Review – Crimson Frost by Jennifer Estep

Crimson Frost cover image
Publisher: Kensington
Publish Date: Out today
How I got this book: ARC from the publisher via Netgalley

I will not be able to review this installment without spoilers for Dark Frost so if you have not read the series up through that point I recommend that you skip this review. I personally enjoy spoilers but even with that I would want to read Dark Frost first. Spoilers are also in the blurb below.

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…
This blurb came from Goodreads.

Here on The Book Pushers we have long been fans of Estep’s Mythos Academy series. As a result I was extremely excited when I was able to get this ARC. I know officially this book is almost 400 pages in print but as I was reading I was so invested in Gwen’s situation that it seemed much shorter. In other words things started off exciting and continued until the very last page. Of course now I am anxiously awaiting the next book.

Crimson Frost started off with Logan and Gwen on a date then everything took an awful turn. Gwen was arrested and charged with assisting Loki’s escape from captivity. The arrest is public and the announcement of charges was done at a huge assembly. As a result except for Gwen’s small circle of friends, all of the other students and most of the faculty thought Gwen needed to die immediately. Since just about everyone there had lost someone they cared about to the Reapers they easily turned against the one who didn’t quite belong. As sad as I was to see that, it did seem rather realistic of that age group. I admired Gwen for not giving into her depression and it also highlighted how important true friendship is.

Gwen was still her usual not-quite-understanding-everything-but-fiercely-loyal person. She was heartbroken at the thought that people believed she was the one assisting Loki instead of her former classmate. It seemed like everyone discounted the fact that that the Reapers killed her mother and had made several attempts to kill Gwen herself since she first entered the academy. Part of her fear stemmed from the fact that except for her Grandmother, her friends, and a few members of the faculty, no one was willing to believe that she was innocent to include the authorities. It didn’t help matters any that Logan’s father was the leader of those responsible for both the accusation and Gwen’s trial. Even when the Reapers attacked the library again and Gwen was integral in its defense, she was still considered guilty.

It was fascinating to watch Gwen work through the different issues, determine how to best survive her trial, and even manage to disrupt some of the proceedings. She also cared about her friends enough to encourage one of them to continue his “tentative relationship” with her guard because she felt strongly that people should have a chance to be happy in their relationships since you never know when they might lose that chance forever.

Estep put Gwen and her friends through the wringer some of which will continue to have reverberations in future installments. One of the things I really liked about Crimson Frost is how Gwen’s Grandmother was able to step out of her fortune telling self and show some hidden depths. Depths, which made me wonder about the rest of Gwen’s family history and how tightly they could have been intertwined with the Gods and Goddesses. Estep has demonstrated once again why she is a Bookpusher favorite with Crimson Frost. Her YA characters while clearly not grown-ups demonstrate very complex characterization that highlights the tension in standing on the cusp of adulthood with a lot resting on your shoulders.

I give Crimson Frost an A

Links to purchase

Amazon | Kindle | Nook | BN

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