Mythos Academy #4
Paranormal Young Adult
Available December 24th
Received from author for review
THE STORY (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.
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.
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…
As with all the books that have come before it, Crimson Frost beautifully combines an action-packed plot with a strong emotional thread; love, hate, passion, and fear all intricately woven through the battles and the blood to give us story that acts as a perfectly balanced and honed blade – able to inflict wounds easily even as we see hope through the haze of pain. This fourth installment is the most intense yet on both physical and emotional levels, the repercussions of Loki's release at the end of the last book detailed in all their infuriating glory as Gwen bears the full weight of the backlash on her young shoulders. Our love for her and our desire to protect her has never been stronger than it is in Crimson Frost, tears threatening to spill from our eyes at what Gwen has to endure as a result of the label of traitor she's mistakenly assigned, but even as our hearts feel heavy in our chests throughout, Ms. Estep always provides us with moments of relief just when we need them most.
The Gwen Frost of this book is a far cry from the Gwen Frost of the first book even though not all that much time has passed since we first met her, the self-imposed isolation and hesitancy to fully embrace the mythological world almost entirely gone, and a determination and will to succeed however dire the circumstances have taken their place. Part of Gwen's appeal is in her lack of fighting prowess, her ordinary human strength something familiar and comforting amidst the Spartans and Valkyries even as her psychometry magic sets her apart, and we can't help but want to root for her all the more when she stumbles in battle and often emerges the loser rather than the victor. Despite the fact that she's often defeated in hand to hand combat, she never once gives up, sulks, or whines that she's just not good enough, instead she picks up talking sword Vic, lets his blood-thirsty pre-battle talk rile her up, and jumps into the fray to protect those she loves.
Gwen's romance with Spartan Logan Quinn has always been a prominent element in these books–but never an overwhelming one–teasing us with the palpable tension between them without allowing their relationship to become the sole focus of the story. In this installment, their relationship is a bit more in the background than it has been in books past, but though the fight with Loki takes precedence, Ms. Estep never lets their affection fade completely into the shadows of the Reapers, always subtly reminding us of their growing feelings for one another. Once we reach the concluding chapters however, Gwen and Logan's relationship is painfully thrust into the spotlight, and we're left with hearts raw and bruised after a rather sound trampling, hoping and wishing the release date for book five could be moved up by several months to ease the suffering caused by waiting.
Overall, Crimson Frost is the best book of the series yet, challenging the characters and us as readers at every turn, and showing us just how difficult life at Mythos Academy can really be. While much of Gwen's story is dark, humor keeps that darkness from enshrouding us completely, Vic's antics and constant boasts of how brilliant a fighter he would be if Gwen would just point him at a Reaper and let him have at it putting a smile on our faces and lightening the burden Gwen carries with such grace. This series continues to get better as it goes, with each book released only further solidifying Ms. Estep's place on my list of favorite authors.