Sunday, September 4, 2011

Touch of Frost (Mythos Academy, #1) by Jennifer Estep, Book Review

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. . .

Rating: 4/5

Title: Touch of Frost (Mythos Academy, #1)

Author: Jennifer Estep

Publisher: Kensington Publishing Corporation

Release Date: July 26, 2011

Pages: 350

Source: Publisher

*I received a copy of Touch of Frost by Jennifer Estep from the publisher in return of a 100% honest review.

First off, let me say how much I love the plot of this book. Touch of Frost centers around a teenage girl named Gwen Frost who is forced to attend a special school for mythical creatures called Mythos Academy after the death of her mother, a police detective in North Carolina. The book opens with Gwen threatening to expose one of the most popular/rich girls in school for being a thief: a Valkyrie named Daphne. Daphne and Gwen exchange some witty dialogue resulting in Daphne showing off some of her mystical, Valkyrie powers by making pink sparks shoot from her fingernails and tearing a marble sink out of the wall and throwing it across the room. Gwen isn't scared or threatened by Daphne's superhuman strength or power--not because Gwen herself has the same abilities, but because Gwen is a gypsy and has a supernatural gift called psychometry.

Side note: Psychometry is the gift where if the beholder touches something, they get visions and vibes off of said subject.

Gwen was hired by a fellow student to locate a missing bracelet and when Gwen touches the bracelet, she envisions Daphne slipping the jewelry into her purse out of jealousy. Gwen threatens Daphne into returning the bracelet and is on her merry way to collect the fee that she charges for finding lost or missing possessions. I really enjoyed the mystery and thrills that this book gave me--from the time that a student was murdered and a priceless ancient artifact was stolen, secrets and lies, deceit and betrayals were uncovered.

At Mythos Academy, students are taught about ancient myths, especially Greek mythology--which is what connected me to this novel more than anything. I have always been a fan of mythology, especially Greek mythology and folklore.

I liked this cover--it depicts the Gothic(ness) and darkness of Mythos Academy very well. I felt as if the cover gave the book itself a little twist of edginess.

I liked most of the characters, especially Grandma Frost, Daphne, and Logan Quinn--Gwen's love interest. Grandma Frost had the classic grandmother-y vibe to her and was always baking, but she was also very hip and updated; she reminded me of Grandma Redbird from the House of Night series by P.C. Cast + Kristin Cast. Daphne started out as your stuck-up, too good for everything and everyone, rich, preppy mean-girl, but as the book progressed, Gwen and Daphne teamed up and Daphne's cold iciness began to melt, but she still had an icy edge to her that gave her character a strong, confident bite; like Grandma Frost, Daphne reminded me of a character from the House of Night series, as well--Aphrodite LaFont, resident mean girl. Logan Quinn is a hot, sexy spartan warrior and the hottest, most popular guy at Mythos. He, too, reminded me of a House of Night character--Erik Night. Both Logan and Erik share one particular trait: their physical appearance; both characters have wavy black hair and ice blue eyes and are very muscled and you are constantly reminded of Superman when you read about these characters. One character that I really dis-liked was the main female lead, Gwen. Gwen's personality is very annoying and at times, but at others, she's a pretty funny, snarky, and spunky--she kind of reminded me of Sophie Mercer from the Hex Hall trilogy by Rachel Hawkins.

The writing in this book was good in plot consistency and grammar, but not too great all around. This is Estep's first young adult book, so it may have been that it was her first time, or it may be her particular writing style, but all throughout the book, you are constantly reminded of the following:

1) Everyone at Mythos Academy is rich and wears preppy and designer this and designer that
2) Gwen's mother, Grace, is deceased
3) "I am just that weird Gypsy girl with Gypsy powers."-Gwen Frost

And the list continues on and on like that, and Gwen constantly bags on herself and complains that she is a weirdo and a freak and she has no friends and dresses in weird clothes and likes manga and anime and so forth. I found it quite annoying and I felt as if the author thought that the reader couldn't remember simple facts and she took it upon herself to remind us of these things. However, the action and mythology in this book makes up for all of that--I LOVED the action in this book. There are some pretty big action scenes towards the end, both of them involving evil, mythological creatures and one involving an evil villain and a huge revelation. I couldn't help but smile as I read the end because I felt so close to Gwen, Logan, Daphne, and Grandma Frost by the end that I wanted to read more, but sadly I'm going to have to wait for the sequel, Kiss of Frost, to release on November 29, 2011.

I suggest that fans of the House of Night series by P.C. Cast + Kristin Cast and the Vampire Academy series by Richelle Mead check out this book--you won't be disappointed.

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