I’ve been meaning to read this series for quite a long time. I mean, it’s about an academy with teen mythological warriors. (What better than Valkyries, Amazons, Vikings, Romans, and Spartans to lure you in?) And a hot guy. And a spunky heroine. What’s not to like? So when I finally found this at the library, I grabbed it immediately.
I’m sad to say, however, that I was a little disappointed.
The protagonist, Gwen Frost, is a Gypsy with a psychic power–psychometry, the ability to read an object’s history if she touches it. It’s pretty cool, but it can be pretty annoying. Her mom and her grandma both had psychic abilities too, which comes with being a Gypsy. But Gwen’s the only Gypsy at Mythos Academy–and that makes her feel left out. ‘Cause who wants to hang out with the poor Gypsy? She’s the only one in the school who doesn’t take to a weapon like it was made for her, and she’s not rich.
Boohoo. Why should she care about being rich? Thankfully, she doesn’t worry TOO much. But while I love Gwen’s snarky personality, sometimes I find her a little bit too stupid for her own good. That’s probably because of how predictable this book was. (More on that later.) She honestly should have connected the pieces together before she was in danger and a hot dude had to save her. Again. (Ever the damsel in distress.)
And, obviously, there’s romance here. Duh. (It’s a school full of teenagers–what do you expect?) Gwen finds herself attracted to Logan Quinn, a handsome but deadly Spartan–a warrior who can grab any object and instantly know how to kill you with it. (You better not get on his bad side.) And while I did love Logan, I thought he was a little bit too bad boy–a little bit too cliché. Especially with that mysterious secret that he doesn’t want her to know…
Can I talk about how much some characters bothered me? For instance: the Valkyrie princesses (aka the typical mean girl clique). How many times have YOU seen this cliché in books? For me, I’d say at least ten by now. I’d be surprised if it was less. Because I am so tired of it: how the mean girls treat the heroine like dirt, and then either the mean girls turn good or the heroine gets revenge. Something of that sort, hmm?
To be honest, my favorite character was a talking sword. Interesting guy.
The mystery in this book really let me down. I’d been hoping for this epic fight between the gods in the Pantheon and Loki’s Reapers, but well…It didn’t quite turn out that way. See, in the beginning of the book, Gwen (who works in the library) discovers a girl’s dead body next to the Bowl of Tears, a mythical artifact that everyone but her believes to be stolen by the Reaper who must have killed Jasmine too. But Gwen isn’t so sure, and she’s going to use her psychometry to get to the bottom of this.
Two ways I was disappointed: (1) the motive behind the murder mystery was incredibly stupid, and (2) I figured it out loooong before the solution was revealed. Why, you ask? Because the clues were repeated OVER and OVER again. They clearly stood out in Gwen’s head, and she didn’t get a thing out of them. (Hence why I thought she was not so bright.) I think the question that went most through my head while reading this book was, “Really, Jennifer Estep, couldn’t you be a little more subtle?”
Touch of Frost was a light read; the concept was great and the characters were entertaining, but the characters were clichéd and the mystery was lacking in an important characteristic: surprise. However, I did love the romance, and I’m hoping that Jennifer Estep can redeem herself in the future with the sequels.
Source: Paperback borrowed from library