Book Review: Killer Frost by Jennifer Estep

Killer Frost (Mythos Academy, #6)

Title: Killer Frost (Mythos Academy #6)
Author: Jennifer Estep
Genre: Urban Fantasy, Magic, Young Adult, Last in the Series
Publisher: Kensington Teen
Publication Date: February 2014
Pages: 384
Rating: 3.5 stars

Synopsis (from goodreads):
I’ve battled the Reapers of Chaos before–and survived. But this time I have a Bad, Bad Feeling it’s going to be a fight to the death … most likely mine.

Yeah, I’ve got my psychometry magic, my talking sword, Vic–and even the most dangerous Spartan on campus at my side, in Logan freaking Quinn, but I’m no match for Loki, the evil Norse god of chaos. I may be Nike’s Champion, but at heart, I’m still just Gwen Frost, that weird Gypsy girl everyone at school loves to gossip about.

Then someone I love is put in more danger than ever before, and something inside me snaps. This time, Loki and his Reapers are going down for good … or I am.

My Review:

Gwen Frost, Nike’s Champion and psychometric Gypsy, has been though a lot. Reapers, Rocs and Fenrir Wolf Pups have all done their best to try and quash Gwen and her friends but they haven’t succeeded. And now it’s time for the final battle. Nike’s followers verses Loki’s Reapers. Gwen knows she isn’t alone. She has Vic, Logan the Spartan, Daphne the Valkyrie and a whole bunch of friends to back her up…  but Gwen knows that she is the key to locking Loki back up but she hasn’t the slightest idea how she is supposed to do it.

I’ve been a big fan of this series since I read the first book a few years ago. All kinds of mythology, boarding school and some fantastic characters. It’s always sad when a series you’re enjoying comes to a close but as the saying goes – all good things must come to an end. Gwen is trying to navigate her first romantic relationship with Logan whilst trying to decipher Nike’s cryptic advice. The Reapers are out in force, stealing artifacts and rearing up for a big finish.

One of the things I’ve come to love about this series is Gwen however I wasn’t the biggest fan of her in Killer Frost. I want characters to grow and mature as people as their get older. To have their experiences improve them. But in this book Gwen regressed slightly. She’s not learned that she’s stronger when she has her friends beside her and constantly reminding everyone that she’s the only one that can defeat Loki. I understand that she has a lot on her shoulders. That she is the chosen one. But it felt somewhat out of character to me for her to be shunning those who can help her and still taking such disregard for her own safety – especially since she knows if anything happens to her then the entire world is at risk.

The way the final battle went down was great to read. It incorporated so much of what the things I loved about the previous books as well as new things I wasn’t expecting. The ending was perfectly fitting for all of the characters and I liked seeing familiar faces showing up again.

I’m glad that I read this series. It’s fun and I really enjoyed how the mythologies were incorporated together. It feels like we may get a spin-off and if that does happen I will definitely be reading it too!

 

Thanks to NetGalley and Kensington Teen for the review copy.

Purchase the novel from:

Amazon | Booktopia | Book Depository | BookWorld

Book Review: Secret by Brigid Kemmerer

Secret (Elemental, #4)

Title: Secret (Elementals #4)
Author: Brigid Kemmerer
Genre: Paranormal Romance, Magic, Young Adult, Urban Fantasy
Publisher: Allen & Unwin (Australia), Kensington Teen (US)
Publication Date: January 2014
Pages: 375
Rating: 4.5 stars

Note: The Australian edition of Secret contains Nick’s novella, Breathless, which introduces the dynamic between Nick and Quinn as well as Adam.

Synopsis (from goodreads):

Nick Merrick is stretched to breaking point. He’s trying to keep his grades sky-high or he won’t get in to college. He’s trying to keep his brother’s business afloat or the Merricks will be out on the street. He’s trying to keep the secret of where he’s going in the evenings from his twin brother Gabriel – or he fears he’ll lose his family. And he’s trying to keep his mind off the hot, self-assured dancer who is his ‘girlfriend’s’ partner.

And then Quinn takes to hanging around his sworn enemy, and an Elemental Guide is counting the hours until he can try again to kill the Merrick brothers. Storms are brewing. On all sides.

SECRETS IN THE WIND. DANGER IN THE AIR.

My Review:

Nick Merrick has been keeping a secret. He’s been having feelings for his girlfriend’s male dance partner and Quinn is the only one who knows. But Quinn has a secret of her own. Her homelike has been getting worse by the day and she feels like she can’t tell everyone just how bad things are with her mother and older brother. The Guides are getting closer and the threat to the Elemental Merrick brothers is imminent. With Tyler, a local teen who has been torturing the brothers for years, popping up and Nick’s secret growing heavy on him, Nick needs to decide who he can trust before things get out of his control.

I’ve been a fan of this series since I read the first book, Storm, and I get more attached to the Merrick clan with each new instalment. This book focuses on the romantic relationships between Nick and Adam as well as Quinn and Tyler. I do enjoy the romance in this series and it felt like it was going back to the start where more of the focus in the novel was romance and less drama. However I found myself missing some of the action and excitement that the Guides bring. In many ways the prologue felt slightly out-of-place – with a discussion between the Guide which caused Hunter so much pain in Spirit but then not being addressed for the rest of the novel.

Whilst the title of this book doesn’t follow the Elemental aspect of previous books, Secret is a perfectly fitting title. Near all the characters in this novel have secrets that they don’t know how to handle. From Nick’s sexuality to Quinn’s family and the part of himself that Tyler is keeping hidden from the world – the theme of secrets was beautifully reiterated throughout the book. One of the things I liked most about this book was how supportive the majority of characters were when faced with other’s secrets.

Overall I enjoyed this book. This novel was a pleasure to read and with a few surprises that I was not expecting (I can’t wait to see the fallout from the ending).  With the focus being more on romance and relationships as opposed to the Elementals vs. Guides battle, Secret felt like it was laying a lot of ground work for the next book in the series. There’s a lot up in the air (no Air Elemental pun intended!),  I can not wait for Michael’s story, Sacrifice.

 Thanks to Allen & Unwin for the review copy.

Purchase the novel from:

Amazon | Booktopia | Book Depository | BookWorld

Check out my reviews for the other books in the Elemental series:

Storm (Elementals #1)

Spark (Elementals #2)

Spirit (Elementals #3)

Novellas: Elemental (Elementals #0.5), Fearless (Elementals #1.5), Breathless (Elementals #2.5)

Book Review: Midnight Frost by Jennifer Estep

Midnight Frost (Mythos Academy, #5)

Title: Midnight Frost (Mythos Academy #5) 
Author: Jennifer Estep
Genre: Paranormal Romance, Contemporary, Mythology
Publisher: KTeen (an imprint of Kensington Publishing Corp.)
Publication Date: 30 July 2013
Pages: 400
Rating: 4 stars

Synopsis (from goodreads):
Here we go again …

Just when it seems life at Mythos Academy can’t get any more dangerous, the Reapers of Chaos manage to prove me wrong. It was just a typical night at the Library of Antiquities — until a Reaper tried to poison me. The good news is I’m still alive and kicking. The bad news is the Reaper poisoned someone else instead.

As Nike’s Champion, everyone expects me to lead the charge against the Reapers, even though I’m still hurting over what happened with Spartan warrior Logan Quinn. I’ve got to get my hands on the antidote fast — otherwise, an innocent person will die. But the only known cure is hidden in some creepy ruins — and the Reapers are sure to be waiting for me there …

My Review:

I’ve been a huge fan of the Mythos Academy series since I first read Touch of Frost. It’s got a fantastic mix of mythological creatures, adventure and drama with just a dash of romance to keep things interesting.
Midnight Frost is the fifth book and things just keep getting more dangerous for Gwen Frost and her friends. Gwen’s part-time job at the Library of Antiquities is anything but safe when a Reaper breaks in and tries to poison her. The Reaper may have failed to kill Gwen but Head Librarian Nickamedes was not quite so lucky. With the poison running through his veins and not even the healing gift of Mythos’ own headmistress able to cure him, it’s up to Gwen and the gang to save him. Cue a mission to another campus of the Mythos Academy, this time in the snowy mountains to collect a flower only known to be grown there. Convenient right?

Okay, slightly unbelievable coincidence aside, this was a great instalment to the Mythos series. Gwen and her friends are more becoming more and more capable with every adventure. The gifts from the Gods are helping on their quest to defeat Loki and his followers but sometimes not even Nike can save them from falling into the Reapers evil traps.

Gwen is maturing and finding her feet nicely. She’s gone from the Gypsy girl who took unnecessary risks just because she could to now being a formidable fighter in her own right. And there’s that gorgeous Spartan, Logan Quinn, who may be out of sight but he’s never far from Gwen’s thoughts.

We get to see a different side to the Gypsy girl with some family secrets revealed and Nike enlightening us a little more as to just how she expects Gwen to defeat Loki in the final showdown.

In many ways, this book was slightly less exciting than previous books in the series. It starts slow with a lot of information and whatnot being imparted. But thankfully the second half was fantastic with the adventure and Gwen’s amazing ability to tame the wicked beasts. I thought some parts were rather predictable and was desperately hoping Gwen would work out just what was what before she did. That said, things came to a brilliant climax and I can’t say I was disappointed with how everything went down.

A fantastic addition to the series – I can’t wait to see what Jennifer Estep comes up with next for the Gypsy girl, her Spartan Warrior and all their fighting friends.

Thanks to Kensington Teen and Netgalley for the review copy

Purchase the novel from:

Amazon || Book Depository 

Novella Review: Spartan Frost by Jennifer Estep

Title: Spartan Frost (Mythos Academy #4.5) 
Author: Jennifer Estep
Genre: Paranormal Romance, Contemporary, Mythology
Publisher: KTeen (an imprint of Kensington Publishing Corp.)
Publication Date: 25 June 2015
Pages: 60
Rating: 3.5 stars

Synopsis (from goodreads):
I’m Logan Quinn, the deadliest Spartan warrior at Mythos Academy. At least I was — until the day I almost killed Gwen Frost.

Professor Metis and Nickamedes say that I’m fine, that Loki and the Reapers don’t have a hold on me anymore, but I can’t risk it. I can’t risk hurting Gwen again. So I’m leaving Mythos and going somewhere far, far away.

I know Gwen wonders what’s happening to me, whether I’m safe. I can’t tell her, but this is my story …

My Review:

Before Midnight Frost (Mythos Academy #5) is released in July, it’s fantastic to get a novella help me wait for another instalment in one of my favourite series. And the best part about Spartan Frost is that we get a glimpse at life though the eyes of our favourite Spartan, Logan Quinn.

In the wake of events from Crimson Frost (Mythos Academy #4)Logan is trying to get his head around just what happened in the auditorium. Moving back to New York with his father, Logan is battling his inner demons. That is until his father lets him join the Protectorate and face off against some Reapers.

This novella is short and sweet so my review is going to be too. I love Logan – and it was fantastic getting to see life from his point of view. Spartan Frost isn’t going to be necessary to completely understand and enjoy the Mythos Academy series however it’s an interesting to see how Logan feels about fighting, his family and his relationship with Gwen.  

I am more excited than ever for the release of Midnight Frost and hope that in the future, Jennifer Estep plans on giving us more insights from the Spartan, Logan Quinn.

Purchase the novel from:

Amazon

Book Review: Spirit by Brigid Kemmerer

 

 

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Title: Spirit (Elementals #3)
Author: Brigid Kemmerer
Genre: Paranormal Romance, Contemporary, Magic
Publisher: Kensington (I received an ARC from NetGalley)
Publication Date: May 2013 (Allen & Unwin are publishing Spirit in Australia in June 2013)
Pages: 301
Rating: 5 stars

Synopsis (from goodreads):
With power comes enemies. Lots of them.

Hunter Garrity just wants to be left alone. He’s learned the hard way that his unusual abilities come at a price. And he can’t seem to afford any allies.

He’s up to his neck in hostiles. His grandfather, spoiling for a fight. The Merrick brothers, who think he ratted them out. Calla, the scheming psycho who wants to use him as bait.

Then there’s Kate Sullivan, the new girl at school. She’s not hostile. She’s bold. Funny. Hot. But she’s got an agenda, too.

With supposedly secret powers rippling to the surface everywhere around him, Hunter knows something ugly is about to go down. But finding out what means he’ll have to find someone he can trust…

My Review:

I don’t know how Brigid Kemmerer does it. With every word I read in the Elementals series – be it a full length novel or novella – I fall more in love with the stories, the series plot and especially the characters.
Spirit is Hunter’s story. He’s on the outs with the Merrick brothers, his mother is still weeping over his father’s death six months ago and his grandfather thinks he’s a delinquent – a theory that’s only strengthened when the headmaster rings home after Hunter is accused of assaulting another student.

And then he meets Kate. Sassy and strong, the new student makes Hunter feel like no girl ever has before. But as sexy as the mysterious transfer student is, she’s also secretive and may or may not have a boyfriend. Hunter’s father taught him to use everyone else before they use him but as Hunter gets to know the Elementals he’s starting to question everything he’s ever known.

I wasn’t expecting to love Spirit as much as I did. But I fell in love with how terribly life treats Hunter. He’s only sixteen but has been though so much. He survived a car accident that claimed the lives of his father and uncle, he’s somehow managing to cope with a withdrawn mother and grandfather who doesn’t know how to deal with his tattooed and pierced grandson. And I have to say it’s a fantastic thing for Hunter that he knows people who can draw on the elements to heal…

And through it all Hunter manages to pick himself up and try to carry on as he thinks his father would have wanted him to. His relationships with others are rocky and trust isn’t something that comes easily to the Spirit Elemental. But he evolves throughout the book. His romance with Kate was my favourite relationship to read so far in this series. They’re not conventional but somehow they work so well together.
The Merrick brothers and their other halves are brilliant in this latest instalment of the Elementals series. They add a spark of drama but in the end are there of each other (and Hunter if he lets them) when it storms. I really enjoy how Chris, Becca and Gabriel pop in and despite their happy endings, they aren’t over glamourized as characters. They have their faults and their finding love hasn’t completely changed their personalities.

This is my favourite book in what is quickly becoming one of my favourite series. I can not wait till early next year when the fourth book (Nick’s story!) is released.

Purchase the novel from:

Amazon
Book Depository 


Optional Goodies:

— code for free download for the Elementals ebook (available on Kensington site only, through link below):

http://bit.ly/105eIEt

The promo code is: VCARD

It’s active until May 31st.

 

I’m delighted to have participated in the Spirit blog tour hosted by The Midnight Garden. I recommend stopping by and checking out the character interviews, exclusive content and giveaways!

TMG blog tours

Novella Review: Breathless by Brigid Kemmerer

I think I’m going to have to reconsider my former statement on not liking novellas. Because the novellas in the Elemental series (Elemental #0.5, Fearless #1.5 and now Breathless #2.5) are incredible!

Since this story was so short and sweet my review will be too.

Title: Breathless (Elementals #2.5)
Author: Brigid Kemmerer
Genre: Paranormal Romance, Contemporary, Magic
Publisher: Kensington
Publication Date: 30 April 2013 
Pages: 65
Rating: 5 stars

Synopsis (from goodreads):
Too many secrets. Not enough time.

Nick Merrick is supposed to be the level-headed one. The peacemaker. Since it’s just him and his three hot-headed brothers against the world, that’s a survival tactic.

But now he’s got problems even his brothers can’t help him survive.

His so-called girlfriend, Quinn, is going quick as mercury from daring to crazy. Meanwhile, Quinn’s dancer friend Adam is throwing Nick off balance, forcing him to recognize a truth he’d rather shove back into the dark.

He can feel it—-the atmosphere is sizzling. Danger is on the way. But whatever happens next, Nick is starting to find out that sometimes nothing you do can keep the peace.

My Review:

Everytime I read a story from the Elementals series I find myself finding a new favourite character. After finishing Spark (Elementals #2) I was hooked on Gabriel but now it’s his twin, Nick, that I can’t get enough of.

A true testament to Brigid’s writing that a novella of only 65 pages could leave such a profound impression on me.

Nick – the responsible Merrick brother – has a decision to make. Does he stay close by to be there for his family or does he take the chance and break out on his own and go to a college far away when he can just be Nick – and not just known as Gabriel’s brother.

His sort-of girlfriend, Quinn, is making Nick even more uncomfortable with feelings of insecurity, uncertainty and a dash of guilt but he wants to be there for her. He is her sounding board and the perfect gentleman despite her (possibly deserved) reputation as being easy with her affection. And then there’s Adam – Quinn’s dancing partner who is there for Quinn no matter what… and if Nick let’s him would be there for him too.

There’s so much more that happens in this story but I really don’t want to divulge anything too spoilery. It’s just that good! Breathless left me breathless (pardon the pun). It’s short and sweet and has me craving the more of the somewhat forgotten Merrick brother!

Spirit (Elemental #3) comes out on May 28th.

Purchase the ebook from:

Amazon


Book Review: Crimson Frost by Jennifer Estep

Title: Crimson Frost (Mythos Academy #4) 
Author: Jennifer Estep
Genre: Paranormal Romance, Contemporary, Mythology
Publisher: KTeen (an imprint of Kensington Publishing Corp.)
Publication Date: 24 December 2012
Pages: 384
Rating: 5 stars

Synopsis (from goodreads):
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…

My Review:

Gwen’s life just keeps getting more complicated by the second. After being tricked into helping Loki escape – the mythological world’s law enforcement officers, The Protectorate, have come to arrest Gwen and make her face trial for her crimes. To add more complexity to the situation, the leader of the Procetorate happens to be the one and only Linus Quinn – Logan’s father. When all this goes down in the first chapter of the novel – and during Logan and Gwen’s first official date – you know that the rest of the novel is going to be action packed and full of surprises and pandemonium.

It’s no secret that I’m a fan of the Mythos Academy and consider it to be one of my favourite YA paranormal series – this latest instalment is no exception. Gwen’s starting to grow up and accept her role in the big battle of good vs. evil. Instead of blaming the gods and circumstances, she’s trying to work out how she can beat Loki – and she realizes she can’t do it alone. Logan, Daphne, Carson, Oliver and Kenzie are all along for the ride along with both new characters and some old faces to help Gwen with the tremendous task in front of her.

This book is less focused on the gang of Mythos students and more on Gwen herself – not to say that there aren’t some fantastic scenes with her friends – but Gwen is more focused on the situation she finds herself in and less preoccupied with the student population of Mythos Academy. I enjoyed Estep’s writing but there were times when I thought some of Gwen’s internal monologues were a little long-winded. The Logan/Gwen interactions were adorable and I loved reading them together.

As in the previous books of the series, I thought the introduction of different mythological creatures, gods and warriors to be incredibly interesting and fantastically woven in with the story. It’s one of my favourite parts of the story to read about stories I know as well as being educated (and entertainingly so) about myths I’m more unfamiliar with.

The climax of the story wasn’t exactly a surprise but – as the saying goes – it’s the journey rather than the destination that is important and I enjoyed how Gwen got there. There was plenty of action, drama and enough romance along the way that kept me reading till the final page.

Midnight Frost, the fifth book in the Mythos Academy, is set to be released in August of 2013 and after reading Crimson Frost I can’t wait to see what happens next in the battle between Gwen, the reapers and Loki – the god of Chaos.

Purchase the novel from:

Amazon / Book Depository