A school for mythic warriors? Yes, please!
The one-liner for this one was enough to make me want to read it. The fact that I'd just started The Elemental Assassin series (and LOVED it) was another plus. Jennifer Estep did such a great with Gin Blanco, assassin name: The Spider, I just had to see what she could do with YA.
Touch of Frost may not have had gritty feel or the hardened/irresistible MC. It might not have contained all the assassin-y goodness of her adult series (there weren't dead bodies popping up on every page, though the book does kick off with a murder), but Estep's YA debut did have a certain charm.
Gwen Frost has no idea what she's doing at Mythos Academy--a school where Spartans strut the halls, Amazons wield swords longer than your arm, and Valkyries shoot magic from their fingertips. Gwen's just a Gypsy girl--the only Gypsy at Mythos. She doesn't have supernatural strength or fighting ability. The only thing different about Gwen is her gift of pychometry: the power to read objects or people through touch. The gift's not all that great--especially when it goes on the fritz right after the most popular Valkyrie in school gets murdered. No one seems to care about the murder, more interested in the fact that an ancient artifact's gone missing. But Gwen is determined to find out what happened--even if it gets her killed.
Things I loved about this book: 1) The concept. I've seen people do schools for wizards, Gods, vampires, you name it. But Frost is the first book I've come across that features mythological warriors. For that reason (and with the addition of a smart-talking sword and these things called Champions: humans chosen by the Gods to be their representatives on Earth), Touch of Frost seemed like unique, untapped territory. 2) The action. There was plenty of action/tight spots where I wasn't sure if Gwen would be able to hack it. But with a healthy dose of self-preservation and the help of new friends, she pulled through. 3) Logan. Nothing more to say. If you want to know more about Logan Quinn, the smooth-talking Spartan with a bad rep and perfect timing, you'll just have to read the book J.
Things I didn't love: The amount of repetition. Like in the Elemental Assassin series, there's plenty of well-worn phrases, stuff that could be taken out to keep the pace moving forward. The length--which was affected by the amount of repetition. It just could've been tightened up, made snappier to keep readers on edge the entire time. There were also mature instances (signing mattresses, kids hooking up here, there, and everywhere) that I think are more appropriate for adult audiences. I mean, come on, isn't there any innocence left in YA?
All in all, it was very good. I'm interested enough in Gwen and Logan and the school of myths concept to read the next one. I've got a feeling Estep will get even better as she goes along/becomes more used to the YA voice. It really was great, and I hope to see more of Logan in the next book!