Review – Kiss of Frost by Jennifer Estep

Kiss of Frost
Publisher: Kensington
Publish Date: Out now
How I got this book: From the publisher

Logan Quinn was trying to kill me. My Spartan classmate relentlessly pursued me, swinging his sword at me over and over again, the shining silver blade inching closer to my throat every time. A smile tugged up his lips, and his ice-blue eyes practically glowed with the thrill of battle…

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 sword play 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 some one 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…
This blurb came from Goodreads.

While I tend to think of myself as a voracious reader, I have mostly stayed away from the newish crop of YA (Young Adult) books and authors. I was glad to see an upswing in books that inspired people to read even if they didn’t work for me. I do read YA but those authors I was introduced to either in school like Robin McKinley and Roald Dahl or were writing it when I was going through school like Tamora Pierce. What those authors have in common is they did not — and those that are still writing — do not contain the levels of “emoness” that seem to be prevalent today. I also watched the huge increase in adult authors who decided to make the leap over to YA and wondered about the different skill-set required. When I read a YA, yes like always, I am expecting a good story but I don’t read them expecting to see chronologically younger versions of the same characters but different mentalities/viewpoints etc.

So why you might ask given all of that did I agree to review Kiss of Frost which is certainly a YA and the second novel of the series. What had happened was, I already liked Ms Estep’s Elemental Assassin series and I was reading Entangled for a joint review last fall when I stumbled upon her novella Halloween Frost and I got sucked in. As a result I bought the prequel novella, the first novel and then accepted the request for this review.

There will be spoilers for the previous stories in this review but I will attempt to keep them as minimal as possible. Kiss of Frost picks up shortly after the events of Touch of Frost, reviewed by Lou here, with Gwen actively trying to learn how to use the various weapons provided in gym class. Gwen knows that she will be a target for the Reapers but compared to the majority of the other students who all have some magical skill in the art of self-defense and weaponry, she thinks she is fighting a losing battle. Not to forget that her primary instructor happens to be the boy she has a crush on who is very involved with someone else. I liked how Ms Estep highlighted Gwen’s feelings and reactions without taking them to an extreme level. They seemed appropriate for someone her age and temperament.

It was rather enjoyable watching Daphne drag Gwen kicking and screaming into a friendship that also meant Gwen ended up participating in some things that were outside her normal comfort zone as she started to find her place at Mythos Academy. As the novel continues Gwen also starts learning that everyone is not as they seem and that her powers of psychometry — even though she sees them as comparatively insignificant — can produce some pretty amazing results. She learns some things about herself and about dealing with other people as she continues to realize that some myths and legends are real and still around today. Gwen does find out some rather disturbing information that caused her to doubt her entire world but I loved her reaction. It was so in character and went along with everything else she had demonstrated before.

I really enjoyed reading this installment of the Mythos Academy because it provided me with everything I could ask for. I got to enjoy mystery, death threats, mythical creatures, talking swords, building friendships, character growth, some fascinating world building and a great story. I can’t wait for Dark Frost to come out later this year!

I give Kiss of Frost an A

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