Monday, December 24, 2012
Just Finished Reading ... Crimson Frost by Jennifer Estep
by Jennifer Estep
To be published by Kensington/KTeen
on December 24, 2012
Source: e-ARC from the publisher via NetGalley
My summary: Gwen's had a tough time over the past year or so. After her police officer mom died in a car accident, Gwen was sent to the Mythos Academy, a boarding school for kids with special abilities. Gwen is part gypsy and has psychometric powers -- she can read the energy field of an object or person by touch. In book one, Touch of Frost, one of Gwen's classmates is murdered and she investigates. In the course of that, she meets Logan, a young Spartan who's as gorgeous as he is aloof and unavailable.
In book two, Kiss of Frost, she's convinced that someone's trying to kill her. In book three, Dark Frost, reapers attack Gwen and some classmates. Gwen discovers that they are trying to find and free the Helheim Dagger, an artifact that can be used to free the evil god Loki and plunge the world into chaos.
In Crimson Frost, Loki is free and Gwen is being blamed. Not just blamed, but publicly put on trial at the academy. By Logan's father. As she waits for trial, she has to have a babysitter -- an attractive Bogatyr warrior named Alexei. As sinister forces ally against her, will Gwen be able to clear her name, or will she be put to death for a crime she didn't commit?
My take: This is such a fun series. It's one part Harry Potter, with the boarding school for the kids with special powers, and the Professsor McGonagall like character of Professor Metis. It's one part Buffy the Vampire Slayer, given the library and its Giles-like keeper, Nikamedes, plus the abundance of fight scenes. And it's a little bit Vampire Academy. In this book, Gwen feels a little Rose Hathaway to me -- she's accused of wrongdoing and feels that the whole world is against her. If you enjoyed any or all of these books and are looking for a fun, fast-paced read, you should definitely check this series out. Jennifer Estep weaves mythology from all around the globe into one pan-mythological world.
In Crimson Frost, I thought that Gwen and Logan's relationship -- which has proceeded with glacial slowness over the course of four books -- might finally move into high gear. But just as they're finally going on a real date, poor Gwen gets approached by the Protectorate and told she's being accused of freeing Loki.
With the appearance of the very attractive Alexei, I was fearing a love triangle. If you're allergic to those, have no fear; that's not where this story is headed. There's a theft of jewels from the library early in the book. Though I did guess the identity of the person responsible for that -- a major new villain who is allied with Vivian, the murderer of Gwen's mother -- there was a very surprising plot twist that I did not see coming at all. Poor Gwen. Let's just say that I can see that there will be a book five in this series! Which is great, because I think that YA could use more books like these -- pure escapist fun, plenty of friendship and girl power, and just a hint of romance.