Book review: “Dark Frost” by Jennifer Estep

Dark Frost is the third book in the Mythos Academy series by Jennifer Estep (my reviews of the first two books are over here). The series follows the adventures of Gwen Frost as she struggles with her destiny as Nike’s chosen Champion, fights against the forces of Chaos, and deals with the never-ending drama that is high school.

The official book description:

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.

“Dark Frost” picks up a few weeks after ” Kiss of Frost” ends, with Gwen, Daphne, Carson, and Logan visiting a museum to finish homework they were supposed to do over Christmas. Aside from weapons, armor, and artifacts, they find themselves at the center of a Reaper attack headed by Loki’s Champion.

The good:

  • The museum and the battle in the museum. I’m a mythology nut so I enjoyed the descriptions of the artifacts on display.
  • The showdown between Gwen, Loki’s Champion, and *****. It saved the book and showed just how badass Gwen could be. She has so much potential!
  • Logan and Daphne being the kick-ass people that they are.

The horrible:

  • Gwen’s entire quest to find the Helheim Dagger. Seriously? It took her that long to figure out where the dagger was hidden?
  • Gwen being surprised with who Loki’s Champion turned out to be. I figured it out the moment the character was introduced.
  • Gwen not realizing how Loki’s Champion was playing her.
  • Gwen being an overemotional idiot over Logan. She must have spent at least half the book moaning about how she couldn’t be with Logan because of her magic. This is the girl who’s supposed to save the world?

The annoying:

  • The reveal about Nickamedes. So. Typical.
  • The author’s continuous use and reuse of the same adjectives.
  • The author’s constant shifting between referring to people by their name or their warrior type. This wouldn’t be annoying if the book weren’t written in Gwen’s voice. Why would Gwen’s inner voice refer to Daphne as “the Valkyrie” after they became best friends? It would be like Harry referring to Hermione as “the Gryffindor”. It doesn’t make sense.

Overall score: 3 out of 5 stars. It’s an improvement over the first two books but not by much. I’m still hoping that it’ll get better with “Crimson Frost”.

Book reviews: “Touch of Frost” and “Kiss of Frost” by Jennifer Estep

I’m not a fan of the young adult paranormal romance genre but I decided to give Jennifer Estep’s Mythos Academy series a try because 1) someone lent it to me, 2) I was bored, and 3) I wanted something light and fast to read.

The official series description:
Gwen Frost is an outsider at 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. Gwen is an outsider both to the students of the Academy and the rest of the world. But when her gift of psychometry – the ability to know an object’s history just by touching it reveals dark undercurrents and danger afoot, she has no choice but to get involved.

Book 1: Touch of Frost

Gwen Frost is the new girl at Mythos Academy, a boarding school in North Carolina where the children of mythological warriors – Vikings, Valkyries, Spartans, Celtic warrior bards, samurais (?!) and ninjas (?!) – go to school. The kids are here to learn how to fight and stand against the forces of Loki, who wants to plunge the world into Chaos. The funny thing is she’s not a warrior. She’s a Gypsy with the gift of psychometry, the “ability to know an object’s history just by touching it”. Because she’s a Gypsy and is *gasp!* middle class, the hoity-toity rich kids of Mythos consider her as invisible. Gwen’s accepted her background status until Mythos Queen Bee Jasmine Ashton is brutally murdered and an important Artifact is stolen. Gwen is the only one who thinks there’s more to Jasmine’s murder than meets the eye and so starts poking around. Unfortunately, poking your nose into where it doesn’t belong in a place like Mythos is definitely not a good idea.

What I liked:

  • The mythology-brought-to-the-modern-world scenario, similar to what Rick Riordan has done
  • The supporting characters: Logan Quinn (the Spartan bad boy/Love Interest), Daphne Cruz (the Valkyrie princess who eventually becomes Gwen’s best friend), and Carson Callahan (Celtic warrior bard and band geek)
  • The touch of teenage reality – sex, alcohol, and rule-breaking in a boarding school.
  • The Nancy Drew aspect – skulking around, discovering things.
  • It was exactly what I thought it would be – fast, light, and slightly brainless. On second thought, is this a good thing?

What I didn’t like:

  • Gwen. There were several instances at the start of the book that I just wanted to smack her.
  • The telling, not showing. Important information that Gwen needs to know is constantly told to her by the teachers, Daphne, and the villain *facepalm*
  • The constant emphasizing of the kids having designer clothes and purses, expensive cars, and jewelry. I get it, these kids are rich. No need to tell me every other page.
  • Samurais and ninjas included as “mythological warriors”. Really? REALLY? They were warriors, sure. But they were never warriors in the service of a particular god.

Overall score: 2/5 stars. Touch of Frost gave me enough reason to read Book 2, Kiss of Frost.

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