Mythos Academy #1
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. . .
"That Gypsy girl. That's what everyone at Mythos Academy called me. Mainly because I was the only Gypsy trapped here in this school for magical warrior freaks. The middle-class girl whose strange ability had landed her among the rich, popular, and undeniably powerful."
Jennifer Estep's young adult trip into the world of the mythological is light and fun with an original take on myth. Awesome and hilarious teenage characters make up for some rather predictable plot twists.
When Touch of Frost begins, we meet Gwen Frost a couple months into her first school year at Mythos Academy. She has come to attend the academy after the death of her mother. One of the academy's professors came to visit her and her grandmother and - whoosh! - off she went.
Estep's mythological characters are not the gods and goddesses that I expected them to be, but rather descendants of fighters like Spartans, Valkyries, Romans, Amazons, etc. Students at Mythos Academy are learning to be warriors like their ancient descendants in order to prepare for an impending battle with followers of the evil god, Loki, who is currently imprisoned. These followers are referred to as Reapers of Chaos.
Gwen and the other women of her family are Gypsies, although Gwen is not really too sure what that means and it is apparently rare since no one else at the academy is a Gypsy. Each woman in the family has a gift associated with a mental ability: her grandmother has psychic visions of the future, her mother could read the truth from people, and Gwen possesses psychometry. This means that she can touch objects and see in her mind everything that object has come in contact with, situations involving the object, and emotions tied to the object. She can do the same with people.
As powerful and cool and this gift might sound, its actually quite tricky. Gwen avoids touching objects and people when she thinks she might see something horrible, dark, or violent. This puts a bit of a cramp on her dating life, as she is kind of afraid to get too physical with a guy and see flashes of his past. However, I did like how Estep wrote Gwen's feelings about her 'gift' - despite the drawbacks she is aware that its a pretty cool 'gift' that allows her to see other people's secrets. Gwen even makes a little money here and there finding things for people using this power.
I found Gwen to be a great POV to read from - she was snarky and fearless. She was also a realistic teenager. she talked like a real teen and I appreciated that a lot. I did find it odd how clueless she was about everything going on at the school. Perhaps her cluelessness would have made more sense if she had just started at the school, but she'd been there for about two months and doesn't know anything? That was a little suspicious - a definite plot device to draw out the mystery. Other than that, I really enjoyed her as a heroine. I also loved all the secondary characters. Daphne and Gwen's growing, if reluctant, friendship throughout the book was cute and realistic and Daphne was the perfect popular girl turned outcast turned BFF of the main character.
Of course, we MUST discuss Logan freaking Quinn. He is all kinds of hot, with a reputation for being tough and broody.
"Logan wore a T-shirt with the sleeves cut off, exposing the muscles in his arms. The deep blue color of the shirt also brightened his icy eyes, making them seem like they were almost glowing in his face, even all the way over here on the opposite side of the gym. Logan raised up the end of his T-shirt to wipe the sweat off his face, exposing his flat, muscled stomach. For a moment, I stopped, completely mesmerized. Just. . . . .wow. All that and washboard abs, too. Ones that put Samson Sorenson's to shame. I wondered if all the other Spartans at Mythos were as dangerous and sexy as Logan was or if he'd just been blessed with all the bad boy charm."
Logan is a great character, a guy of few words and steaming hot. The fact that he's a badass Spartan doesn't help either.
All in all, I highly recommend the first Mythos Academy book. I am looking forward to reading the next in the series right away!
Recommended for fans of: Vampire Academy series, mythology, and snarky teenagers.