Review: Dark Frost By Jennifer Estep

Dark Frost Jennifer EstepIf you have visited Fiction Vixen more than once, I’m sure you’re aware this is a romance review blog and some of the books we review are probably not suitable for younger teens. We don’t review many YA titles here and so I’m never overly concerned about attracting a younger blog audience. However there are a couple of YA series that I enjoy and we do, on occasion, review some YA titles here. So if you are a younger reader, please know that our content is geared toward adult readers and our reviews reflect that.

That being said, let’s get down to business. Dark Frost is the third book in the Mythos Academy series by Jennifer Estep, and one of the few Young Adult series that I follow and look forward to reading. This is primarily because Estep writes smart, tough heroines and she manages to pull this off for her younger heroine, Gwen.

In Dark Frost, Etep kicks it up a notch with some intense action, and a heroine that continues to grow into her role as Nike’s champion. I enjoyed the first two books in the series but things are really heating up with intensity now, and I’m calling this the: “Oh-snap-shit-just-got-real” book in the series. The kids at Mythos have been training and honing their skills as warriors against evil and with the turn of events in Dark Frost, they about to put those skills to the true test against Loki and his Reapers.

If I’m going to read YA I usually prefer a dystopian or urban fantasy/paranormal setting. But these types of books have their drawbacks for me when the protagonists and general cast are teens. With a darker, grittier read, the violence tends to be more prevalent and so death happens. But when kids die, even if they are not major players in the series, it bothers me a little. The kids at Mythos academy are gifted with magic, but they are by no means immortal. Kids die in this series and even though good seems to prevail over bad, I struggled with the opening fight scene in Dark Frost where several kids were killed. It was a big scene but the emotional impact on the primary and secondary characters seemed to be missing. They all seemed to recover and move on quickly and while I’ll be the first to complain about excessive teenage angst, I felt there was a lack of emotional response from the students at Mythos Academy in this case.

Gwen’s romantic relationship with Logan is finally starting to gain some traction in Dark Frost. There is a lot of emotional back and forth, but we finally see some romantic progress. Gwen’s feelings for Logan have been quite obvious but her Gypsy gift has been a roadblock for Logan. Gwen has had a brief glimpse into Logan’s past and knows he has secrets. And she knows there is no way they can have a relationship unless he is willing to trust her enough to allow her to know the secrets he is desperately holding on to. We know Logan cares for Gwen, but he has to decide if he’s willing to take the risk of letting her know his secrets, exposing his deepest shame and possibly risk losing any chance at all of being with Gwen.

I always enjoy the secondary characters in this series. They are great support for the story arc and I’ve enjoyed their evolving friendships with Gwen as well as the secondary romances that have developed. There weren’t a lot of heavy developments relationship wise, but we are seeing the secondaries come into their magic and all are becoming more powerful as the series progresses. I was excited to see the return of the Fenrir wolf from Kiss of Frost, and hopeful Gwen would acquire another side-kick in addition to her trusty sword Vic. Things didn’t work out exactly like I thought, :( but the side-kick situation is looking good.

Dark Frost definitely takes the series into a darker, more action-packed direction. No one is safe, the Reapers are hiding in plain sight, and the war between good and evil has been taken to a whole new level in this installment of the Mythos Academy series.

Rating: B+
Dark Frost By Jennifer Estep
May 29th 2012 by Kensington
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