Thursday, May 24, 2012

Review: Dark Frost

(Mythos Academy #3)
Jennifer Estep
Paranormal Young Adult
336 pages
Available May 29th
Received from author for review

THE STORY (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.

The Mythos Academy series is one where the road traveled by its characters gets progressively rougher with each installment, the tests Gwen faces increasing in emotional and physical intensity to ensure that what started out as a lighter connection to characters and story darkens and solidifies into something we feel with every beat of our hearts. One of Ms. Estep’s strengths lies in her ability to pair humor with pain, life with loss, and romance with heartbreak, always adding a little grit to an otherwise smooth story, our skin abrading when we come in contact with it to act as a sharp reminder that in Gwen’s world, as in reality, suffering is a part of life. Though the burden Gwen carries as Nike’s Champion weighs more heavily from one book to the next, Ms. Estep never allows the darkness hovering on the fringes of her tale to fully infect and consume the story itself, crafting characters who repeatedly rise battle-ready with weapons drawn, prepared to be the first line of defense against any evil threatening their lives, their loved ones, and their world.

Gwen is a young woman whose growth continues to impress us the more time she spends at Mythos, starting out a true outcast who often lamented her status but did relatively little to ingratiate herself fully with the other students, to someone with a drive and determination to strengthen herself physically while striving to more thoroughly understand the scope of her pyschometry. She handles the constant emotional turmoil with Logan (and at times with best friend Daphne) remarkably well, never allowing her backbone to bend under the onslaught and instead keeping her head held high as she continues to wish for an outcome she’s not sure will ever truly be possible. While she does crumble a bit under the guilt stemming from certain events that take place in the last several chapters, her feelings of failure and inadequacy are more than understandable, and she only wallows in them briefly before drawing her spine straight once more and soldiering on.

Dark Frost is a pivotal book in the series in terms of the main story arc with Loki and the Reapers of Chaos, the minor developments of the previous two installments culminating in a conclusion that has us quivering in anticipation of the next book. There’s no jaw-dropping cliffhanger thankfully, but our need for more time in this world as the characters struggle to deal with the aftermath of all that’s happened is at an all time high as we close the back cover. While the identities of the Reapers are fairly easy to deduce, that knowledge doesn’t detract from our overall enjoyment as we’re easily wrapped up in Gwen, Logan and an epic battle of good versus evil, knowing all the while Ms. Estep will never make things easy for our heroes and heroines and loving her all the more for it.

Rating: 4/5


  1. Okay, I just scanned your review, but I really need to get to this series. I've heard great things about it. Plus I still need to read her adult books.

  2. Yay for no cliffhanger! I feel like most books in a series end in a cliffie now, and not even just a sad resolution but just right in the middle of the worst part of a scene! I don't think my poor heart can take many more of those stunners LOL :') And I love that the author doesn't make things easy for her characters. That always makes everything more interesting and intense!

    Beautiful review, Jenny! I'll be meeting Gwen in Mythos Academy for the first time soon! ;) <3

  3. See comment on Melissa's blog---you guys are killing me! :) :) :)

  4. I have the first book in this series. Why have I waited so long to pick it up? I must get to it soon!

  5. Alison - I can't recommend this series or her Elemental Assassin series enough, both are fantastic.

    Mimi - She definitely doesn't make things easy, I really like that about her. You never really know what's going to happen:)

    Felicia - *runs to Melissa's blog*

    Amanda - That is a good question! Have you read the Elemental Assassin books?

  6. Oh I skimmed. I should have read this one by now but I'm running very behind. I love this series though and I'm glad you enjoyed this one. I'm looking forward to reading it.

    I like your blog layout by the way. Very clean, easy on the eyes and easy to navigate. Well done!

  7. I really want to read this series. I'll have to add it to my wish list. I'll have to check for the first book in the series.

  8. Jenny you lucky thing you've been reading some great books recently so I'm glad you've found another good one, it's good to know this series gets better as it progresses, you may have twisted my arm to give this one a shot too! :)

  9. Sophia - I love this series too:) And thanks for the compliment on the blog:)

    Jennifer - I highly recommend all her books, she writes brilliant characters.

    Jasprit - I KNOW! I've been on a roll:) I hope you do give this series a try, I have so much fun with it.

  10. This is a fun series and as usual your review is excellent. I have you to thank for giving me such good reads!!! Looking forward to many more.

  11. I just finished the second book yesterday and started this one last night. The first chapter alone was stunning. This is an addictive little series. There is nothing extremely fresh or original about it but I really like it. Yes, you are right Gwen's growth is one reason and the tension between her and Logan keep me coming back for more and I adore Grandma Frost and Vic! I will have this on my blog on Monday so we can compare

  12. You could ask me why I haven't started this series yet, but I don't have any kind of acceptable answer. These books sound great! And 4 stars for a third book is awesome. I really need to get off my butt and start this series soon. :) Thanks for the nudge, Miss Jenny!

    1. I'm asking myself the same question as WD! And my mind is blank. Not cool, Missie. Not cool.

  13. Cathy - Thanks ;-)

    Heidi - Yay!!! They are addictive books aren't they? All her books are:) Love me some Logan!

    Wendy - Hahaha that's true for so many series for me. There are a ton out there I want to read and just haven't gotten to. I have no excuse O_o Hope you try these though!

  14. I haven't read the first book, but your review makes me wish I did! Great review :)

  15. Do you remember when you reviewed the first book of this?? LOl yeah I went and bought and STILL HAVE IT SITTING IN MY NOOK UNREAD! What is wrong with me Jenny?


  16. Love this series! AHHHHH! Logan, he makes me want to grab his face and kiss him and otehr times I want to smack him. Loved your review!

  17. I have to say you described Gwen's struggle so well. I really enjoyed what she did to her character. I also have to say this was my fave in this series so far.

    Oh and did you cry too? It KILLED ME! *HUGS SELF*

  18. I have read so many great reviews for this one. I have already read the previous books in this series and really enjoyed them. I am excited to read the newest one! :)
    Thank you for the wonderful review.

  19. Asma - I hope you give them a chance, they're awesome:)

    Tina - I do remember. I can't even begin to tell you what's wrong with you ;-)

    Savy - ME TOO! And Logan makes me feel the exact same way.

    Melissa - I do too. I just love how she writes all her characters:) And I totally cried. Like a little girl.

    Tina - I'm so glad you're loving the series so far! I think you'll really enjoy this one, it's a fabulous addition:)

  20. I really liked this one! I think this series just gets better and better.

  21. This is one series I'm actually on top of, and I can't wait to read Dark Frost!

    "She does crumble a bit under the guilt stemming from certain events that take place in the last several chapters." You just can't say stuff like this, Jenny, and expect me to not start bugging you about what happened :) Lol, as long as Logan survives, I'm happy. Then I can have him all to myself!

  22. I cant wait to read this! I really enjoyed the first two. And I'm very happy to hear there's not a major cliffhanger!

  23. *behind on my blogrounds*
    Hm..I did like that short story I read set in this world

  24. The first book has been sitting on my shelf for way too long... I need to start this series soon. I'm glad to hear the books are still proving to be great reads. Awesome review!

  25. I still need to read these books!! A lot of people seem to really like them, and I've been wanting to read them since before the first book even came out. *sigh* So many books, so little time!