Touch of Frost by Jennifer Estep
TOUCH OF FROST GAVE ME CHILLS, it was so good. And what’s not to like in a world filled with pale pink computer-hacking warrior princesses, moody talking swords, a deliciously crush-worthy bad boy spartan who can turn anything, I mean anything into a deadly weapon, and one unlikely heroine in a school full of heros, a geeky gypsy girl who might just save the world. This book was truly awesome.
Mythology meets modernity at Mythos Academy. The nefarious Loki and his Reapers of Chaos are in a constant battle with the Pantheon. So naturally the forces of good and evil are staging their latest battle… in a high school. In an institution filled with warrior whiz kids, ironically the fate of the world rests with an odd girl who thinks all myth and magic is a load of bunk, and who can’t fight for squat. But her gypsy gifts are only the start of her powers and she may just find that she’s a lot stronger and braver than she thought, more of a warrior then she could have imagined, the perfect champion.
Gwen Frost has always been different. Special. Gwen’s a gypsy like all the women in her line. Her grandmother can see the future, her mother can see the truth, Gwen can see and feel the history of an object. And she’s about to find out just how special she truly is. Gwendolyn Frost doesn’t believe in magic or the historical significance of mythology. Too bad Gwen’s being thrown into a world of real life legend. After the sudden death of her mother Gwen is sent to nearby, Mythos Academy, a boarding school dedicated to the fine arts of mythological combat. They train various types of teenage warriors like Amazons, Valkyries, Spartans, and Romans. Unfortunately Gwen isn’t a typical warrior type. Ok, she’s not a warrior at all. And her total lack of sparring ability makes her a complete outcast. Luckily Frost’s pariahdom could be coming to an end when the luscious Logan Quinn takes notice of her, but his rakish reputation could spell heartbreak if Gwen’s not careful. Her problems aren’t limited to falling for the wrong boy though, the most popular girl in school is murdered, but there’s something not quite right with the killing, and Gwen is determined to find out who’s behind the viscous attack and why.
Jennifer Estep’s first foray into YA was excellent. Anything with a strong mythological base is always a treat, but Estep really made it fresh and different by only focusing on the soldiers of lore and champions of the gods, instead of the usual heros. The storyline was great, definitely not what I was expecting. I feel like where Estep took the story stayed true with the YA genre, it had believable teenage motivations, while managing to weave in some more mature villains. Gwen is a wonderful character she was witty and a bit snarky without being annoying. If her development is anything like Gin Blanco, then I’m sure with each book her powers will grow and evolve until she’s become the powerhouse heroine to match any god. I can’t wait for the future tomes to see how her skills will build. Daphne was an equally fun character, the prissy pink princess valkyrie who happens to also be a total computer geek. And then there’s Logan. I’m not entirely sure he’s the playboy everyone makes him out to be, plus he’s got some secret that will keep me interested in this series. I thought the beginning felt a little weird, because Gwen is very lonely with her social exile and the grief she’s going through. You can really feel the absence of companionship. Then she starts hanging out with Daphne and the solitary strangeness ends and much needed secondary characters emerge. So stick with it the awkwardness rights itself. Plus there’s a wonderfully long battle scene toward the end.
The only thing I really didn’t like was Estep’s repeated use of certain descriptives and catch phrases. I don’t like reading how Logan has ink-black hair, or how Gwen’s eyes are the color of twilight EVERY time it comes up. And it came up a lot. I get that warrior whiz kids, and magic mumbo jumbo has good alliteration but these phrases where too redundant. I think writing flows better when the author finds new ways of saying the same thing. My rating is 4.5 stars because of this repetition.
Great Book. Exciting New Series. Highly Addictive Read.
FYI: The first two chapters of Kiss of Frost are up on Estep’s site, and the second chapter reveals some interesting new possibilities with Gwen’s abilities, along with the setting of the book and the mounting tension between Logan and Gwen. If your like me Nov. 29th can’t come soon enough.
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