(Available at Amazon)
Poor klutzy, always-getting-caught-up-in-messes-without-even-trying Gwen Frost is finally back in the latest installment of Jennifer Estep’s Mythos Academy series, “Dark Frost.” When we last saw her in “Kiss of Frost,” Gwen had survived almost being killed – again – and was given a special mission by Nike, the Greek goddess of victory, to find the Helheim Dagger before the evil Reapers could use it to free Loki, the Norse god of chaos, from his prison. Gwen’s mom, Grace, had hidden it when she was Nike’s Champion back in the day, and she died protecting its location. But where should Gwen even begin to look? And what should she do if she somehow, miraculously, manages to find it?
Despite the faith her close friends, family and Nike have in her, the odds are seriously against Gwen. She’s not very strong or a great fighter like the rest of the students at Mythos. And she can’t exactly save the world using her touch magic… Or can she?
A deadly Reaper attack at the very beginning of the book puts everyone on edge and makes it pretty obvious that it’s only a matter of time before the bad guys find the dagger. But instead of working together, everyone seems to be alienating Gwen who can’t do anything right, no matter how good her intentions. Her best friend, Daphne, has been acting distant; Logan is angry with her for knowing his secret after their kiss (even though Gwen had no control over that); her professors are being really harsh; the mean girls at school are giving her a hard time; and everyone else just dismisses her as “Gwen Frost, that weird Gypsy girl.” It’s enough to make anyone want to crawl underneath the covers, or in Gwen’s case, cuddle up with the Fenrir wolf that follows her around like a puppy. But then that wouldn’t be the Gwen Frost fans have come to know and love. Instead, she moves forward (and usually straight into danger) to take on whatever evil things are in store for her (and there’s never a shortage of those!).
Unlike previous books, “Dark Frost” is exactly as the title suggests – much darker in tone with more mature content, resembling a similar turn J.K. Rowling took in the Harry Potter series. My only complaint is that it can get a little repetitive as past events are revisited, but this only serves to remind Mythos enthusiasts how things came to be and makes it easier for new followers to quickly become immersed in the series.
The testament of a good book is when you don’t realize you’re reading one, when you feel like you’re part of the story instead of merely observing it. Estep deserves much credit for pulling this off and doing a great job at that. Aside from the magical and mythological aspects, readers could easily see themselves fitting right in at Mythos.
Full of suspense and intrigue, “Dark Frost” is an addictive read that brings unexpected twists, turns and revelations with every turn of the page. The fast-paced action comes to an end all-too-soon, leaving readers positively begging for more. Patience my bookworms as “Crimson Frost” is on its way…
To read more about “Dark Frost,” click here.