Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Review: Kiss of Frost by Jennifer Estep

Title: Kiss of Frost
Author: Jennifer Estep
Series: Mythos Academy #2
Pages: 354
Publisher: Kensington
Date Published: November 29, 2011
Format: Paperback
Genre: Paranormal/Fantasy (YA)
Source: Won from Leslie at My Keeper Shelf!

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..

My Review:
I won my copies of the Mythos Academy books from the amazing Leslie at My Keeper Shelf! It was a LONG time ago, but I remember being SO thrilled that I won! The Mythos academy is kind of a mythological retelling of several pantheons...the two main ones seem to be the Greek Pantheon and the Norse one. I absolutely LOVE mythological re-tellings so this series is definitely a fun on for me. Book Two starts right up where book one left off, and Gwen has settled down more or less at the academy. She's now in training to be Nike's Champion and continues to mourn the loss of her mother who died before book one started.

 As for the plot, there was a LOT of rehashing of book one. I get the point of the necessary "2nd chapter recap" that happens most of the time. Sometimes people need just a quick refresher of what happened before and remember just who these characters were. This is particularly helpful as a book blogger...sometimes I read 6 books or more a week so I like having the reminder to bring me back and let me get into the series again. But this book went to the extreme, recapping almost every event in the previous book, sometimes in immense and lingering detail. If I went through and cut out all the rehashing, I bet I could cut a good 50-75 pages out of the book. That is just a TAD too much for my liking. Otherwise, the plot was pretty exceptional. I love learning more about the different classes of students at the Academy. If I were Gwen and I had missed out on growing up with these kinds of magical warriors I would be learning all I could about them! From super strength and speed to the ability to kill with any object imaginable, these kids are TOUGH and they know it and that makes them really fun to mess with.

One of the most fun to mess with is Gwen's best friend Daphne. They became reluctant friends in the first book, and their friendship has a realness that you don't often see in books where the popular girl befriends the quirky odd girl. But both Gwen and Daphne aren't afraid of hurting each other's feelings and they are honest and true in their friendship which made them a lot of fun to read about, even when Daphne is having a brat attack or Gwen is being a mopey-dope about her man troubles. Which leads us to another fun character that comes into play. Of course, I'm talking about  Gwen's love interest Logan. He seems to have cooled down a bit from the end of Touch of Frost and Gwen is all frustrated. Especially because she is STILL being trained by him and his Spartan buddies in the arts of self defence and weaponry and all that. I admit that I had a total bookish crush on Logan at the end of Touch of Frost, but because of how cold and distant he was in this book that crush kind of died a bit. He's dating someone else, and despite Gwen obsessing about him for a huge part of the book, he only shows up in a handful of scenes which made me kind of feel over him and his moodiness.

I know I said it in my review of book one...BUT...I swear to GOD if I hear the phrases "froufrou" or "The Powers That Were" one more time I'm going to SNAP...I get it...sometimes authors favor particular words in their writing. I remember reading an interview with Kelley Armstrong where she talked about how she said "whirled" at least 100 times in her first few books of the Women of the Otherworld series. Once it was pointed out to her, she fixed it by replacing whirled with spun, dodged, etc. and made her books that much better because of it.  I TOTALLY believe that someone needs to clue Ms. Estep in on to the overuse of  froufrou and The Powers That Were. I won't actually go through and count the times they were used, but let me tell was a lot. From everything to describing breakfast, to their accommodations at the ski lodge..."froufrou" became one of those phrases that loses it's definition because you've said it too much....say "fork" 50 times and you'll know what I got to the point that any time I read those phrases I would be jerked right out of the story with a pang of annoyance and struggled to keep going just because of my hatred of the overused words.
I give Kiss of Frost 3.5 Keys. It's a decent sophomore novel in the series in that it keeps to the pace of the first one and keeps character development rolling. Like book one, the ending is where all the action, plot twists, and fun is, which makes for 3/4 of a boring book and 1/4 something that's actually worth your time. I admit that I never guessed what happened at the ending, but for the most part, the beginning and middle of the book was so transparent that I could have guessed what happened from reading the cover blurb. So, in conclusion, (lol you can tell I'm writing papers while I'm writing this review...) this was another "meh" book for me. It's a fun escape from reality, but nothing to write home about. This is one of those that you will probably read and enjoy, but forget about it entirely until the next one comes out. 

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