Friday, August 19, 2011

Review - Touch of Frost (Mythos Academy, Book 1) by Jennifer Estep (4/5 stars)

Touch of Frost (Mythos Academy)Reading level: Young Adult
Genre: Urban Fantasy
Size: 336 pages
Publisher: Kensington
Release Date: August 1, 2011
ISBN: 978-0758266927
Stand Alone or Series: 1st book in the Mythos Academy series
Source: Bought for Kindle
Rating: 4/5 stars

I am a big fan of Estep's Elemental Assassins series and was excited to see that she was writing a YA series.  This is the first book in Estep's new young adult series, Mythos Academy.  There are currently three books contracted for this series, but Estep hopes to write 4 or 5.  The second book, Kiss of Frost, is due out Dec. 2011.  This was a great start to a fun new mythology based series.  I loved Gwen as a character and loved how mythology was tied into the story.  I recommend checking out the prequel, First Frost, if you want the back-story behind the incident with the girl and her hairbrush which is referenced a number of times in this book.

Gwen Frost has just started at Mythos Academy and is having trouble fitting in.  She is surrounded by Romans, Amazons, Valkyries, and Spartans...all strong warrior types.  Gwen's only power is the ability to get feelings and thoughts from objects people have touched.  When a girl is murdered in the campus library where Gwen works, the powers that be at Mythos Academy blame the Reapers of Chaos; but Gwen thinks there is more to it and starts secretly investigating.  Her investigation gets her into a lot of trouble and introduces her to a destiny she never knew she had.

This book takes a bit to get going; for the majority of the book Gwen only has her touch ability to rely on.  Gwen is a great character who is very down to earth, and seems to balance school and family well.  Gwen has trouble making friends and is a loner at heart.  Gwen's potential love interest, Logan, seems like an interesting character...but you just don't learn much about him or see him much in this book.

Most of the book is about Gwen sneaking around trying to figure out what really happened with the girl that was murdered in the library.  So this was an urban fantasy with a lot of mystery thrown in.  The setting is neat too, Mythos academy is an interesting place.  I wish that the powers of the other races there had been expanded on a bit; all of the other races are faster and stronger.  There is some mention of other elemental and healing abilities, but it is never talked about in depth and as a reader we never really learn how this relates to the specific races.

I loved some of the stuff that happened towards the end of the book and am really looking forward to seeing what Gwen does in her new place, with her added power.  Not to mention the training session planned between Gwen and Logan...I am sure those will be very very interesting.  The book ends well, with the main mystery resolved and a lot of things dangling for the next book.

Overall this was a solid YA urban fantasy.  I enjoyed the characters and the setting; loved how mythology is tied into this story.  It is kind of like a young adult mythological Harry Potter.  I am hoping that the characters' powers will be expanded on in future books and I am also hoping we will get to know Logan better.  I will definitely be picking up the next book in this series, Kiss of Frost, when it releases.  Fans of young adult urban fantasy should check out this book, as should fans of mythology based urban fantasy.

This book goes towards the following reading challenges:

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