Kiss of Frost (Mythos Academy #2) — Jennifer Estep

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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…

Gwen Frost is back and she’s finally settling into a rhythm at  Mythos. She’s training every morning before classes with Logan and two of his Spartan friends, and her free time is divided between gossiping with new BFF Daphne, visiting her grandma, and working at the library. Things seem all right, until her life is threatened once again. She knew a Reaper of Chaos would come for her eventually, but she didn’t realize she’d be in such danger on campus. Which is why Daphne is able to convince Gwen to join the school as they drive up to a luxury ski resort for the annual winter carnival. But instead of relaxing, Gwen finds herself in even more trouble than before.

The first book in Estep’s series really didn’t hold my attention, but I was willing to give Kiss of Frost a chance to hit its stride. If possible, Kiss of Frost is even more repetitive and riddled with clichés. First, it begins by rehashing all the events of the first book. This is nothing new — a lot of authors use this device when writing series. But the rehashing continues throughout the entirety of the novel so that it seems like filler, a way for Estep to increase her page count. Second, the entire setting of Kiss of Frost seems like a ripoff of Richelle Mead’s Frostbite. A poorly executed ripoff, at that. And since I was so reminded of Frostbite, I couldn’t help thinking how much I’d rather be reading that book that Kiss of Frost. Third, the plot is absolutely predictable and unoriginal. The only unpredictable part is the romance between Gwen and Logan. If you think all the flirting, taunting, and sexual tension between the two will pay off in the second novel of the series, prepare for disappointment. Their relationship goes nowhere, once again.

I want to like the Mythos Academy series. I typically love series about boarding schools for vampires/warriors/magically gifted students. But Estep really doesn’t bring anything new to the genre with Mythos. The mythology surrounding the students of Mythos is convoluted and unbelievable. Too many ancient myths and histories are mixed to make sense. And the way everyone flings titles at each other in every conversation — “Hello, Valkyrie,” “What do you want, Spartan?” — is absurd. Actually, most of the dialogue is absurd, especially when it comes to the villains. In the first and second books, both villains speak almost singularly in unrealistic clichés. Their words make me visibly cringe while reading.

But I’d be able to overlook a lot of these things if Gwen was likable. But there isn’t anything terribly special about her character, except that she’s the lone Gypsy at a school of ancient warriors. None of her personality traits really set her apart from any other student at Mythos. Yes, she’s supposed to be the snarky, mysterious, tough-as-nails loner. Except she’s not really all that snarky, mysterious, or tough. She’s really only a loner because she doesn’t try to talk to anyone unless they speak to her first. She’s already decided she hates all the students at Mythos, yet she’s surprised when they don’t welcome her with open arms. But the worst part is, Gwen’s dumb. She never thinks things through and almost always makes the worst decisions. It takes her forever to realize things that are immediately obvious to the reader, like how to use her powers, who’s really trying to kill her, and what Logan really feels. The longer it takes Gwen to figure everything out, the more respect I lose for her.

As far as secondary characters, Estep doesn’t give us much. Daphne and Gwen are suddenly best friends forever, incapable of living without each other. But they don’t really spend much time together or have much in common. Any time they’re together, Daphne either has to run out to meet up with her boyfriend or they fill their time, in Estep’s words, by “gossiping.” Then there are the professors: Metis, the wise and kind mentor, and Nickamedes, the antagonizing and crotchety Librarian who seems to have it out for Gwen, except he really just wants to protect her. Last, there’s Logan, the bad boy who won’t let Gwen get too close lest she discover his big bad secret. She gets a peek at this secret in Kiss of Frost and, as expected, it doesn’t seem like a deal-breaker to me. All of these characters lack depth, which leaves Kiss of Frost feeling like kind of an empty read.

With all that said, the Mythos Academy series isn’t awful. There’s just plenty I dislike about it and nothing I really like. But for those who like supernatural boarding school series, Mythos might appeal to you. If anything, it’s a quick read, so if you’re interested, it couldn’t hurt to give the books a try. It won’t take long for you to decide if it’s a hit or a miss.

Pages: 354
Publication Date : November 2011
Publisher: Kensington
Challenge: N/A
Rating [rating: 2]

Teaser Quote: “I didn’t even see the car until it was right on top of me. It was a big, black, expensive SUV with a shiny silver grille–and it was racing right toward me.