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Ramblings by Category

Ramblings by Year

Crimson Frost

Crimson Frost (Mythos Academy, #4)
by Jennifer Estep

For a moment, a face flashed before my eyes—the most hideous face I’d ever seen. No matter how hard I tried to forget what had happened, I saw him everywhere I went. It was Loki—the evil god that I’d helped set free against my will.

I should have known that my first official date with Logan Quinn was destined to end in disaster. If we’d gotten into a swordfight, or been ambushed by Reapers, I’d have been more prepared. But getting arrested mid-sip at the local coffee hangout? I didn’t see that one coming.

I’ve been accused of purposely helping the Reapers free Loki from his prison—and the person leading the charge against me is Linus Quinn, Logan’s dad. The worst part is that pretty much everyone at Mythos Academy thinks I’m guilty. If I’m going to get out of this mess alive, I’ll have to do it myself… (goodreads.com)

There is just something about this series that is so fun.  I look forward to each release with such anticipation. I wasn’t sure what to expect for this instalment though. At first I didn’t think I was going to like it as much as the previous three books, but in the end, I remained content and amused by the adventures of Gwen and everyone else at Mythos Academy.

What I am worried about is this series turning into a House of Night type series, where each book becomes more recap of the previous ones than it is new story. So far this hasn’t happened, though I was noticing the recaps a lot more in the first few chapters than I had in the third book. I don’t know how many books are pending for the Mythos Academy series and I hope very strongly that this series stays, well, STRONG until it’s done. As much as I love revisiting the location and the characters, I don’t want this series to become stale and repetitive.

Probable spoilers ahead. You have been warned.

Things I liked about Crimson Frost – the addition of Alexi as a character. I liked him a lot, as silent as he was. I am looking forward to him becoming part of the group. I don’t know why I liked him so much, but I did. He amused me. He seems like a good egg. I also liked the arrest, as contrived as it seemed. I found it very strange that all these Powers That Be people were so quick to condemn Gwen and take the word of the bad guys, but it worked out how I thought it would.

I also liked that I guessed the bad guy correctly. Muahahahah. I always feel so smart when I do that. *pats self on back* I mean, when it’s not totally obvious and stuff.

Things I didn’t like – This episode (heh) of Mythos Academy was a little too lovey dovey for me. It was also a little too “Gwen on her own” for most of it. One of the things I truly like about the series is Gwen’s interaction with her friends. I especially like Daphne. There was less group action in this book and I missed it. There was a lot of Gwen thinking only of Logan and herself and that’s just not my thing. That’s actually how I feel about most contemporary novels, all “girl thinks of boy all the time”. I don’t care about that part of the story. That’s not what I like about books, I like the mystery and snappy dialogue with friends.

This is just my personal opinion though! It just didn’t have the elements that I love about story telling as strongly featured as some of the other instalments.

I know there’s at least one more book to come and I am eager to read it. I hope this series can stay strong and fresh and fun because it’s one I really like to escape from the real world with. Some people read romance, I like to read books about boarding schools and mythological mysteries. 😉

Oh, and can we just talk about this cover for a second? I have to say I don’t have a clue as to how this ties into the story. Why is there a smokey, red dragon in the background? Anyone? Because I totally do not recall a dragon being in this book at all. Did I miss something? Is it supposed to be a gargoyle from outside the library? They weren’t red and smokey though. I am totally confused about this AND the whole “Crimson” thing. What was crimson? How did I miss something so crucial to the title and cover art? I feel lost when I look at that cover. Also, I don’t think the same model has been used for the covers. Especially not for the next book. This bugs me somewhat. I’m persnickety about these sorts of things.

That is all.

 
Mythos Academy

  1. Touch of Frost
  2. Kiss of Frost
  3. Dark Frost
  4. Crimson Frost
  5. Midnight Frost – August 2013

Dark Frost

Dark Frost (Mythos Academy, #3)
by Jennifer Estep

I’ve seen so many freaky things since I started attending Mythos Academy last fall. I know I’m supposed to be a fearless warrior, but most of the time, I feel like I’m just waiting for the next Bad, Bad Thing to happen. Like someone trying to kill me—again.

Everyone at Mythos Academy knows me as Gwen Frost, the Gypsy girl who uses her psychometry magic to find lost objects—and who just may be dating Logan Quinn, the hottest guy in school. But I’m also the girl the Reapers of Chaos want dead in the worst way. The Reapers are the baddest of the bad, the people who murdered my mom. So why do they have it in for me?

It turns out my mom hid a powerful artifact called the Helheim Dagger before she died. Now, the Reapers will do anything to get it back. They think I know where the dagger is hidden, but this is one thing I can’t use my magic to find. All I do know is that the Reapers are coming for me—and I’m in for the fight of my life. (goodreads.com)

Goodness! I completely forgot I hadn’t finished this post from a week ago!  You know how I figured that out? I commented on someone’s blog and when the CommentLuv widget pulled up my NYC/BEA post, I was confused as to why that was my last post. Oops. My poor brain is in desperate need of a holiday. Two more weeks and it’ll get its wish.

ANYHOO…

I do enjoy the Mythos Academy series so. Gwen Frost is a witty, fun, strong female protagonist and the story itself is interesting and a nice mix of all sorts of mythology. This is one YA Urban Fantasy series that I would strongly recommend if you’re looking for a paranormally read that doesn’t have love triangles, insta-love or the regular cast of creatures that you normally get these days.

Dark Frost wasn’t my favourite book of the three, but it was still very fun to read. In a year where I can’t seem to care about most of the books I pick up (in fact, I haven’t TOUCHED a book since I finished this one on July 7!) the fact that Dark Frost kept me page turning from start to finish in one day, says a lot about it. It’s up there as one of those types of books I can get into no matter my mood. I like that about a book. 🙂

There’s not much I can talk about in this post that won’t spoil things, being a third book in a series and all, but trust me, there’s a decent mystery in each book with action and suspense and death, or near-deathness. There’s fighting and snark, lots of cookies decent friendship relationships and the adults aren’t all incompetent fools (yay).

I do have one question/issue though. Mythos Academy is surrounded by walls that have these large Sphinx statues guarding the gates. They are supposed to protect the students (and teachers) from the evil Reapers by coming alive (supposedly) if they try to enter the grounds. My issue is this: How the hell is it that there are Reapers and bad guys on the inside without the Sphinxes knowing? I mean, there have been instances in each of the books where the bad guys are hiding amongst the students and school grounds and yet it’s like, a surprise? I think those guard statues are broken. Or it’s all just a legend that isn’t actually real because not once have these Sphinxes ever actually done what they are supposed to, yet it’s mentioned over and over and over again in the books like it’s a Big Deal when I have yet to see it be Any Deal at all. Hmmph.

Oh, one other issue… Nickamedes, the grumpy Professor/Librarian guy reminds me way too much of Snape from Harry Potter. The way he’s described, his out of nowhere dislike of Gwen. Way too Snape-ish for my taste. Don’t get me wrong, I LOVE Severus Snape to pieces, but I don’t like when he’s cloned and renamed in other peoples’ books. Does any one else who reads this series see the similarities? Is it just me?

Ok then, I have now written something for this blog post and I shall try and not spend my entire sunny weekend on the couch on the computer. The internet sucks up way too much of my time and yet I can’t seem to kick the habit. Maybe I need an intervention? I do know I need some sort of help to get me back into reading again. Since October I have not really felt like reading at all. I have too many other things going on in my brain and life. Alas. I was almost at 100 books read by this time last year and I’m only at 55 so far. Way behind what I normally read. My TBR pile has exploded to scary numbers yet again, when I had managed to get it down to a much more reasonable number. I do realize that the addition of 20 new books from BEA is partially to blame for that, but I’m still buying books, too, and it’s getting CRAZY. Sigh.

Mythos Academy

  1. Touch of Frost
  2. Kiss of Frost
  3. Dark Frost
  4. Crimson Frost
  5. Midnight Frost – August 2013

Kiss of Frost

Kiss of Frost (Mythos Academy, #2)
by Jennifer Estep

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… (goodreads.com)

Back in November I was delighted to discover that this YA series was full of humour and action – just the way I like my books. It helped immensely that Mythos Academy is also a boarding school. If there are witches or boarding schools in a book I have to read it. I think that’s part of my DNA make up.

I took advantage of Christmas gift cards to get the second book in the series. I was wary about it though, I mean, second books in series often don’t live up to their precursor. Luckily, Kiss of Frost did not disappoint. Gwen remains a fun character though I felt she wasn’t really all that bright this time around. I found myself internally yelling at her to WISE UP and BE SMARTER! Because she was smarter in Touch of Frost when she didn’t even know what was going on. I found a couple of her leaps of logic to be mind-boggling dumb at times. I suppose when your life has suddenly flipped completely upside down and there are people in the world who are hellbent on killing you, when this wasn’t a normal, every day, occurrence before, you might suddenly start finding even radishes suspicious. I tried not to fault the character too much for these boggling logic leaps because well, hey, I might have done the exact same thing if it were me. I can’t see myself trusting anyone if all of this magic, mythology and attempted murdering was happening all the time.

I was a little sad about the lack of Logan time. Not in the romantic or sexual tension way, but more in the, witty dialogue way. I truly like the interaction between Gwen and Logan. I also love the interaction between Gwen and Daphne, which was also watered down this time around. Alas. I look forward to those friendships being built up in future books. (Dear Author, just so you know. In case you were wondering what to write. I am trying to be helpful here.)

My one problem with the book was that I found the first few chapters slightly awkward in their recapping of the previous story.Some books are really great at catching the readers up on the series, and some aren’t. This one fell somewhere in the middle for me. I was very, very aware of all the exposition and “hey, reader, just in case you didn’t read book one, here is ALL OF THE INFORMATION that was written in 300 pages, but we’ve condensed it into 3 for you now”. I also felt that the recaping happened way too much throughout the book. In NO way was this as bad as the House of Night Books by the Casts, but it was obvious enough to me that it sort of made me cringe at times. I would have liked a little less obviousness in telling the reader what was happening and what had happened. I don’t know if it was because I’d recently read the first book or not, but I felt like I’d even read some repeated explanations throughout the book.

Really that was only a minor irritation and it didn’t take away from my overall enjoyment of the story. I like that we keep learning a little more about Gwen’s powers and that secrets were revealed in this book. I am HOPING (very strongly) that the brief stupidity of deciding to NOT TELL the adults or her friends about things because she didn’t want to bother them, was knocked out of Gwen by that avalanche.  Please, please, let the character have learned her lesson on that one because I HATE that plot device. It’s up there with the trusted guardian ending up being the bad guy and taking advantage of all the information they find out. I just want Gwen to be able to trust and rely on Daphne, Logan and Prof. Metis, even her own grandmother. I hate when main characters keep secrets and then end up getting saved only by a stroke of luck. You have friends and resources, Gwen – USE THEM! No man is an island! Other cliche statements here!

Yeah. So. Dark Frost comes out in June and I cannot wait! This is a fun series that really clicks with me even if it has plots that I can see through from a mile away (I’d pretty much figured out what was going on from the start and was rather delighted with myself when my guesses were right. heh). As long as Mythos Academy books are written, I shall read them!

Mythos Academy

  1. Touch of Frost
  2. Kiss of Frost
  3. Dark Frost
  4. Crimson Frost
  5. Midnight Frost – August 2013

In My Mailbox #50 – The Thwarting my Arch Nemesis Edition!

In My Mailbox is hosted by The Story Siren.

All my IMM posts can be found here!

Welcome to my 50th In My Mailbox! I feel like this is some sort of fancy milestone and it amuses me that though I am only at 50 posts for IMM, Kristi herself is at her 100th IMM *VIDEO* and last week was her 150th IMM post. She’s a rock star, yo!

So this week was crazy fun for me and the mail! I got a book for review, books I bought and a surprise box of books from a friend. I think this week was a lovely way to end my 2 month sick leave. I’ve got a book high going on!

For Review:

Bought:

Surprise:

Various other paper products:

I’ve already devoured Touch of FrostThe Faerie Ring and Prized. Those links will bring you to my reviews if you haven’t seen them already. (er, except for Prized, because I haven’t written it yet.) All other book-related links go to Goodreads.

I only got one bill this week, too! So I think that makes for a super excellent mailbox week – all stuff that makes me happy and nothing much that I have to dish out stupid money for. (I am so tired of the mortgage and utilities companies expecting me to pay them every month! Nags, the lot of ’em.)

Touch of Frost

Touch of Frost (Mythos Academy, #1)
by Jennifer Estep

My name is Gwen Frost, and I go to Mythos Academy — a school of myths, magic and warrior whiz kids, where even the lowliest geek knows how to chop off somebody’s head with a sword and Logan Quinn, the hottest Spartan guy in school, also happens to be the deadliest.

But lately, things have been weird, even for Mythos. First, mean girl Jasmine Ashton was murdered in the Library of Antiquities. Then, someone stole the Bowl of Tears, a magical artifact that can be used to bring about the second Chaos War. You know, death, destruction and lots of other bad, bad things. Freaky stuff like this goes on all the time at Mythos, but I’m determined to find out who killed Jasmine and why—especially since I should have been the one who died. . . (goodreads.com)

You know when you have good vibes about a book and you just feel that this will be the book that you have been waiting for and will connect with and just love? Do you know that feeling? Is it just me? Well, I felt that way about Touch of Frost from the second I first read the title and then the summary. Boarding school with super-powery students?

Bring! It!  On!

Of course then I was filled with apprehension over the story sucking and just being like every other one out there. Love triangle, ALL OF THE PARANORMAL ELEMENTS!!!!11!!!!!!OMFG!!! and so on…

Of course, then I couldn’t get my hands on a copy to save my life, so the above apprehension was rendered somewhat moot.

Turns out I had a credit on an online bookstore account that I didn’t realize I had. It wasn’t a huge thing, but it was nice to see I had $10 or so to spend. So as I was picking up a book I was waiting for to go on sale, I added Touch of Frost to my order to get free shipping. heh. Cue original apprehension.

The books arrived yesterday and I started Touch of Frost right away. Would have finished it too, had I not fallen asleep (curse you, human nature!) while reading. So I finished it this morning.

I love Gwen’s voice. The narration was entertaining and witty. The dialogue was sarcastic and funny. The characters surprised me. All of the elements I was hoping to like in this book did not disappoint me whatsoever.

Sure the sort of supernatural reveal wasn’t a surprise, but I was expecting that. This book follows the normal urban fantasy/paranormal route of finding out about your powers and who you are and the disbelief turning into belief and all that jazz, but I didn’t care. I was enjoying all the other aspects of the story so much I didn’t get annoyed by the “of COURSE that happened” elements. They fit with the story in a way that didn’t make me roll my eyes much at all. (Although I will admit that I am tired of the “what’s going on with me?” “oh, nothing, really. We can’t tell you, you’ll just find out when you need to” plot device. I think characters in books need to be told WHAT THE HELL IS GOING on, especially if they are going to be the target of all the baddies. That one issue in books really makes me cranky.)

This story was just so much fun for me to read. Even the potential love interest wasn’t over the top and I actually rather liked Logan as a character. I love that Gwen keeps running into him. ha!

As I read the book, I couldn’t help but think of Erica from The Book Cellar as the main character. I don’t know why, but the way Gwen spoke really reminded me of her. I guess when you spend week in a hotel room with someone (even if that someone just sleeps on your floor) you get to know them well. If they make a movie I think Erica should play Gwen. ha!

I am extremely happy that the difficulty I had in picking up this book resulted in my reading it only a couple of weeks before the second book comes out. As much as I need to not buy anything that’s not super important (food, toilet paper, mortgage) I HAVE to pick up Kiss of Frost when it’s out (my luck, it won’t be in the store and my maxed out credit card isn’t going to be much help). This book cheered me up considerably. It was exactly what I needed right now in my life.

Mythos Academy

  1. Touch of Frost
  2. Kiss of Frost
  3. Dark Frost
  4. Crimson Frost
  5. Midnight Frost – August 2013

(There is also a prequel to the series, that I believe came out as a short story e-book, First Frost. I have no plans to read it since I think everything was nicely put together in the first, full, book.)