Monday, January 14, 2013

Book Review: Crimson Frost by Jennifer Estep

Crimson Frost by Jennifer Estep
Series: #4 in the Mythos Academy series
Release Date: December 24, 2012
Publisher: Kensington
Pages: 384
Received: ARC from author and publisher
Rating: 4.5 out of 5 stars
Goodreads Page

This review contains spoilers for the previous books in the series. Haven't started the series yet? Check out my spoiler-free review of the first book Touch of Frost instead!


From Goodreads (spoilers, highlight to read):

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…


Explosions of love!

I enjoyed every second of this book! I can't even put my finger on exactly why I love the Mythos Academy series so much, but I do. It's my ultimate comfort read. It's like putting on a cozy sweater, curling up on the couch, and having a marathon catch up session with my best friend.

I was happy with Crimson Frost from page one and it just kept getting better and better. Even though everything I wanted to happen didn't actually happen yet, I almost don't even care. What I got was perfect.

Are all my favorite characters back?

Well, no, because one of them is DEAD. (Do I sound upset? Who, me?). 

But, other than that, yes, everyone makes an appearance. Sadly some make less of a showing than in previous books (Daphne where were your sparkly fingers for most of the book?!) and Grandma Frost doesn't bake nearly as much as my stomach wanted her to (though my waistline thanks you, Ms Estep).

However, I forgive whatever quibbles I may have about wanting to spend more time with these characters because Vic makes up for it all. He gets ALL the points in the world!

I've always loved his snarky, bloodthirsty side, and the ante-upping of the previous book gives him a lot of opportunities to goad Gwen into enthusiastic violence. Plus, he has a rivalry with another talking sword (we hate her!) and I seriously can't get enough of their verbal sparring mixed with Vic's snide asides to Gwen.

But, as the previous book showed, Vic isn't all blood and guts. He has a softer side, and it comes out SO adorably in Crimson Frost. His relationship with Nox's little baby wolf is out-loud-awww-inducing and there is a particularly touching scene between Vic and Gwen that nearly broke my heart with bitter-sweet love. 

Is there series stretching?

No! While it does seem a little like a diverting tease because I really do want to see Gwen battle Loki already (she doesn't, not yet anyway), I can't accuse Crimson Frost of being a filler book. Stuff happens, from page one.

There's a trial and a new mythological creature and lots of bloody battles! Plus, other stuff. As per usual, there's a mystery threaded throughout the story and Gwen is up to her usual sleuthing. I love that she sleuths.

Even more importantly, I love Gwen. Crimson Frost reaffirmed why I love her so much. She's strong, resilient, inquisitive, loyal, and determined. But, she's imperfect. A lot of this book was Gwen doubting herself and wondering if she did the right thing and if she can actually do what Nike believes she can do.

Normally I'd be all, "Quit yer whining" about a character getting down on themselves, but not here. Gwen doesn't throw herself a pity party. She asks legit questions and honestly analyzes her actions. She has real reasons to doubt and I think it was important to the book and her character development for her to explore those questions. She didn't come across like a whiner at all. Her doubts only made her seem more endearing, real, and admirable.

So, much as I'd like to get to the final battle, I appreciate that Jennifer Estep isn't skipping ahead. These steps along the way are important and I think they make for a stronger series overall. 

I didn't notice the writing

My one quibble with this series has been Gwen's repetitive recapping everything. I find it endearing because it's a part of what makes Gwen, Gwen, but it was always something that stood out and pulled me out of my reading experience.

But that didn't happen in Crimson Frost!

There was just enough recapping so I knew where I was and what had happened in the previous books, despite my bad memory (it has been about seven months since I read Dark Frost), but that was it.

Bottom line

When is the next book coming out?! (Well, August 2013, so what I really mean is, why can't I have it now?!) The end is a pretty big cliffhanger. I mean, ok, fine, no one is actually dangling from a cliff and the book ends pretty much the way all the other books ended before where the main gist of the story is wrapped up but the overarching Loki storyline is still wide open and gearing up for even higher stakes.

But, I don't want to wait. I love this series.

Explanation of rating system: Star Rating Key 

Do you have any questions about Crimson Frost that I haven't addressed? 
Feel free to ask in the comments!

Looking for another book like this? 
You might like: 

Click on the covers to go to my reviews/Goodreads.


  1. I've not yet read this series - at all. (I'm not sure why I read the review, knowing it's for book #4! LOL! I usually don't do that...) But I'm glad I read this review because I think I'll look into the series - I'm hoping my library has it so I can get started this week when I make my library run!

    Now I'm off to read your review of Touch of Frost!!

    -Jac @ For Love and Books

    1. haha, sometimes I can't help but read things I know will be spoilers :P I hope you do try this series!

  2. I am staring at that big pink block of spoilered text.


    But I won't ruin it for myself, enough to know that you loved it! 4.5 stars for a 4th book in a series is pretty amazing. I just got this randomly in the mail too, but I haven't read the first three books yet. Guess I'd better get cracking on that. ;)

    Wendy @ The Midnight Garden

    1. It's tempting, isn't it? :D I'm like that little child who feels compelled to do exactly what I know I shouldn't do when it comes to reading spoilers.

      I hope you like the series! You definitely do need to read them in order.

  3. Uh oh. Is it okay that we disagree? Can we still be Princess-link buddies? Do we still have common reading ground?

    I think the key difference here between us is that you connect with Gwen, and I don't. I liked her in the beginning, but I think I've started to think her outsider status is somewhat self-imposed. And I'm also put off by the fact that she suddenly has all these best-friends--like she and Oliver went from rivals to BFFs too quickly for me--and too quickly for a girl with as much reserve as Gwen is supposed to have.

    I'm still willing to go along with this series, but I also think that I might have a disconnect with Jennifer Estep as a writer. I wasn't able to get into her Elemental Assassin series, and I always thought that was because of the assassin-as-main-character story. That's usually a deal-breaker for me. It's too bad because I think Estep has a good writer, despite everything.

    1. *HUGS* yes, it's perfectly fine that we disagree. When we disagree it's still perfect because it's like when you have a chicken and one person likes dark meat and the other likes white meat. Or when you get a black and white cookie and one person likes the chocolate icing and the other person likes the white icing. Match made in heaven. :)

      I agree with you. Connecting with Gwen is KEY for this series, I think. Her best friend situation is getting a little out of hand. She's skirting on Mary Sue territory, it's true.

    2. 1) Dark meat
      2) Chocolate icing

      Also, is it bad that I wish there was someone else who like-liked Gwen? I mean, clearly it's all about Logan, and I don't want a love triangle, but it would be nice for someone else to have a little crush on Gwen.

    3. 1) It's a good thing chicken's have two drumsticks then :)

      2) White icing! Yay!

      Hm, have anyone in mind? I wouldn't mind another suitor. Mostly because I'm not 100% on the Logan bandwagon. He's fine and all, but I'm just not feeling it.

      Ooh, I wish Loki's champion could have been a guy and Gwen's romantic interest. That would have been interesting, and at least if we're going to play keep-away it would have been for a better reason than the one Logan copped at the end of book four.

    4. darn, chickens shouldn't have an apostrophe.

  4. Well, Gwen does like to recap a lot for what I remember, though I only read the first book of the series (I couldn't get into it, don't hate me!)

    But I'm glad it's living it up for you, I think I remember you didn't like the second book so much.

    1. haha, aw, I don't hate you! Gwen does love recapping. It was nice that she didn't beat everything to death with a million recaps this time.

      You're right, the second book didn't work for me as much as this one.

  5. I haven't read any books yet in this series, so I won't be able to read this review. I definitely want to read this at some point. I know you said I'd like it and I'm looking forward to reading it.


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