Published by Kensington -Teen on August 1st 2011
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...
I’ve been reading a lot of books lately featuring characters finding themselves forcibly shipped to supernatural or mythical boarding schools. These types of books seem to be in an upward trend lately, some good and some not-so good, so needless say, I was both anxious and weary of what Mythos Academy was like.
I found that Touch of Frost wasn’t too unique when it came to characterization. Our main character, Gwen Frost is Mythos Academy’s underdog. Basically in the beginning of the book, she’s on the outside looking in. Surrounded by tons of warriors-to-be, Gwen feels like an outcast. Although she has an, in my opinion, wicked cool power called psychometry (ability to see flashes and witness the history that comes along with touching certain objects and people), it doesn’t really help her when giant panther-like prowlers decide she’s a tasty meal. Thankfully though Mythos’ sexy and dangerous, Logan Quinn, resident bad-boy and bad-ass Spartan keeps an eye out for Gwen. Gwen, who I should mention, is also sometimes referred to as “Gypsy Girl”. Throw in a bunch of rich-snobbish Valkeryies, Mythos’ popular, girl clique, and you’ve got the plot for a half-a-dozen other books. This review might sound kind of negative, but don’t me wrong, I did like this book. A lot. There’s just a few bones I had to pick, including the not-so original character lineup.
Like I was saying, this book might have some downward moments, but there’s also a lot of good quirks too. Gwen Frost, although not super-strong or super-fast like many of her classmates, is pretty kick-ass in her own way. She’s feisty in the sense that even when Logan Quinn starts to sweet talk her, she makes it known, multiple times, that she’s not going to be another one of his many female playmates. Rumors around Mythos’ claim that he’s the play-boy type, and although as a reader we haven’t learnt if this rumor is completely true, I was still proud of Gwen for standing strong. She’s not easily bullied and I really respect that.
This is me sort of rambling but… I wanted to give a small shout out to Gwen’s grandma. I don’t know if it was solely the writing or the fact that I miss my own grandma a bit (being away school sucks at times); but I basically loved grandma Frost. She’s very wise, in many ways. Not just because she’s been around and seen many things, but also because of her gift to glimpse the future. She’s basically the only real, steady rock in Gwen’s shaky life. Also, she make’s very yummy cookies and other baked goods. Best. Gramma. Ever. Right!? Okay back to actual reviewing…
Touch of Frost was a fun ride. The writing style was very easy follow and flowed very well. There was a nice balance of description and dialogue so it was easy to pay attention and not lose focus. Although, not incredibly-original, the various characters, Logan, Morgan, Daphne, Gwen, and so forth, were very likable and believable. Morgan, Mythos’ second-most popular girl, and “known” wi-atch, was completely believable in the sense that you couldn’t stand her.
Another aspect of Touch of Frost that I really enjoyed was its compilation of various myths and religions throughout the world. Most books tend to focus on just one set of gods and goddesses, Greek, for instance. However in Touch of Frost a plethora of different gods and goddesses and their warriors were introduced such as Roman, Egyptian, Japanese, Irish, Norse, and so forth. I think including all the different mythological gods, heroes, and creatures, was a great idea. It really opened the story up to more possibilities. I could easily see spin-offs and other stories branching of from these original novels. With a school full of heroes-to-be there’s endless, unique possibilities for new adventures and stories.
I should also mention that although Touch of Frost is classified as a YA book there’s quite a bit of mature and almost vulgar dialect (a little bit), so I’d say this book is for older teens and up.