Title: Touch of Frost
Author: Jennifer Estep
Release Date: July 26th, 2011
Genre: Young Adult Fantasy
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. . .
Summary from Goodreads.com
My Review: I read the summary for this book and immediately knew it was a book I needed to get my hands on. Mythology is one of my great loves, especially Greek mythology, so I was especially excited to get my hands on a book focusing on a school where the students are all descendants of ancient myths. The story is told from Gwen Frost’s point of view; she is a new student at Mythos Academy and often feels like the odd girl out because she is the only Gypsy attending the school. All the other students have warrior backgrounds such as, Valkyries Amazons, Vikings or any other ancient myth you can probably think up and Gwen feels like her abilities just don’t match up to her classmates. Gwen has the ability to read objects and tell what the person they belong to was feeling or thinking while touching it as well as a mini history of the object. She also gets readings off people when she touches them and can see their thoughts or events that have happened in their life. It is a cool ability to possess, but it often leaves her alone since people tend to not like others knowing all their secrets.
At the heart of this book is an ancient battle that everyone at Mythos Academy has been training to fight for. The war is between the gods and goddesses of the Pantheon (the good guys) and Loki, god of mischief, and his Reapers of Chaos (the bad guys). Loki wants to rule over everyone including: gods, goddess and mortals. The Pantheons goal is to not let that happen. The students at Mythos are caught in this battle and trained to fight against Loki, should he rise up again. Therefore students come to school armed not only with pens and paper, but with swords and daggers as well. Gwen gets involved when a student in her class is murdered and she is the one who discovered the body. She is determined to find out who did it, because she is convinced that foul play is involved.
There is a little romance peppered into the novel, but it not the focus of the story. Gwen has a crush on this boy, Logan Quinn, who happens to be a decedent of the Spartans. He has a reputation at school of being a ladies man, so she tries to keep her distance from him. However, they keep running into each other inadvertently throughout the novel and their interactions are ones I quickly came to forward to because of their amusing banter. Gwen’s inner monologue about Logan also kept me entertained; her initial description of how tough Spartans were had me laughing out loud:
“One of the things that Spartans were known for was their ability to pick up any weapon – or any thing– and automatically know how to use and even kill someone with it. Seriously. Logan Quinn was the kind of guy who could stab me in the eye with a freaking Twizzler.”
Tell me that image does not make you chuckle and cringe all at the same time? This brings me to my next point, Gwen’s way of speaking. I was a little worried at the beginning that the dialogue was going to be too juvenile, but that fear quickly dissolved as I continued reading and I fell easily in step with Gwen. She had me laughing at multiple times during the book at her inner thoughts. She is a bit of a loner, so she does not interact with her classmates as much, but definitely has her own opinions about them. She was quite comical in a nerdy type of a way which really spoke to me. Being a nerd myself, I enjoyed all her comic book references and her love of super heroes. I can easily relate to this passion and it just made me love Gwen more.
Overall, Touch of Frost is a fantastic first novel in a new young adult fantasy series. It has just a little bit of everything, engrossing new mythology, intriguing mystery, and a touch of romance that all blend together to make an irresistibly new series. I am looking forward to December when the next book Kiss of Frost is released.
FTC: I received a finished copy of this book from the publisher. (Thank you!)