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Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Review: Dark Frost by Jennifer Estep

Dark Frost

Book #3 of the Mythos Academy Series

by Jennifer Estep

Publisher: Kensington (May 29th, 2012)
Genre: Urban Fantasy, YA
Format: eARC (336 pages)
Source: Review Request from Author
Purchase: Amazon / Barnes & Noble / Book Depository
Rating: ★★★★½ (4.5 stars)
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.
~ Goodreads
The Good
Best by Far...
Though I have yet to review the first two books of this series, I have read them, and I can tell you right now that this series gets better and better with each passing book. Dark Frost is the best installment by far. The action, drama, and danger laced into every page took my breath away.

Gwen has an impossible task ahead of her: Find the Helheim Dagger her mother stashed away before the Reapers of Chaos find it. The problem is it could be anywhere, and the Reapers are closing in. Even her psychometry (knowing the history of an object by touch) isn't helping her pinpoint the dagger that her mother gave her life to keep hidden. Gwen's life is only getting harder as the bad guys start attacking the people she cares for, her best friend starts ignoring her, and the boy that she loves decides he can't handle what her powers will reveal about his past.

Never Give Up...
I have to admit, Touch of Frost--the first book of the series--didn't really grab me. I wasn't 100% sure I wanted to continue the series, but Jennifer Estep gave me the ARC of Dark Frost so I wanted to make sure to read the rest of the series. I am so happy I did. I loved Kiss of Frost and was blown away by this book. Now I am all antsy for the next book to come out.

Cry Baby...
This book really went all out with its no holds barred type of action. Big things happened that will change the rest of the series, and the repercussions are going to be astronomical. Only two book have ever made me cry (The Host and Kushiels Dart) and Dark Frost actually made me tear up a little. With me being the emotional robot that I am, I have to give Estep props for getting me all misty eyed.

Dark Frost picks up a couple weeks after Kiss of Frost. Gwen and all her friends are coming back to Mythos Academy after winter break. And catastrophe greets them like a slap on the face, a deadly slap on the face. This particular incident devastates Gwen. It all becomes too real for her. Her schoolmates are actually dying and it's on her shoulders (as Nike's warrior) to stop the Reapers from finding the Helheim Dagger which will release the evil Loki, the God of Chaos. I think I would have crumbled with the kind of pressure Gwen is under. And to make it worse, her best friend Daphne is dealing with her own problems and is taking it out on Gwen. While maybe not-maybe so boyfriend Logan has decided that her powers are too much for him to handle. Alone, Gwen does her best to keep going, to keep fighting. This was definitely the roughest and saddest plot so far. Nothing seems to go right for Gwen. But it was necessary for the growth of our little protagonist. She is maturing as a character, which I think will be vital for the books to come.

The Rest of the Crew...
Daphne actually pissed me off in this book. I get why she acted the way she did, but it hurt my heart to watch Gwen take the brunt of her wrath. Then we have Logan. I've never wanted to strangle someone and root for them at the same time. He is so frustrating. And hot, can't forget hot. I actually fell in love with Oliver (Logan's best friend) in this book. I want to see more of him because he seems a little less emotionally sporadic than Daphne and Logan.

Dark Times...
We dive deeper into the Mythological world this time around. Bad guys start to reveal themselves while future heroes start to grow into their powers and roles. The action was nonstop, which made this book by far the most fun to read. It was also a darker, grittier, and more violent read. Expect mystery, danger, and sexual tension like no other. By the end, I wanted to cry in my pillow and pull my hair out from the stress inducing suspense. For sure the best book of the series.

The Bad
I wouldn't say there was really anything bad about this book. I just found some parts annoying. I am not going to mention them because they really are insignificant, but suffice it to say my critical mind kept saying "Come on, that's just silly" on a few things.

The Snuggly
OMG, finally we are getting somewhere with Gwen and Logan. I really disliked the back and forth relationship between them. I am not sure why Estep was stalling their forward momentum but that seems to be changing. We have been waiting for three books so it was nice to see that Gwen and Logan might just have a chance. But what happened throughout the novel was simply heartbreaking. Estep really knows how to mess with my emotions...and I had so few to start with. ;) Overall this is a clean book when it comes to the naughty. Just some kissing.

Squeeeee! I just wanted to jump up and down after reading this book. I actually had to tweet Estep after finishing it because I wanted to share my joy. She is one of the few authors who responds to her fans on a regular bases. Dark Frost had everything I wanted. A mysterious and suspense filled plot that wouldn't let me take a breath.  The character growth, romance, and heartache were all well done. After the kind of ending Estep gave us in this novel, I can't wait for the next book. A highly recommended read.
What I saw on the porch made my blood run cold. The Psychic Readings Here sign beside the front door barely clung to the side of the house, like someone had taken a crowbar and tried to pry it off. Even worse was the fact that the door had been kicked in, the frame splintered in at least three places.

The inside of the house was a disaster. Everything that could be overturned was, from the curio cabinet that displayed Grandma’s good china to the blue sofa to the entertainment center that held the TV. Everything was smashed, stomped, and broken, like someone had taken great glee in destroying every single thing he could.

Something crunched in the kitchen. Oliver and I stopped where we were in the hallway—listening. A series of rustles and scuffles sounded, telling us that someone was moving around in the kitchen. Oliver put a hand on my shoulder, silently asking me if I was okay. I nodded, drew in a breath, and eased forward, peering into the room.

The sight there stunned me.

“Did Logan just give that girl an autograph?” Daphne asked, drumming her fingers on top of the table and making pink sparks of magic shoot out everywhere.

Carson hesitated. “That’s what it looks like.”

The girl gave Logan another smile before giggling again and rushing off. She hurried over to the table where her own friends were sitting and showed them the piece of paper. This time, they all erupted in a fit of giggles.

“Geez,” I muttered. “it’s a wonder they all don’t just go over there, take off their shirts, and ask him to sign their bras.”
Mythos Academy Series:
Book #1: Touch of Frost
Book #2: Kiss of Frost
Book #3: Dark Frost
Book #4: Crimson Frost (2013)


  1. I didn't think I wanted to read this series, but now I am reconsidering.

    1. I felt the same way and I am so happy I gave it a chance. Just don't give up after the first book. That one is a little slow, the series picks up momentum though.

  2. This sounds so good! I haven't started the series yet but I am thinking I should now! I find that a lot of series are a bit shakey on the first book, but much better as they move along. Looking forward to this one now :)

    1. I know what you mean. The Kate Daniels series by Ilona Andrews was like that too.

  3. I'm so with you on Gwen and Logan! I kept saying "Get it together already!" Great review!

    1. Thanks! I am just hoping Estep keeps them together.

  4. Sounds like a wonderful series! I like when they get better and better. It's nicer to read those than to have an awesome book then let down in the next. :) Glad you loved it! :D

    1. I agree. I rather it start rocky but get better than it start out great than go down hill.

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  6. This is a wonderfully written story brimming with myth and magic. Unlike so many authors who choose to include myth and legend in their tales; Jennifer Estep combines myths from several cultures, presenting them to readers within her story while still managing to maintain their individual integrity within the overall pantheon.

    Gwen is a very likeable character who handles the challenges that face her in this read with a grace and maturity that is far beyond her years. She pulls at the heart-strings with her ability to be brave out of necessity while still unsure that what shes doing is right.
    The battles that Gwen fights with the bad guys of this story may be fierce, but they can't hold a candle to the ones that she is fighting within herself.


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