Touch of Frost by Jennifer Estep (Mythos Academy #1)

Title: Touch of Frost (Mythos Academy #1)
Author: Jennifer Estep
Release Date: August 1, 2011
Publisher: K-Teen
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...

I just made my way back to the land of YA Paranormal after almost two full weeks of non-stop Contemporary and New Adult reads, and of course the first two reads I finish weren't two that I particularly enjoyed. (This is read number one, in case you were wondering.) Sigh. That's the life of avid book readers, I suppose. We will get disappointed by some of the books we read, and there's really nothing any of us can do about it.

The premise of Estep's Mythos Academy series is interesting enough - think Vampire Academy, however, we get mythical creatures from Valkyries to ninjas inhibiting a school instead of vampires. The very name of the book (and the series) made me excited about Estep's world-building, but sadly, I didn't feel that she delivered. I was rather disappointed at the lack of background information and details about this specific world Estep introduced. Come on - I want to learn more about these mythical creatures! Most of them were simply mentioned and never delved into again. Though I know that this novel is only the first in a series, I still feel that Estep should have spent more of the first book drawing the readers into her world.

Another reason as to why I didn't really enjoy this novel is because of its MC, Gwen. Not only is Gwen the MC, she also narrates throughout the novel in first person, yet despite all this, she still never made me feel invested in her life. Sure, she can tell the history of an object through a touch, but other than her unique ability, nothing about her is remotely interesting. I just couldn't relate to her - heck, nothing she says or does made me feel anything towards her. Nine times out of ten, I desperately wanted to skim through her endless soliloquies about just how much an outcast she is, how she misses her recently deceased mother, and how she believes that she caused her mother's death. Gwen's consistent berating of herself was just a smidge overdone. Instead of feeling sorry for her or even feeling even the slightest twinge of sympathy towards her, I just rolled my eyes and desperately wished for her woeful monologues to end.

Quite frankly, I never quite understood why Gwen felt responsible for her mother's death either. Her reason for believing that she caused her mother's death was a tad too far-fetched, in my opinion. I honestly felt like she was grasping at straws - she was looking for someone to blame, couldn't find one, and chose to blame herself instead. As I said previously, all of this is supposed to at least make you feel sorry for Gwen, but no matter what I did, I honestly can't feel anything at all towards her character!

Oh, the blurb is a bit misleading as well. Gwen was NOT the one who should have died, and it was clear all throughout the novel! Also, the resolution of the whole mystery fell a little flat. Even the plot twists incurred not even a 'what!?' or a 'huh?'  from me. Simply put, I didn't enjoy Touch of Frost as much as I would. Some parts of the novel were fun to read, sure; a few characters were interesting, yes; but the negative aspects of this book overshadowed its positive aspects. The blurb promised so much; the premise certainly piqued my interest; but Touch of Frost failed to deliver. Character development was pretty much non-existent, and the novel as a whole lacked punch. I don't think I'll be picking up the second book in this series.

Rating: 2 Stars


  1. Oh bummer. I picked this one up and the next two awhile back. They were all free at the time, so I thought why not? I didn't really enjoy Estep's adult series but I was hoping her YA one would be better. Doesn't seem like it. But I might still try it out myself one of these days!

    Nice review though! I like why you explained the book didn't work for you instead of just blatantly calling it dumb.

  2. I love reading books where the main character has some super natural power! But I hate when they either try to avoid it and feel sorry for themselves, or try to get rid of it and feel sorry for themselves. I think it would be much more interesting to see her, use her powers, instead of sulking around and blaming herself for something she could do nothing about!



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