Gypsy Girl Meet Mythology
(Sunday, August 28, 2011)
Reviewer: Stacey Pagan
Touch of Frost
- Jennifer Estep
Gwen “Gypsy Girl” Frost has been demanded to attend Mythos Academy (a boarding school for those of mythology magic), only six months after her mother has passed away. Her life is out if sync and being tossed in with the weird ones, Gwen is miserable. That is, until she finds out she is truly meant to be there, to hone her magical abilities that she had no idea she even possessed!
Estep had me suckered in from the first chapter! I loved the fact that it was first person and I could see what Gwen was seeing and feeling! She wrote it as if she WAS the teenager in the story, which made it even more believable. You can tell Estep really studied her audience as the comments that Gwen would make I can overhear in the hallways at the school I teach in. However, I highly doubt I would ever hear “…this gypsy girl happens to have a grandma who can curse you so bad that your dick will fall off, so watch your step…” (my favorite line in the entire novel!)
-- SPOILER –
I was so happy that Gwen made friends with Daphne and Carson. I was beginning to wonder if she really would not make friends through the novel. I felt so sorry for the youngster that I was rooting for her to make friends with Carson, and then Daphne just fell in. When a writer can make me feel something for the character I am reading about, I know I have an excellent author!
I was highly disappointed in the end about Logan walking away from her. I felt her heart rip into a million tiny pieces and wanted to bawl! Another feeling that Estep was able to explicit from me! If I have to hide tears from my students when I am reading I know it’s an EXCELLENT novel! I cannot imagine how Gwen will recoup from Logan’s turn down, but I’m certain she will have an awesome comeback. I look forward to seeing how she is able to touch Logan without seeing all his hidden secrets, and a reader knows there will be many just from the setup we’ve received thus far!
Although I majored in English in college, I was NEVER a fan of mythology – ever! Until now! I honestly had no idea what this novel would truly be about when I selected it for reading, but I’m truly happy I did! Estep is a new YA author to me, and I’m really looking forward to the next two novels in this series!
The only negative thing I had about the book was the fact that Estep was always repeating herself. The “my mom, Grace” and “my mom, Grace, the detective” really started to really annoy me! It’s ok to do it two or three times in the beginning, but throughout the entire novel! I knew her mother, Grace, was a detective from the first chapter. There was no need to repeat it every time the mother was mentioned. It should have just been left at ‘mother’.
I have donated this novel to our school library and I cannot wait until I witness a student reading it. I plan to slide right in beside them and chitchat the novel up! I am truly looking forward to the next novel (c’mon, bring it on?)!
Mythical Heroes Battle Darkness
(Saturday, August 13, 2011)
Reviewer: Kathy Jund
Jennifer Estep's new Young Adult series brings to mind Harry Potter and his battles against darkness. Those looking to find a new series of magic and the triumph of good over evil will certainly not have to look too far than to read Jennifer's Mythos series. In Jennifer's debut installment, Gwen Frost, a not quite your normal teenager is sent off to the mysterious Mythos Academy after personal tragedy strikes not knowing the reason why. Unknown to her, the powers she possesses are going to be needed to help in the battle between good and evil that has existed since the beginning of time. The students at Mythos Academy are descendants of the ancient ones, gods, goddesses who all come together (most trained since very young), to carry on the master plan in the defeat of darkness. But are some students not as they seem? Secrets abound, and to Gwen secrets have special meaning. Barely enrolled, a loner amongst students she has nothing in common with, Gwen finds herself plunged in the middle of a tragedy that no one else seems to be affected by. She alone feels responsible to find the secrets surrounding this mystery using her abilities, which seem to be abandoning her, or are they? Gwen is also garnering the attention of a self-assured and handsome Spartan warrior, which certainly does not help matters, as Gwen knows what he is after! Can Logan provide Gwen with the help she needs to get to the bottom of this strange and questionable incident while she tries to unravel the purposes for her own placement in the Mythos Academy?
(Thursday, August 11, 2011)
Reviewer: Nancy Narma
Gwen Frost has been through some life-altering changes. She lost her beloved Mother, when she was killed by a drunk driver. She now only has her Grandma Frost to confide her inner-most thoughts and feelings to. You see, Gwen is not your ordinary teenager.
Gwen is a “Gypsy” which means “Gifted by the Gods”, as was her Mother and presently, her Grandmother, who is a Gypsy with psychic powers that allow her to gaze into the future. Gwen has “Psychometric Powers” where she is able to touch an object or person and discover information from the vibrations and visions the touch produces. Grandma Frost feels it is time for Gwen to attend Mythos Academy to better understand who she is and learn more about her heritage and talents. The Academy is located on Cypress Mt., outside of Asheville, North Carolina, and is a huge school complex, where, besides the usual courses of English, Mathematics, Geography and Science ,Myth-History and Weapons Training are also taught. Within these mighty halls live a myriad of students who are descendents of ancient gods and goddesses and are known as Valkyries, Amazons, Vikings, Romans, and Spartans, among others. Gwen seems to be the only Gypsy and feels quite alone and unimportant despite her special gifts, which she soon discovers, can be a blessing or a curse. Before and during her first few months at Mythos Academy, she discovers a horrible cover-up involving her friend Paige, she butts heads with haughty Valkyrie; Daphne Cruz, as well as earning some extra money finding lost items for people. Her life seems to be somewhat ordinary, mostly solitary and boring, but full with her studies and her part-time job at the library, until an antiquity; “The Bowl of Tears” is displayed and not only stolen, but plays a large part in the murder of wealthy and much-disliked Valkyrie; Jasmine Ashton, whose body is discovered by Gwen. Gwen is confused and saddened when the demise is taken lightly and tries to find clues to the crime. Slowly, the pieces of the mythological puzzle fall into place and evil and intrigue are revealed. Who killed Jasmine Ashton? Sluttish, unscrupulous Morgan McDougall? Snooty Daphne Cruz? Or was this the work of the Mythical God Loki and the Reapers? Will Gwen adjust to life at Mythos Academy, accept her mythical gifts, and understand who she really is? Will Gwen and Logan; the powerful Warrior/Spartan find love at Mythos? This book will draw you into its world and not let go until you reach the final chapter, then have you wishing for more!
This tome is categorized in the “K-Teen” Book Division, but anyone who has enjoyed the “Harry Potter”** series or the “X-Men “*** chronicles will (like middle-aged me) surely savor this edition with its myths and legends and have you anxiously awaiting “Kiss of Frost”, due for release in December. Nancy Narma
**Harry Potter-Main Character by Author J.K. Rowling
***X-Men - Characters published by Marvel Comics
(Thursday, August 4, 2011)
Reviewer: Kelsey O.
Gwen Frost is sent to Mythos Academy to learn about her gypsy powers. Her ability which is thru touch and allows her get pictures, emotions, and background from objects and people she touches (which you can about imagine her dating life is non-existent). Her grandmother thinks it is best since Gwen’s mother died and we get the feeling that grandma knows something we don’t . Once instilled at the Academy, she finds herself alone even though she is surrounded by many students but everyone seems to be paired by what they are and since she is the only Gypsy she is a little on the outside looking in. There are Spartans (enter Logan Quinn!!), Amazons, Romans, and Valkryies all warriors are the last line of defense if the Chaos War comes about, which it seems is quite imminent. Now a student is dead and the Bowl of Tears, an artifact used to bring about the Chaos War is missing. Gwen’s sleuthly side comes out and she gets her Nancy Drew on to solve this case before something worse happens.
Gwen Frost is my new favorite heroine and Logan Quinn is definitely a hot bad boy (my favorite). Like Estep’s heroine from her Elemental Assassin series, Gwen is a feisty and snarky and in the heat of battle always has to inject humorous comments. The soft side of Gwen comes when we learn about the death of her mother and the love of her grandmother. With the new rise in mythology based fantasy books, I personally have not been a huge fan. But, Estep introduces us to the myths and legends without overwhelming the reader with a history lesson. Since Gwen isn’t as up on her history as she should be before attending Mythos Academy, we learn along with her.
Fantastic first book in a series that I will be anxiously awaiting to read! Highly recommended for YA readers but with a cautionary warning: there are parts of the story that touches on the child molestation of a friend of Gwen.