Nov 27 2011 1:30pm

Fresh Meat: Jennifer Estep’s Kiss of Frost (Nov. 29, 2011)

Kiss of Frost by Jennifer EstepKiss of Frost (Mythos Academy #2) Jennifer Estep
Kensington, November 29, 2011, $7.99

Logan Quinn was try­ing to kill me. My Spar­tan class­mate relent­lessly pur­sued me, swing­ing his sword at me over and over again, the shin­ing sil­ver blade inch­ing closer to my throat every time. A smile tugged up his lips, and his ice-blue eyes prac­ti­cally glowed with the thrill of battle...

I’m Gwen Frost, a second-year warrior-in-training at Mythos Acad­emy, and I have no idea how I’m going to sur­vive the rest of the semes­ter. One day, I’m get­ting schooled in sword­play by the guy who broke my heart—the drop-dead gor­geous Logan who slays me every time. Then, an invis­i­ble archer in the Library of Antiq­ui­ties decides to use me for tar­get prac­tice. And now, I find out that some­one at the acad­emy is really a Reaper bad guy who wants me dead. I’m afraid if I don’t learn how to live by the sword—with Logan’s help—I just might die by the sword...

It isn’t easy for an established adult fiction writer to make a smooth transition to the YA genre, but Jennifer Estep manages to do just that and more with her new YA series Mythos Academy. Kiss of Frost is the second book in this fantastic urban fantasy based series that takes mythological based legends and modernizes them in a action-packed teenage world. Equal parts of humor and seriousness keep this series fresh and fun.

Centering around a group of high school students who attend Mythos Academy, we follow our heroine, Gwen Frost, as she attempts to fit into this elite warrior based school. Gwen is a gypsy; her power is psychometry—the gift of touch. She is able to “see” your whole life through a single touch. This, of course, plays havoc on her social life. Sent to Mythos Academy after her mother was killed, Gwen is having a hard time dealing with her new life and all the responsibility that has come with it. A strong independent girl, Gwen uses her gift of snark to battle her way through the cliques that overrun the school.

Mythos Academy is one of many private high schools training junior mythological warriors, amazingly strong, magical, and rich Spartans, Vikings, Amazons, and Valkyrie who will someday join their parents in the war against Loki and his reapers. Gwen is no warrior, though. She has no superhuman strength or fantastic fighting skills, and finds herself looking in from the outside,wondering how she can contribute.

As Gwen hones her pitiful defensive skills, she finds herself frequently coming into close contact with her crush-Logan Quinn, a sexy, hot Spartan whose past makes him wary of Gwen and her gift. The chemistry between them is delightfully engaging as Gwen and Logan spar with much more then swords.

“You care? Really? It sure doesn’t seem like it to me, since every time I turn around, you’re sticking your tongue down Savannah Warren’s throat-right in front of me.”

“Just leave me alone, Spartan, and I’ll do the same to you.”

Secondary characters pave the way for our heroine as she makes friends and enemies at Mythos. Her bff, Dahpnie, is a hilarious computer techy Valkyrie whose magic is reflected in the pink sparks that fly from her fingertips. Along with the love of her life—Carson the band geek—Dahpnie has Gwen’s back as they navigate the ins and outs of high school life. But be warned, don’t make her mad.

“Uh, what are you doing?”

“Nothing much. Just erasing all of her good grades and replacing them with incompletes.”

“Remind me not to piss you off...”

We are introduced to some new characters who Ms. Estep promises will elevate the storyline beyond what we are seeing so far. I look forward to seeing how these people will affect Gwen’s life.

The main conflict is intertwined with various subplots that keeps you on your toes and watching your back as Gwen finds herself once again standing knee deep in trouble. The ending comes hard and fast and leaves you fist pumping as Gwen comes into her own and deals evil a heavy blow with equal part action and snark.

The third release, Dark Frost, which will be out in June 2012. Ms. Estep’s Mythos Academy is sure to appeal to all those who love a good character-driven YA that uses humor, snark, and seriousness to create a world you won’t want to leave.

Tori Benson, Smexybooks and at Twitter.

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