Second Looks: SPARTAN FROST and MIDNIGHT FROST by Jennifer Estep

2-for-1 special!  Spartan Frost (eBook only) was released right around the time I was given an eARC of Midnight Frost.  So, to save space (and time, sort of), I’ll review them together – but separately.

Spoiler Alert!  If you haven’t read up to CRIMSON FROST, consider yourself warned to be spoiled!

Spartan-FrostTitle:  Spartan Frost
Author:  Jennifer Estep
Series:  Mythos Academy, Book 4.5
Genre:  Mythological Fiction
Age: 14+
Special Note:  This is eBook only – available from all the sellers, though!

What’s It About?

What a treat!  Normally, we only get a chapter or snippets told from the dreamy love interest (I’m looking at you, Jennifer L. Armentrout), but Estep graced us with an entire eNovella from Logan freakin’ Quinn’s point-of-view!

Taking place a few weeks after the end of Crimson Frost, Logan and his dad are trying to pick up the pieces after Agrona’s terrible betrayal.  Logan has left Mythos for an unknown period of time.  (And this means, he’s left Gwen, too.)  He suffers nightmares from when he was overtaken by Loki and killing Gwen.

The plot of the novella really focuses on Logan overcoming his worry that he’ll be repossessed by Loki and hurt Quinn.  While there is some overall story arc that relates back to the Mythos books, it’s not imperative to read this or you’ll miss something.  In fact, the main story arc was vague.  We had action with the Reapers – of course – but there’s no set solution to what was found or what the Reapers were planning.

The ending, though, easily segues into Midnight Frost

Thoughts
I really enjoyed this short story. I always love reading different things from the love interest’s POV, and Estep didn’t disappoint. It was a little strange though, being in Logan’s head instead of Gwen’s, but there’s a shift between voices and it was obvious we weren’t focused on Gwen this time.

I also enjoyed that we (and by we, I mean the readers) got to see some of the aftermath of Logan’s actions at the Aoide Auditorium from the end of CF.  It added a great transition into MF, allowing the reader to understand more of why Logan left.  We actually get to understand from his side, rather than just sympathizing with Gwen the entire time.

Again, you don’t have to read this to stay along the story’s main arc, but I highly recommend it if you’re a fan of the series and have access to eBooks.  I mean – who wouldn’t want to read it?

Rating… 9/10 stars.

PS: It’s slightly disappointing that LOGAN isn’t on the cover…and who is THAT girl?  That’s not the same Gwen from the other covers…is it?

Midnight-Frost-680x1024Title: Midnight Frost
Author:  Jennifer Estep
Series:  Mythos Academy, #5
Genre:  Mythological Fiction
Age: 14+

What It’s About
Picking up a few weeks after the events of Crimson Frost, Gwen is still trying to figure out what artifacts she has to find for Nike.  And she’s moping over the fact that Logan left Mythos.  But she’s not alone.  She’s constantly surrounded by her friends – including Alexei and Oliver.  (But, can you blame a girl – they aren’t Logan.)

When a Reaper-student puts a rare poison in Gwen’s and Nickamedes’s water bottles, only Nickamedes is poisoned before Gwen can warn him not to drink the water.  It’s a race against time as Gwen and her friends travel to the Denver, Colorado Mythos Academy to the Eir Ruins to find a super rare flower that only blooms at midnight – the only antidote to save their friend’s life.  Of course, they all know they’re walking into a Reaper trap, but what can they do?

While there’s decent Reaper battle action, the story mostly revolves around Gwen finding out she has a cousin – Rory Forseti.  (The daughter of her father’s brother.)  And that her father wasn’t the man she thought he was.  Gwen must deal with this, while trying to save Nickamedes’s life and deal with Logan’s surprise return.  (Oh, come on- We all knew it would happen!)

Thoughts
I enjoyed this book just as much as the others.  While it was a little Logan-lite, it was still good.  I’m glad that Estep worked in the family angle a little more than just focusing on a fight with the Reapers.  After all, there can only be so many battles before it comes down to the final moment.  So, adding the information about Gwen’s father – and finding out she has a cousin – was a nice additive.  I liked Rory, who happens to be a Spartan!  (Does this mean there’s a little Spartan in Gwen??)

After reading Spartan Frost, I knew Logan was going to show up at some point.  Estep drops tons of clues through Oliver, if the reader’s paying attention.  So it was just a matter of time.  But Gwen doesn’t let him off the hook easily.  Instead, she finally has the courage to tell him how much he hurt her by leaving – go Gwen!  So it’s nice that she doesn’t just roll over for him that he’s back.  It also makes Logan realize the mistakes he’s made and fix them.

In all, it is really setting things up nicely for the next book – and possibly the last? – Killer Frost.  As much as I love the series, the arc with Loki is starting to run its course.  Not that I want Estep to stop writing these books, because I seriously love them.  But it might be time to move on to something else with the Big Bad?

In all – a definite read for those who like the series.  Sometimes series start to wan around books 4-5, but Estep keeps the flow going by adding a new dimension to the mix.  Go, Jennifer!

Rating…8.5/10

Publish Date:  July 30, 2013

Read review for the other Mythos books here: https://afterthelastpage.wordpress.com/?s=jennifer+estep&submit=Search

Second Look: Jennifer Estep’s CRIMSON FROST (Mythos Academy #4)

 

Releasing December 22, 2012.

Title: Crimson Frost: A Mythos Academy Novel
Author: Jennifer Estep
Series: Mythos Academy, #4
Genre: Mythology, Urban Fantasy
Age: Young Adult, 14+
Release Date: December 22, 2012 – Paperback. (Amazon | BN)

Previous Reviews
Touch of Frost (Book #1)
Dark Frost (Book #3)

The Breakdown
A few months after Loki’s release from Helheim, Gwen is confronted with yet another of the Reapers’ evil plans.  This time Gwen isn’t just fighting the Reapers, she’s fighting the Protectorate – the protecting body of all the Mythological World.

Gwen’s put on trial for her life when someone accuses her of freeing Loki intentionally and actually being Loki’s Champion – not Nike’s. 

To make matters worse – Logan’s father, Linus Quinn, is the leader of the trial! 

It’s up to Gwen and her friends to find out what the Reapers have planned and stop them — before it’s too late.

Loved It or Loved It?

I was so excited that I was able to read this prior to its release in late December.  I’ve been jonsing for another Mythos Academy book and had actually started to re-read TOUCH OF FROST. 

Crimson Frost is just like the previous 3 books of the series – ah-mazing!  While the beginning is a little slow (despite Logan and Gwen’s date!).  The trial part of the story, while necessary, is also a little boring.  However, once Gwen figures out what’s really going on, the story begins to move faster and really captures the readers’ attention.  I couldn’t put it down after the larger arc became clear in the book.

I don’t want to give away too many spoilers – but I’ll say this: It’s definitely a good read.  Usually around book 4 of a 6 book series, the action slows and books become “bridges” to continue the story to the conclusion.  Estep continues to deliver action, drama, tragedy in Crimson Frost. 

The book’s arc – Gwen’s trial – is interesting because it shows the inner workings of the Protectorate and the Mythological world, pulling away from just the students.  You also get to see Logan’s dad and how the two interact.  (Poor Logan!)

In the end, Gwen’s quest as Nike’s Champion continues.  This time, with a little more hope at the end.

I’ll tell you what I don’t like – Logan’s decision.  It just irks me because I love Gwen/Logan. 

One thing that I loved was how strong Gwen is throughout the last 1/3 of the book.  She really toughens up and does the Right Thing, even if it makes people upset with her.  And despite Logan’s Bad Decision (Bad Decision 2012, anyone?), she bucks up and keeps doing what needs to be done.  She doesn’t wallow.  Go fierce heroine!

A definite recommenation for anyone who’s read the series.  And if you haven’t read it – go out and start with Touch of Frost.  Right now.  Go.  Seriously.

Rating… 10/10 stars.

Bonus Goodies

At the end of the eARC I read, Estep includes the usual bits about the Mythological World and the characters of the book.  She also has an extra exert.  AND there’s the first chapter of Midnight Frost, book 5 of the series (slated to be released August 2013). 

Reviewer’s Note
Even though I read an eARC, I’ll be buying a copy for my personal bookshelf at home.  I’ll definitely pick this up again!

Second Look: DARK FROST (Mythos Academy #3) by Jennifer Estep

Dark Frost (Mythos Academy #3)
Jennifer Estep
Release Date: May 29, 2012

SYNOPSIS
DARK FROST picks up a few days before winter break ends for the students of Mythos Academy.  Gwen Frost, along with her best friend and valkyrie Daphne and Daphnie’s boyfriend Carson, are at a local mythological museum to work on their winter break project.  While there, the museum is invaded by Reapers of Chaos who are searching for the Helheim Dagger. 

The dark, chaotic and action-packed first chapters set the tone for the rest of the novel as Gwen tries to find the Helheim Dagger, figure out Reaper Girl’s true identity, and deal with her unlabeled relationship with Logan Quinn. 

The novel is similar to the first two books of the series.  It’s filled with action and drama of all kinds.  It will grab you by the seat of your pants and not let go until the final pages. 

Favorite Things
Logan and Gwen.  They’re on the rocks.  Again.  This time, it’s not just Logan who’s keeping them apart from each other.  However, there is finally a resolution for those Gwegan (Lowen?) lovers.

Daphne.  The Valkyrie sidekick has a lot of personal drama to deal with, which puts her friendship with Gwen at odds.

Loki’s baaaaaack.  ‘Nuff said.

I will admit.  I cried through the last 20% or so of the novel.  Estep really taps into Gwen’s emotions.  The darkness of this book is one of my favorite things about this book, though I think.  Book 2 (Kiss of Frost) is my favorite in the series so far, but this is a close second.  It’s hard to judge any of these separately, though.  THEY ARE ALL SO GOOD.

My incoherence is getting the best of my review writing. :)  So, here’s the gist.  If you haven’t read this series yet, go out and get TOUCH OF FROST.  If you’re already done with KISS OF FROST, pre-order DARK FROST.