Archive for Jennifer Estep
For a moment, a face flashed before my eyes—the most hideous face I’d ever seen. No matter how hard I tried to forget what had happened, I saw him everywhere I went. It was Loki—the evil god that I’d helped set free against my will.
I should have known that my first official date with Logan Quinn was destined to end in disaster. If we’d gotten into a swordfight, or been ambushed by Reapers, I’d have been more prepared. But getting arrested mid-sip at the local coffee hangout? I didn’t see that one coming.
I’ve been accused of purposely helping the Reapers free Loki from his prison—and the person leading the charge against me is Linus Quinn, Logan’s dad. The worst part is that pretty much everyone at Mythos Academy thinks I’m guilty. If I’m going to get out of this mess alive, I’ll have to do it myself…
Being familiar with this series, it doesn’t surprise me that Gwen and Logan’s first date ends up so disastrously. What does bother me is that I started this book with high hopes. I really enjoyed the first book in the Mythos Academy series, but by book two, Gwen’s love interest, Logan, was beginning to lose his allure. Book three appeared to put things back on the right track–Gwen and Logan had finally got past their holding pattern and had made tentative (yet firm) steps toward each other. Which is why Crimson Frost came as something of a disappointment for me.
Of course, the Mythos Academy books are not just about Gwen and Logan. Their romance is a big part of the series’ storyline, but the larger arc is Gwen & Co.’s quest to defeat Loki and the Reapers. Since I prefer my romance with a healthy dose of plot, I appreciate that there’s more going on than Gwen and Logan’s will they/won’t they relationship. However. When an author makes moves to take the main couple out of their holding pattern only to return them to it in the next book, I call shenanigans.
Which is all to say that Crimson Frost is shenaniganolicious. There are a few revelations that get Gwen a little closer to defeating Loki, but mostly the book read as though it was written to separate her from Logan again. The whole book, honestly, felt like a step back for the series. It was a disappointing read. Not bad enough to keep me from reading the next installment, but frustrating enough that I’m grateful that I’ll have the time I need before Midnight Frost is released. Hopefully Estep will be ready to allow Gwen at least one small breakthrough. I’m counting on it.
|2 1/2 Matryoshkas: I’d Glance at This Book Through a Store Window|
Publisher: Kensington Publishing Corporation
Publication Date: November 29, 2011
Status: Second in the Mythos Academy series. Book one, Touch of Frost came out earlier this year, book three, Dark Frost, has a publication date of May 29, 2012, and book four, Crimson Frost is expected to be released in January 2013.
Source: Received from the author for review (Thanks Jennifer!)
Genre: Private School Paranormal, YA
Other Info: Jennifer Estep is the author of the Elemental Assassin series and the Bigtime books. The Mythos Academy series is her first foray into YA.
Description and link from Goodreads:
Kiss of Frost is a solid follow-up to a series that is vivid, surprising and fascinating all at the same time. Unfortunately, because I began this book with high expectations, I was disappointed by its slow start. Jennifer Estep spends an inordinate amount of time reacquainting her readers with the Mythos world. I needed a little refresher–no question–but I was about to start skimming pages when the story finally picked up.
Once it got started, Kiss of Frost was a fast and furious read after that. It hit the ground running and didn’t stop. While this makes for an exciting book, it detracted from what I’ll call the “Veronica Mars” element that I loved so much in book one. Gwen doesn’t get to spend a great deal of time investigating because she’s too busy being in danger and running for her life. Not to mention moping about Logan. Granted he’s hot (oh so hot), and Gwen’s a teenager, and these two factors combine to make the fact that he’s dating someone else wickedly painful for her, but I wanted a little less moping and a little more of the self-confidence she exhibited in Touch of Frost.
I did love the relationship between Gwen and Daphne. It’s touching to see Gwen have a true best friend at last, and their relationship is portrayed with realism. Gwen and Daphne’s friendship began about the same time as Daphne’s relationship with Carson, a fact of which Gwen tries to be respectful–sometimes to her own detriment. Also, I think the two girls are still trying to figure out how to be best friends, and for Gwen especially, that’s not going to be a smooth path.
Back when I read Touch of Frost, I developed a major crush on Logan Quinn, but in this book, his allure waned a bit for me. This was, in part, due to two things. One, he plays a much smaller role in this book. He makes a number of onscreen, nonspeaking appearances, and Gwen thinks about him a great deal, but we don’t get to see him, er, in action all that much. The other issue was Logan dating Savannah when he had feelings for Gwen. It was a crummy thing to do, and I liked him the less for it. Kind of like I’m really hoping it’s only a rumor that he signs all the mattresses of the girls he’s slept with. Because: ew.
Finally, there was the mystery, which was the weakest element of Kiss of Frost. The mysteries weren’t mysterious at all. (Though to be honest, I only guessed half of Oliver’s secret.) In all, Kiss of Frost suffers from book two malady. It’s a bridge to the next book, but doesn’t stand well on its own. I’m looking forward to the next installment because I know what Jennifer Estep can do–and this wasn’t it.
I am so very pleased to welcome Jennifer Estep to the blog today. I’ve been excited about her Mythos Academy series since it was a twinkle in Jennifer’s eye, and she’s done nothing dispel my adoration since. Kiss of Frost was one of my most highly anticipated reads of the fall (catch my review tomorrow). Lucky for you, Jennifer’s kindly provided me with an excerpt from her recently released Kiss of Frost. But before we get to that, meet Jennifer Estep…
And learn a little bit about Kiss of Frost…
And then read the excerpt…
With a third, still-warm cookie in my hand, I left Grandma Frost’s house. The sun had given up trying to break through the clouds, and it had gotten even darker and colder while I’d been inside. I shoved the rest of the cookie into my mouth and stuck my hands deep into my jacket pockets, wishing I’d thought to wear gloves today. Of course, I supposed I could have worn gloves around the clock to cut down on the flashes I got off other people and objects. But I already felt like enough of a freak as it was. Wearing elbow-length gloves all the time would so not help my social status at Mythos.I walked to the end of the block, looked both ways to make sure the coast was clear, and stepped out into the street heading for the bus stop on the opposite side.I didn’t even see the car until it was right on top of me.It was a big, black, expensive SUV with a shiny silver grille—and it was racing right toward me.I froze in the middle of the street, not quite believing what I was seeing, not quite believing that the driver hadn’t spotted me, that he wasn’t going to blow the horn and slam on his brakes at any moment. Where had he come from? The street had been completely empty a second ago.The SUV kept coming and coming, and the wheels kept churning and churning, gulping down all the pavement that separated us. The tinted windshield loomed up in my vision until it was all that I could see—a hungry black maw that was going to swallow me up whole, and then spit out my bloody, broken bones.It seemed like forever, but after a second, my brain kicked in, screaming Move! Move! Move! I didn’t have an Amazon’s lightning-quick speed, but I managed to throw myself forward, my body slamming against a rusty pickup truck parked on the opposite side of the street.
The SUV roared past me, so close I felt the rush of air from its passing brush the back of my jacket. The vehicle zoomed down the street, zipped around the corner at the end of the block, and disappeared from view. The driver never slowed down—not even for a second.
With my mouth open, heart hammering, arms trembling, and legs shaking, I stared down the empty street and wondered whether or not the whole thing had been an accident—or something far more sinister.
Now enter to win a chance to read the rest…
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There’s a book cover! Plus, a description and you can read the first two chapters at Jennifer’s blog. Here’s the link for that, plus the “official” description.
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…
You probably recall that Jennifer Estep is the author of the Elemental Assassins series, or maybe you’re a Bigtime fan. What you might not know is that in 2011, Jennifer will make her YA debut. Touch of Frost, the first in her new Mythos Academy Series, will be published by Kensington. The Mythos Academy books are–yep, you guessed it–Private School Paranormals. I found out about them when I was doing research for my review of Spider’s Bite. I’m thrilled to be able to share with you some information that Jennifer sent to me about her new series. On her blog, Jennifer related the Mythos Academy books to the much beloved (by me) Veronica Mars TV show. Also, there’s Valkyries. For those of you who want more information than that (seriously, Veronica Mars and Valkyries aren’t enough?), here’s a brief synopsis Touch of Frost, which will be released in August 2011. I have more wonderful news: book two, Kiss of Frost, will also be released in 2011, albeit not until December. Sadly, there’s no cover art yet, but if I had to choose one, I’d pick a synopsis anyway. Oh, wait, before I start, here are some important links:
- Click to preorder your copy of A Touch of Frost.
- Click to visit Jennifer’s website.
- Click to visit her blog.
- Click here for Jennifer’s initial announcement about the Mythos Academy books. It has some juicy details, including a tidbit about the heroine’s love interest.
The Mythos Academy books focus on Gwen Frost, a 17-year-old Gypsy girl who has the gift of psychometry, or the ability to know an object’s history just by touching it. Gwen’s magic lets her see everyone who has ever touched or used an object as well as feel their emotions — the good, the bad, and the ugly.
After a serious freak-out with her magic, Gwen finds herself shipped off to Mythos Academy, a school for the descendants of ancient warriors like Spartans, Valkyries, and more. The academy is located in the fictional suburb of Cypress Mountain, North Carolina, and the kids there are training how to use their magic and various skills to fight Reapers of Chaos. The Reapers are some seriously bad guys who want to free the evil god Loki from his mystical prison so Loki can take over the world and enslave everyone.
Gwen doesn’t think that she belongs at the academy or that she’s any kind of warrior, but she’s wrong — and she’s a lot stronger than she realizes.
Now, on with the extras:
Thank you so much to Jennifer Estep for this wonderful sneak peek!
Gwen’s class schedule
First period: English lit. I love books – really, I do – but would it kill the professor to let us read some freaking comic books or graphic novels every once in a while? Seriously, they’re so much more fun than all this so-called classic literature that I’m stuck reading all the time.
Second period: Calculus. I’m good at calculus, but I totally do not see the point of it. All those Xs and Ys are all hypothetical anyway, right?
Third period: Geography and world politics. The geography is interesting, but the world politics part is a total snooze. Besides, everyone knows that politicians lie.
Lunch break: A miserable hour where I get to eat by myself in the back of the dining hall while everyone else hangs out with their friends. Oh, goodie.
Fourth period: Chemistry. Meh. I’m totally ambivalent about chemistry.
Fifth period: Gym aka weapons training. I hate gym class. Hate it, hate it, hate it. Why can’t I just be book smart? I have a 4.0 GPA. Why do I have to be coordinated too? That’s just too much to ask.
Sixth period: Myth-history. Professor Metis is pretty cool, but it cracks me up that she and the other kids actually believe all this stuff about gods, goddesses, mythological monsters, and Reapers of Chaos. It’s not history, and it’s certainly not real. Uh, is it?
Afterschool detour: Yeah, I’ll admit it. I sneak off campus every chance I get, hop on a bus, and go see my Grandma Frost who lives close to the academy. What are the Powers That Were at the academy going to do – expel me?
Afterschool job: I have to hustle from my Grandma Frost’s house back to the academy so I can work at the Library of Antiquities a few days a week. Boring. But the worst part is Nickamedes, who actually thinks that all the dusty pieces of junk in the glass cases are real artifacts – that they actually have magic attached to them. Whatever, dude. I think you’ve been stuck in the library a little too long. Although, there’s this sword that I just can’t seem to stay away from …
Mythos Academy warriors and their magic
The students at Mythos Academy are the descendants of ancient warriors, so they all know how to fight and use weapons, and they all have magic as well. Here’s a little more about the warrior whiz kids, as Gwen calls them:
Amazons and Valkyries
Most of the girls at Mythos are either Amazons or Valkyries. Amazons are gifted with supernatural quickness. In gym class during mock fights, they look like blurs more than anything else. Valkyries are incredibly strong. Also, bright, colorful sparks of magic can often be seen shooting out of their fingertips.
Romans and Vikings
Most of the guys at Mythos Academy are either Romans or Vikings. Romans are super quick, just like Amazons are, while Vikings are super strong, just like Valkyries are.
As if being super strong or super quick wasn’t good enough, the students at Mythos Academy also have other types of magic. They can do everything from heal injuries, to control the weather, to form fireballs with their bare hands. The powers vary from student to student, but as a general rule, everyone is dangerous and deadly in their own special way.
Spartans are the rarest of the warrior whiz kids. There are only a few at Mythos Academy and scattered throughout the world. But Spartans are the most deadly and dangerous of all the warriors because they have the ability to pick up any weapon – or any thing – and automatically know how to use and even kill with it. Even Reapers of Chaos are afraid to battle Spartans in a fair fight. But then again, Reapers rarely fight fair …
If you’re half as excited about Touch of Frost as I am, that’s still not enough. This is a series I’ll be standing in line for. Metaphorically, at least. Thanks again to Jennifer Estep. Enjoy the rest of your weekend everyone!
If you’re sticking around, I’ll be posting the big end-of-PsP-Week Giveaway Contest later today, so tune in again!