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by hmhibbit, July 24, 2012

First Frost
Mythos Academy, Book #0.5
ISBN# 9780758266927
Touch of Frost
Mysthos Academy, Book #1 
ISBN#  9780758266927
Kiss of Frost
Mythos Academy, Book #2
ISBN# 9780758266941
By Jennifer Estep
Author’s Website:

Review brought to you by OBS staff member Verushka

Recently, I’ve gone looking for urban fantasy books with a mythology bent – Roman, Greek and all other types of Gods there are. I happened to find Jennifer Estep’s Gwen Frost/Mythos Academy series, which is about Gwen, a young girl who happens to have the power of psychometry. She suffered through a tragedy in Book 1 (Touch of Frost) and discovered that her mom went to Mythos Academy, a school for the descendants of the Gods, ie Nike, Loki, Athena and Co. It bears a passing resemblance to the Percy Jackson series, but it definitely stands on it’s own.

Touch of Frost, and the pre-equal, First Frost brought Gwen and this world to life in a wonderful way.

Gwen is a fun, determined, snarky and sharp character, who tries to make the most of the difficult situation she is thrust into. She is forced to grown up very quickly in these two books, and Estep gives her the feeling of someone who is soldiering on through her grief, something anyone can relate to.

Her enrollment in Mythos Academy brings with it a stable of common characters – the jocks, the bad boys and the pretty, rich girls who have everything. In this case, they just happen to be Spartans and Valkyries respectively.

Gwen finds herself in the middle of a murder mystery in Book 1 (First Frost is more a Book 0.5 if anything) and she does her best to solve it. Now, in Book 1, there is the introduction of Logan, the Spartan bad boy that Gwen crushes on, but Estep never lets Logan consume Gwen, or her storyline and it makes Gwen and Logan better characters for it.

Unfortunately, thus far, it doesn’t seem to be the case in Book 2, Kiss of Frost.

By Chapter 11, the wonderful Gwen of the first two books de-evolved into a whiny, boy-obsessed caricature that actually made me stop reading this title. Until then, her thoughts had been consumed by her anger toward Logan for rejecting her, her determination to forget Logan (unsuccessfully) by rebounding with a new guy, while in essence being a bitch-in-trainers with a third guy who is seriously crushing on her.

Somewhere in there, two attempts were made on her life, but why bother with dealing with that when there’s a carnival and new boys to distract her?

Maybe, this is aimed squarely at a new breed of teen audience and not me, I don’t know. I appreciate good writing, engaging characters and a new setting for my urban fantasy fare. Oh, and female characters who do not obsess with male characters to the exclusion of all else. I really don’t know what happened with this book – Estep went from writing engaging interactions between Logan and Gwen and integrating them both into a story in Books 0.5 and 1 to 12 chapters of Gwen obsessing and Logan shoving his new ‘ship in her face.

I really couldn’t bring myself to continue reading this title, unfortunately. The slim hope of a return to form of the first two titles in this series isn’t enough to make me want to continue reading the Gwen in this title.

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