact the teachers know there are Reapers at Mythos and that they’re going to come after Gwen.
Once the story moves to the Winter Carnival everything gets predictable. Not boring by any means, since the Carnival is where the plot really takes off, but chances are the reader will pick up on the general plot of the story. There are still a few surprises thrown in there, which in addition to Gwen’s sarcastic narration kept the story interesting. This novel improved in every way from the first one, and I hope they keep getting better! The next installment is Dark Frost, which is due out on May 29, 2012.
A figure stood behind me. He must have slipped in through the door while I was talking to Oliver. Shadows cloaked his face, but I could clearly see the crossbow in his hand–the one that he’d just loaded with a fresh bolt. He gestured with the weapon, and I put my hands up and slowly backed around the wheelbarrow until I stood next to Oliver, who was writhing on the floor in pain.
“Stop,” the shadowy figure commanded.
I gasped. I recognized that voice, knew exactly who it belonged to.
The Mythos Academy Series:
3. Dark Frost
FTC Advisory: Kensington Publishing provided me with a copy of Kiss of Frost. No goody bags, sponsorships, “material connections,” or bribes were exchanged for my review.
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