Title: Touch of Frost
Author: Jennifer Estep
Genre: YA Paranormal
Series: Mythos Academy (Book 1)
Publication Date: August 1, 2011
Format: Paperback, 336 Pages
ISBN-10: 0758266928 (Kensington Teen)
ISBN-13: 978-0758266927 (Kensington Teen)
Reviewed by: Emmy
My name is Gwen Frost, and I go to Mythos Academy — a school of myths, magic and warrior whiz kids, where even the lowliest geek knows how to chop off somebody’s head with a sword and Logan Quinn, the hottest Spartan guy in school, also happens to be the deadliest.
But lately, things have been weird, even for Mythos. First, mean girl Jasmine Ashton was murdered in the Library of Antiquities. Then, someone stole the Bowl of Tears, a magical artifact that can be used to bring about the second Chaos War. You know, death, destruction and lots of other bad, bad things. Freaky stuff like this goes on all the time at Mythos, but I’m determined to find out who killed Jasmine and why—especially since I should have been the one who died. . .
Quick & Dirty: This is a fun, easy read that spent a lot of time on world-building and characters but not so much on the plot.
Opening Sentence: “I know your secret.”
Excerpt: Chapter 1 and 2
Mythos Academy is a school designed to train the descendants of mythology to be warriors. Gwen is enrolled by her grandmother and feels very out of place. Not only is she definitely not a warrior, but she has trouble believing most of the supernatural gifts of her fellow students. They’re being trained to prevent the Second Chaos War, but Gwen doesn’t understand what a she’s doing there.
Estep’s characters are likable, even if they’re not unique. The conversation really keeps the character development growing throughout the novel, revealing these geniuses to be funny as well as smart. We have the classic story of popular boy falling for unpopular girl, but there’s a lack of resolution between the characters as Estep sets the story up for the rest of the series. Maybe it’s just because I’m a Happily Ever After addict, but I really hated the way Logan, the popular and sexy Spartan on campus, kept jerking Gwen around. Even knowing that the author made Gwen feel that way intentionally, I still felt a little bit cheated out of a good love interest. Except for the attractive part. Make note: Spartan warriors are definitely attractive.
Unfortunately, the story takes a while to take off. The beginning is filled with Gwen’s repetitive what-if thoughts, guilt, and angst and there are times when Gwen’s repetition is really annoying. It’s difficult for the reader not to start doubting Gwen’s intelligence when she’s being blind to all the proof that the myths are real. She has the power of psychometry and she uses it, but she refuses to believe that she belongs at Mythos Academy. This feeling is brought about by the epic talents her peers eventually begin to display, which shows the students to be ferociously powerful. However, Gwen’s witty and smart, she’s a comic book fanatic, a nerd and she develops through the story into a worthy heroine. She has a touch of insecurity, but doesn’t feel the need to fit in with the crowd. Gwen’s not perfect. All of these things make her very easy to relate to and make her perspective an easy, enjoyable read.
Once you reach the second half of the book the plot gets going and makes up for the slow introduction to this world and Gwen’s inability to accept this new reality. The story follows Gwen’s investigation into Jasmine’s death, the popular girl whose bloody body Gwen found in the Library of Antiquities. With the Bowl of Tears missing, Gwen puts her psychometry to good use trying to put together the pieces of this mystery. Granted, the mystery–like the characters–isn’t exactly unique, but it does make for a great start to this new series. It was a fun; entertaining book–and really, what more can you ask for in a novel? I enjoyed reading Touch of Frost and can’t wait to get my hands on the sequel!
“So” the Valkyrie said, cracking open the lid on her Perrier. “This is where you eat lunch. All the way back here. What are you? A vampire who’s afraid of sunlight or something?”
Vampires? Were vampires real, too? I wondered, but I didn’t want to look stupid and ask, especially since I didn’t know what Daphne was doing here in the first place.
“Yeah,” I said in a guarded voice. “You caught me. I’ve got this whole superhero thing going on, so I sit way back here to keep the paparazzi and rabid fans at bay.”
Mythos Academy Series:
3. Dark Frost
FTC Advisory: Kensington Books provided me with a copy of Touch of Frost. No goody bags, sponsorships, “material connections,” or bribes were exchanged for my review.
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