Review: Crimson Frost by Jennifer Estep

crimsonfrostCrimson Frost (Mythos Academy #4) by Jennifer Estep
YA Urban Fantasy
December 24, 2012

Reviewed by Tori

Favorite Quote: “ Let me in…let me in…LET ME IN… “

*A tiny recap from Dark Frost, so be warned, this could spoil if you have not read the series*

Once again, I have entered the hallowed halls of Jennifer Estep’s Mythos Academy in her latest release, Crimson Frost, and found myself living every single moment as though I was a part of the storyline itself. By the end of book three, Dark Frost, Gwen’s relationship with Logan had grown in leaps and bounds, she discovered a new and scary aspect of her powers, but she inadvertently aided the reapers in releasing Loki. Crimson Frost starts out with the usual BANG when Gwen is arrested by the Protectorate for her role in helping to release Loki and is accused of being a reaper. The head of the Protectorate is none other than Linus Quinn, Logan’s father, which puts Gwen and Logan in an awkward position.

Shocked gasps rippled through the coffee shop, and everyone looked at me. After a few seconds, the surprised stares shifted to horrified looks that quickly melted into harsh, accusing,  angry glares.

I am a HUGE fan of Estep’s works. She is one of the few authors I have read who was able to cross from adult fiction to YA with no missteps or awkwardness in the transition. She has a wonderful, powerful voice that resonates through her characters. I absolutely adore this series. It continues to balance the normal everyday life of teenagers with fascinating evolving mythological world building. Steady pacing firmly engages you into the storyline while witty, snarky dialogue keeps you entertained. This is a wickedly fun series. We aren’t overwhelmed with intricate plots or long drawn out angst. Multiple subplots intertwine throughout but never confuse or isolate you from the main storyline. Heavily character driven, I find myself able to sink right back into Gwen’s world as though I never left with each new installment.

If Dark Frost was the game changer, then Crimson Frost is the large ante that is being placed upon Gwen to win this game. Her role as Nike’s champion has been solidified and she knows her mission is a heavy load bearing one that could eventually destroy her. She has to prove her innocence to not only the Protectorate but also the student body at Mythos Academy. Friendship continues to be a large aspect that the story is built upon. I loved the fact that her unusual group of friends continue to stick by her side, even at risk to themselves. We continue to see an emotional, mental, and metaphysical growth in Gwen that serves to heighten the anticipation of Gwen’s destiny. She has come along way from the social loner whom we met in book one, Touch Of Frost. She has instigated herself firmly into Mythos Academy with not only her improving warrior skills but also through some important friendships. Gwen is tested in ways that will leave in an emotional tornado and make it almost impossible to touch upon without spoiling. Lets just say that fans will NOT be disappointed.

Every angry shout, every enraged scream, every bitter word twisted the invisible blade in that much deeper, making me want to vomit from the phantom pain.

The secondary characters remain a delightful addition to the story; continuing to elevate and evolve within it. Gwen’s Valkyrie bff, Daphne, has Gwen’s back through thick or thin. She has remained a constant in Gwen’s life. We are introduced to some new characters who situate themselves firmly into the arc and are used to address and resolve some past issues and bridge us towards the conclusion. We meet Logan’s father, Linus, and we learn some more of the story behind his and Logan’s separation. We also meet the young man whom Oliver met during the winter holiday. Estep not only introduces a new and exciting character for us to cheer for, but also paves the way for a secondary romance that I am thrilled with. Ms. Estep not only captures the unique individuality of each character but also forms a distinct place and position/action for them throughout the story. Though existing in a fantasy world, the realism of their actions and emotions only adds to the overall enjoyment. Gwen’s and Logan’s romance seems to finally be on track but circumstances will have you facepalming and wondering why Estep hates us. Or maybe that was just me. Hmmm. Either way, it will leave you NEEDING the next book… NOW!

The main conflict is quite a machiavellian journey of misdirection and deviousness as we follow Gwen and the clues to the end. High octane action, suspense, and intrigue will keep you glued to the pages as you watch Gwen fight for her friends, the academy, and her life. I was shocked by some directions the story took and found myself scrambling for purchase at the climactic finale. Ms. Estep leaves us to ponder what is on the horizon next for Gwen, Logan, and the rest of Mythos Academy as we wait impatiently for the fifth installment of this series-Midnight Frost-which is set to release in 2013. Crimson Frost has laid down the gauntlet and I am on pins and needles to see how Gwen and the students of Mythos Academy will keep Loki and the reapers from taking over the world. Estep’s Mythos Academy series is a must have for all YA fans who enjoys a rich blending of snark and serious in an incredible mythological world. I can’t wait for my next visit to Mythos Academy.

Overall Rating: B+

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