DARK FROSTJennifer Estep
(Mythos Academy #3)
(Mythos Academy #3)
Paranormal Young Adult
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.
MY THOUGHTSThe 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.