Blog Tour: Touch Of Frost Review

Jennifer Estep's website here // $9.95 from {amazon}
Series: Mythos Academy #1
Publisher: Kensington (August 1, 2011)
Paperback: 336 pages
Source: Blog Tour

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...

My Thoughts: 

These days it’s hard to impress the “boarding school paranormal or urban fantasy (BSP/UF)” series clique: HEX HALL, OH. MY. GODS., VAMPIRE ACADEMY, HOUSE OF NIGHT, DARK ELITE, etc. That’s not to say it’s impossible by any means, but there’s definitely some pressure; it’s like being the new kid among the snobby mean girls. So, has TOUCH OF FROST passed the entrance exam into the school of unique BSP/UF series to watch out for?* I think so.

TOUCH OF FROST begins as many others do – with death (and a caring grandmother). What’s different about TOUCH OF FROST is that Gwen, our go-to-girl, is a gypsy with past-revealing powers upon physical contact. And that’s only the tip of the mythological iceberg as Mythos Academy reveals Valkyries, Amazons, Spartans, and much, much more. Don’t know much about them? You’re covered, as TOUCH OF FROST seamlessly slips in enough mythology so that even you hobbits from Lonely Mountain will stay in the loop. Jennifer Estep expertly molds these traditional tales around the plot of TOUCH OF FROST, and though the story starts off slow and almost scarily cliché, the delightfully unexpected twist ending strongly hints at still undiscovered mythology and exciting action in books to come.

As for Gwen, she's the "perfect" YA protagonist. She maintains a strong, humorous voice throughout, and is a balanced mix of vulnerability, strength, and overall relateability. Yet she's just a little too perfect with no real personality quirks that can make me say THAT'S GWEN. Instead, Daphne, the traditional mean girl -- technically Valkyrie -- that turns out to be not so bad, ended up being my favorite character. Surprisingly so, since she's a little too pink for my taste, but I love her 'tude. And not so much the attitude of Logan, the traditional (do you see a trend here?) mysterious, tortured, and brooding** bad boy. Boy, get over yourself please.

TOUCH OF FROST was like Gwen herself: enjoyable, but not overly unique. The mythology was easily the highlight of TOUCH OF FROST, and without it, I can definitely see TOUCH OF FROST lost among the crowd. That being said, Jennifer Estep really does create an intriguing world and presents it in a fun, light-hearted manner that will doubtlessly attract many-a-teenager. 

My Rating: 3.5 out of 5

Bottom Line: I highly recommend TOUCH OF FROST for BSUF fans looking for a new series addiction or mythology fans in general. In movie terms, TOUCH OF FROST was like a trailer for me. It gives tantalizing glimpses of what the Mythos Academy promises and sets up a general stage for future action/romance/anything else Jennifer Estep decides to throw in there. Definite potential, but will it be a full-fledged member of the BSP/UF clique or just a lowly minion? Only time will tell.  

Cover: ...I like it? It's clean and suits TOUCH OF FROST. But, again, face shot... a little bit of background... where have I seen this before? (Answer: EVERYWHERE. So don't feel bad, TOUCH OF FROST. *pats*)

** ...I need an acronym for this. Mysterious, tortured, brooding = MTB. Or simply E for Edward.


This review is posted on behalf of The {Teen} Book Scene TOUCH OF FROST tour. Click to visit the rest of the tour stops (with interviews, reviews, and what fun have you) and check out Jennifer Estep's earlier guest post here. :)