- Jennifer Estep
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...
One of the best things about having Mel as a friend is the fact that I have a never-ending supply of books to borrow! We met up the other evening and I was presented with a lovely big pile of books, on the proviso that I reviewed each one. Well, who could argue with a bargain like that?! [Um, I believe your first reaction was "What?! All of them?!!" - Mel]
The first book I read (primarily because it was already on my Amazon wishlist!) was the first in Jennifer Estep’s Mythos Academy series – Touch of Frost. Think Harry Potter’s Hogwarts, but with mythical warriors instead of wizards. I really enjoyed the refreshing change of direction for a YA school-based fantasy – Amazons, Spartans and Valkyries create a whole new dynamic. Of course, there is still the normal teenage-angst, and our heroine Gwen Frost has to deal with it in spades, being the orphaned, outcast, new-girl, and a Gypsy to boot.
Yes, whilst the other students do battle with spear and sabre, Gwen appears ‘limited’ to being able to see people’s emotions and actions through contact with either themselves, or items they have touched. Yet even that ability seems to be on the blink when uber-popular, spoilt rich kid Jasmine is murdered in the library, apparently whilst trying to prevent the theft of a powerful magical artifact, and Gwen can get no readings from the body. Determined not to let this stop her, Gwen sets out to investigate the murder, setting off a whirlwind chain of events that seem to get more dangerous at every turn.
I like Gwen as a character – she’s damaged by the loss of her parents, totally insecure in her role at Mythos, yet wonderfully respectful of her gift, a self-confessed geek, and her love for her grandma literally pours from the pages. She can be a little too judgmentally at times though, and the depth of feeling she develops for a Spartan, Logan, in a very short space of time did surprise me a bit! Gwen is also really sceptical about the ‘reality’ of the myths and legends that Mythos insist are reality – scepticism that I have to admit, I share. Estep tries her hardest to convince, but as of the end of the first book, I wasn’t totally on board.
A good read, with some very promising elements, I’ll definitely be asking Mel for the second in the series, and hoping that Estep can convince me more of the reality of the myths and legends of old.
One for fans of Rachel Hawkins and Kelley Armstrong’s Darkest Powers series, 7.5 out of 10.