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Paperback, 359 pages
Release date: July 26th 2011 by
Kensington Publishing Corporation
ISBN: 0758266928 (ISBN13: 9780758266927)
Title: Touch of Frost
Series: Mythos Academy #1
I received an eARC for review from the author
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. . .
When I read the blurb of Touch Of Frost, Jennifer Estep wooed me with myths, Spartans, Valkyries, stolen artifacts and a murder. The fact that this would happen at Mythos academy did not withhold me from getting excited. I normally do not gravitate towards YA in the PNR genre but I knew what Jennifer Estep could deliver! The start of Touch Of Frost was very Beverly Hills 90210. All the kids were fabulously wealthy, only wore designer clothes and off the chart good looking. Perhaps I'm showing my age here with this comment but the descriptions of Mythos' students just triggered the memory. It was my curiosity what these characters were made of underneath that veneer of superfiscialness that kept me from being a judge, jury and executioner of disliking them. Gwen Frost with her hoodies, quips and quirks however was the complete opposite of her peers and kept my eyes locked with the pages.
Gwendolyn Frost is down to earth, street smart, grieving over her mother and thrown in to a new school because she has to learn to handle her psychometric power. Gwen has a saviness next to her craving for sweets, teenage doubts and embarrassing moments which all turned her first person narrating in to something I easily gobbled up. While the internal dialogues sometimes focuses a bit too much on the questions surrounding her power it is also a part of the personality that is Gwen Frost. Jennifer Estep managed to create another protag who I instantly closed in to my heart and who kept me engaged in her trials and tribulations.
There were a plethora of characters introduced surrounding Gwen. Whenever I get bombarded with so many names I trust the author to make the characters distinctive enough throughout the story so that they become recognizable. This is exactly what Jennifer Estep did! Daphne Cruz seems every bit the fashion princess when I was introduced to her but underneath that veneer I found a very different person. One I liked for her acerbic and volatile personality. There was also the Spartan; Logan Quinn, the epitome of the teenage heartthrob and the boy your mother warned you of. Full of bad boy charm, flirtatious, handsome but there is a depth to him. Actions, dialogue, gestures or plain facial expressions sometimes contradict one another to make me wonder about Logan. Professor Methis, coach Ajax and librarian Nickamedes added to the cameo of major and minor characters. Professor Methis was the one who captivated me the most, there is something more to her that triggered my curiosity. When she told about the myths in class I read on with bated breath.
The author gradually constructed a story rife with mystery, myths, action and a dash of first time love but one of the highlights in Touch Of Frost is the superbly incorporation of myth. While it may be just a story of Loki, Nike and other gods and goddesses in the beginning, they and the notion of a second chaos war, gradually come to life. It affects Gwen's world in profound ways as mystery comes knocking on her door. I think there are a few things Jennifer Estep excels in and that is creating likable but flawed characters, great world building and a plot that always keeps a few surprises in the end. All of it was present again in Touch Of Frost! The plot may have a few stagnating moments but it ends with a bang where it was edge of your seat pulls pounding action.
Jennifer Estep drew me in with the voice of Gwen and kept me page bound from cover till cover. Each chapter took me deeper in to a world where every day stuff as high school hierarchy, crushes and making new friends joins with murder, pending war and every mythical faction you can imagine. It is an attention grabbing blend which fuels an incredible start of a new series! Touch Of Frost will enamor old and new fans of Jennifer Estep's imaginative talent.