Book Review: Dark Frost by Jennifer Estep

Title: Dark Frost (Mythos Academy #3) 
Author: Jennifer Estep
Genre: Paranormal Romance, Contemporary, Mythology
Publisher: KTeen (an imprint of Kensington Publishing Corp.)
Publication Date: May 2012
Pages: 352
Rating: 5 stars

Synopsis (from goodreads):
I’ve seen so many freaky things since I started attending Mythos Academy last fall. I know I’m supposed to be a fearless warrior, but most of the time, I feel like I’m just waiting for the next Bad, Bad Thing to happen. Like someone trying to kill me—again.

Everyone at Mythos Academy knows me as Gwen Frost, the Gypsy girl who uses her psychometry magic to find lost objects—and who just may be dating Logan Quinn, the hottest guy in school. But I’m also the girl the Reapers of Chaos want dead in the worst way. The Reapers are the baddest of the bad, the people who murdered my mom. So why do they have it in for me?

It turns out my mom hid a powerful artifact called the Helheim Dagger before she died. Now, the Reapers will do anything to get it back. They think I know where the dagger is hidden, but this is one thing I can’t use my magic to find. All I do know is that the Reapers are coming for me—and I’m in for the fight of my life.

My Review:

I love this series. And I’m only slightly ashamed to admit I’ve been staking out the mailbox for the last few weeks eagerly awaiting the postman to deliver my copy to me.

This novel starts with a bang. Or at least a bloody battle when a group Reapers attack the museum Gwen, Valkyrie best friend Daphne and Daphne’s Celt boyfriend Carson are visiting to complete some last-minute homework before the end of winter break. I thought the most dramatic thing to happen after their holidays would be Gwen and Logan’s reunion but I was so wrong.

Not that the Logan and Gwen relationship in any way let me down. I love them as a couple. I love the drama and the issues that they have between them. Gwen manages to be in love with the gorgeous Spartan and yet, at the same time, she’s not completely besotted to the point of not being able to do or think of anything else. I admired her independence. Not only in terms of her romantic (or lack there of) relationship but also in all facets. If she really needs help then she’ll ask for it.

There’s a lot of action going on in this novel and in many ways it’s darker than the previous two novels in the series. Things are really ramping up. Loki’s Champion knows who she is and is out to get her and Helheim dagger from the first few chapters in the novel. But Gwen manages to cope with the pressure better than expected. I suppose this is starting to sound a bit like a love letter to Gwen. I just really enjoyed this novel. That’s why I was up till 4am finishing it when I had to wake up at 6.

The supporting characters were, as usual, brilliant. I love the different types of mythological warriors and creatures. And how well this novel fitted in with the others. All of the characters are growing in terms of their warrior skills and themselves as people. I’m really enjoying watching them become who they are destined to become.

I loved the plot – I was proud of myself for working out the mystery before Gwen but I wasn’t disappointed in Gwen like I was in Kiss of Frost. The evil Reapers are insanely good at being evil. I have no idea how things are going to end up which is half the fun. But I hope not too many people have to die before Loki is defeated.

Now that I’ve finished Dark Frost, I can’t wait till the end of the year for the fourth book to come out!

Purchase the novel from:

Amazon / Book Depository 

Book Review: Storm by Brigid Kemmerer

Title: Storm (Elementals #1)
Author: Brigid Kemmerer
Genre: Paranormal Romance, Contemporary, Magic
Publisher: Allen & Unwin (Also published by Kensington)
Publication Date: May 2012 
Pages: 368
Rating: 4 stars

Synopsis (from goodreads):
Earth. Fire. Air. Water.

When Becca Chandler saves Chris Merrick from being beaten-up in the school car park, she has no idea how dramatically this one action will change her life. Chris is no ordinary guy and neither are his three older brothers. The Merrick boys are Elementals. Hot. Powerful. Dangerous. Marked for death.

Then there’s Hunter, the mysterious new kid around school, turns up with a talent for being in the wrong place at the right time. With her life at stake, Becca doesn’t know who to trust or whose secrets she should keep. and with two boy vying for her affections, and pressure rising all around her, will she find out in time who’s hiding the most dangerous truth of all?

Take Cover.
The storm is coming!

My Review:

Every bookstore I’ve been into in the last few weeks has had a big display of this book. And when there’s that much hype about a book (and when I’m at my most paranoid and am convinced said book is following me about) I know I have to check it out.

Storm had me captivated from the first chapter. After skipping out on a boring self-defence class (and wasting $60!), Becca Chandler discovers a some guys beating up Chris Merrick in the car park. With a flat phone battery and no way to call for help what does Becca do? Find someone to assist with breaking up the fight? Run away? Neither. Becca jumps in her car and tries to run the bad guys off with her elite driving skills… I fell in love with Becca from this moment on.

Still petrified and with a half-dead teenage boy to deal with, Becca somehow manages to drive him to his home where he and his three brothers live; Michael – the oldest and somewhat strict guardian of the family and twins Nick and Gabriel – who seem to enjoy making their brother’s life difficult. If gratitude was what Becca was after, the Merricks are not the guys to get it from.

Things get a little more complicated for Becca when she catches the eye of the New Guy in town – Hunter – who asks her and her bestie Quinn to a party. Is it in spite or because of the rumours around school regarding Bex? The bad guys from the parking lot are back to cause more trouble. It doesn’t seem like Becca can get a break. In between her estranged father back in town or the mysterious Merrick brothers – Becca is in for a lot more drama.

Becca is a fantastic main character. I love people who perform acts of great bravery especially when they’re scared half to death and in my mind this describes Becca to a T. She’s petrified when she comes across Chris in the car park but she doesn’t run and hide. Whilst I’m not sure trying to run over people in your car is a great move (the police are sure to have issues with it) I admire her for not just running away.

People with magical powers are always ones that I love to read about and the Merrick Brothers are no exception. Gabriel is a laugh. He’s just so cheeky and half the time I’m not sure if I want to kiss him or kick him. The rest of the group is just as endearing in their own way. Hunter was an interesting character. I loved the psuedo-hippyness that was his style and beliefs. And Quinn? She irritated me a little but she was real. Her behaviour whilst slightly annoying added to the novel and Becca as a real person rather than just a fictional character.

There’s quite a bit of drama going on in this novel. Family drama, supernatural drama, school drama – it’s all there but it all is woven together beautifully. And there are some real and horrific issues in this book. I have to admit I wasn’t exactly sure what was going to happen regarding Becca’s reputation and was surprised with how it all went down.

The ending was good if not a little anti-climatic. But I’m very happy that this is not a standalone book and that Gabriel’s book is up next!

Storm reminded me in many ways of Obsidian by Jennifer L. Armentrout – the regular girl getting involved with the family that’s just a little bit different and in need of protecting from their supernatural rivals.

It was a great read. One that I devoured in one evening… it even kept me up way past my usual bed time.

Purchase the novel from:

Amazon / Book Depository 

Book Review: Kiss of Frost by Jennifer Estep

Title: Kiss of Frost (Mythos Academy #2) 
Author: Jennifer Estep
Genre: Paranormal Romance, Contemporary, Mythology
Publisher: KTeen (an imprint of Kensington Publishing Corp.)
Publication Date: November 2011
Pages: 354
Rating: 4.5 stars

Synopsis (from goodreads):
I’m Gwen Frost, a second-year warrior-in-training at Mythos Acad­emy, and I have no idea how I’m going to sur­vive the rest of the semes­ter. One day, I’m get­ting schooled in sword­play by the guy who broke my heart—the drop-dead gor­geous Logan who slays me every time. Then, an invis­i­ble archer in the Library of Antiq­ui­ties decides to use me for tar­get prac­tice. And now, I find out that some­one at the acad­emy is really a Reaper bad guy who wants me dead. I’m afraid if I don’t learn how to live by the sword—with Logan’s help—I just might die by the sword…

My Review:

Gwen Frost is back – a few weeks after the incident in the library – and she’s ready to take her place as Nike’s Champion. She’s getting a handle on her psychometric ability, training at combat with three of Mythos’ greatest Spartans and she’s even keeping her jealousy of Logan Quinn’s new relationship under control. Or at least mostly under control.

In this second installment of the Mythos Academy series, Gwen has a Reaper out to get her – retribution for Jasmine. Daphne – Gwen’s new BFF – convinces Gwen to go on the school trip to the Winter Carnival. Anyone who’s anyone goes to the prestigious carnival along with students from New York’s Mythos branch. Gwen can’t manage too much enthusiasm about the change of scenery. She hasn’t spent her winters skiing and then there’s Logan Quinn flaunting his relationship with his glamorous Amazon in her face. Oh – and there’s still someone out to kill her. Will Gwen manage to get to the bottom of whoever is trying to end her before it’s too late?

I really enjoyed this story for a number of reasons. The friendship between Gwen and Daphne is one of this series’ strongest points. The comic book obsessed Gypsy Girl and the pretty-in-pink princess could not be more mismatched but they work perfectly. And as all good heroines know, a computer geek no matter what form they are in, are a girl’s best friend. Carson and Daphne’s blossoming romance is equally adorable. I love their besotted and cute interactions and whilst being completely into each other they try really hard not to let Gwen feel too much like a third wheel.

And then there’s Logan Quinn. Even his name is sexy. I’m a huge fan. He is the bad boy every girls wishes she had. The amount of sex appeal that boy has? I’m not ashamed to say that I’d let him sign my mattress… if he were a little bit older.

The chemistry between Gwen and Logan was my favourite part of the novel. They’re so intense. I think it’s a testament to the author’s skill that she can write scenes that are positively steamy when the two characters involved don’t even touch. And then when they do… my goodness! They have become one of my favourite literary couples to read.

The only reason I’m giving this four and a half of a five is I couldn’t believe how clueless Gwen could be. She’s an intelligent and street smart kind of girl who knows how to handle herself most of the time but I couldn’t believe she couldn’t work out certain key plot points before they sort of fell upon her. She could have avoided a lot of trouble but then one of my favourite scenes may never have occurred… I’m not quite sure how to feel.

I can’t wait for the next book – Dark Frost. This is one of the few times when I’m glad I have come to a series late because this means that I only have a few weeks to wait before I get to emerge myself in Mythos Academy again.

Purchase the novel from:

Amazon / Book Depository 

Book Review: Touch of Frost by Jennifer Estep

Title: Touch of Frost (Mythos Academy #1) 
Author: Jennifer Estep
Genre: Paranormal Romance, Contemporary, Mythology
Publisher: KTeen (an imprint of Kensington Publishing Corp.)
Publication Date: July 2011
Pages: 350
Rating: 5 stars

Synopsis (from goodreads):
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. . .

My Review:

I think I was sold on this book when I read this line from the author’s website. “Basically, I’m pitching the book as Veronica Mars meets the movie 300. I’m also using this tagline — Magic. Myth. Monsters. Mean girls.

It’s true, I only watched 300 for Gerald Butler’s abs but I am one of the world’s biggest Veronica Mars fans. She is one of my all time favourite characters – from film, TV and books – she is just everything that I wanted to be when I was a teen but lacked the confidence and mad detective skills to ever become.

Gwen Frost might not be quite as kick-ass as Veronica Mars but she is snarky and in her own way endearing.

I was hooked from the start. Gwen Frost, aka. The Gypsy Girl, confronting one of the schools’ Mean Girls in a bathroom over a stolen bracelet. It turns out that Gwen has the gift of psychometrics – the ability to see the complete history of an object and strong feelings a person has had when touching the object. I’m not sure I’d see it so much as a gift per-say but I love that Gwen has turned it into a lucrative business opportunity.

And then from there things just got even better. We find out that Gwen has been enrolled in Mythos Academy six months ago after her mother died in a car accident. This is no ordinary school. The students who attend this prestigious school are the descendants of mythological warriors – Spartans, Vikings, Amazons and other incredible ancient races that many, including Gwen, only ever really thought of as made up story characters. When the most popular girl in school is found murdered in the library and an incredibly powerful artefact is stolen, Gwen wants answers.

I completely fell in love with this story. It’s quick and fun and interesting and is a mix-mash of so many things that I love. Quirky somewhat snarky heroine. Magical boarding school. Mythological creatures. Adorable and loveable grandmother. And a gorgeous strong and deadly leading male love interest – who in this particular book is in the form of Spartan Logan Quinn.

I adored the characters – from Gwen to Daphne to Logan and Nicodemus. The characters made this book the engaging and enjoyable read that I found it to be. The plot was brilliant. I think Veronica Mars herself would have had trouble solving this one and whilst Gwen isn’t quite up to Veronica’s standard, she’s got that same intelligent streak that overcomes the obvious until she finds out the truth.

For me this has been one of those reads where I am so glad I have a kindle and as soon as I finished I could instantly get the next book in the series with just a click of the mouse.

For anyone that likes a feisty heroine and a modern twist on mythological stories then I could not recommend this book highly enough. This has been one of my favourites of this year so far.

Purchase the novel from:

Amazon / Book Depository