Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Book Review: Midnight Frost by Jennifer Estep

#5 in the Mythos Academy series
Release Date: July 30, 2013
Publisher: K Teen(Kensington)
Pages: 372
Received: ARC from publisher
Stars: 3
Goodreads Page

This is a review for a sequel! Spoilers for the previous books in the series are here! 
Haven't read the first book? Read my review for that book instead.

I need to preface this whole review by saying that I really do like this series. The characters are people I'd want to hang out with, the mythology has grabbed my interest, and the whole series has this vibe for me that's the literary equivalent of putting on a comfy sweater and curling up next to a fireplace.

I love it, and I definitely recommend it.

Things I didn't like

So, that said, now I need to confess that Midnight Frost felt like mostly filler. We have all these big THINGS coming up with Gwen's impending battle against Loki and his forces of evilness and in the last book goddess Nike tasked Gwen and her Scooby Gang with locating all these cool mystical artifacts.

Basically, I was promised quests, nifty magical items to covet, and battles.

And, I didn't really get that.

Instead, Gwen has been doing the artifact hunting between last book and this book and I've been kept totally out of the loop on that. Plus, it didn't sound like she faced all that much peril to acquire them so I didn't even get rousing stories of said off-page adventures.

And, final insult to injury, I only got to hear about one artifact and while it would be kinda handy to have around (I could bring ALL my books with me everywhere), it was used in a somewhat unnecessary way. Totally disappointing.

BUT I did get to go on a quest. Sort of. Except, it was a quest with pretty much no peril and a totally predictable rescue that reminded me of a saccharine My Little Pony plot.

Also, the point of the quest was a complete diversion from the big battle against Loki and his forces of darkness. It was a race for a cure but I never once doubted it would be successful and I couldn't help but feel like I was promised one thing (Loki battles) and given something much less awesome (minion skirmishes).

Added detraction? All this dancing away from the showdown is making the villains seems kinda lame now. Their big plan in Midnight Frost seemed pretty half baked and not at all meeting the bar I've set for this league of evil. Especially considering the bold moves they made in Crimson Frost.

Also, Gwen, my wonderful outcast Gwen is now a total Mary Sue. Can you hear my heart breaking??? I still love her, but it's getting tiresome and boring hearing how everyone else loves her so much and she can charm everyone under the sun.

(There's also this revelation with a new character and I hated it.)

Things I did like

But, that isn't to say there weren't things I liked. Because I did enjoy a lot. And I do plan on reading the next book.

Even though it's annoying now that everyone loves Gwen, I still love her, too. Her romance with Logan left off in a totally annoying point in Crimson Frost with Logan embracing the whole "I can't be around you because I might be dangerous" schtick (can you see my eyes rolling?) and I was so not looking forward to that playing out in Midnight Frost.

Thankfully, Gwen is awesome and she says everything I wanted her to say to Logan. Which is to say, she was her blunt, prickly, cut-to-the-chase self and I loved her for it.  

All of my other favorite characters make an appearance and I still love them just as much as I always have. Vic (Gwen's talking sword) is always a highlight for me and his new relationship with Gwen's puppy is beyond adorable. And, ok, ok, I know I said I didn't like the My Little Pony save, and I stand by that, but it was also kind of adorable, too.

Bottom line

This installment was overall a miss for me, even though I did like it enough to stick with it to the end. It wasn't so much that it was bad, but that this far along in the series I feel like things need to step up more than Midnight Frost managed. Rehashing devices from the previous books isn't cutting it at this point.

Midnight Frost mostly felt like a rehash and digression. Sure it had elements that I liked, but overall it didn't feel like a necessary installment (with the exception of a few important events that will play a role in future books).

I'm still going to read the next book for sure though. I want that battle with Loki. I want to go treasure hunting with Gwen for all those mythological artifacts. I hope I get the chance to do these things, and I hope that chance comes in the next book.



  1. I'm sorry, but I won't lie. I seriously think this series should've ended in the last book instead of being dragged into a fifth and sixth one; Jennifer could've done it. That's probably why I'm just going to skip over this one, simply because I was worried it would be a filler :(

  2. I have not read the first book and am unlikely to catch up with the rest :( and/or won't remember what you wrote in this review when it comes time to read the books so I shall brave the spoilers. Though first off, did you see the new cover for the 6th book? Did you like it? Fits with the series, but I remember seeing it and thinking of you and your blog because I think I remember reading about this series from you. Wasn't she one of your sleepover protagonists?

    Comfy sweaters and fireplaces! Sounds like you love the series :).

    Aw. Filler books. Well, I suppose that means her impending battler will be really exciting to read about in the next book. And maybe you'll get the promised quests and nifty magical items then too?

    Or not. Hmm. If it's between books, is there a chance of there being a novella on the artifact hunting? Ooh okay so maybe even if there was, there wouldn't have been enough peril, enough tension to keep your attention.

    Okay, you and my best friend have now referred to My Little Pony. I seriously need to know what's up with that... show? book? so that I can understand the reference :P.

    "It was a race for a cure but I never once doubted it would be successful and I couldn't help but feel like I was promised one thing (Loki battles) and given something much less awesome (minion skirmishes)." <-- DEFINITE SIGN OF THE FILLER-NESS.

    Noo!! Lame villains and Mary Sues and :OOO. Okay, you are making me think I should not start this series ever o.O.

    "I can't be around you because I might be dangerous" schtick == definite eye rolling material. AND YAY TO HAVING A PROTAG. ACTUALLY RESPOND BACK TO THE LOVE INTEREST ABOUT THAT.

    I hope the next book ends up rewarding you with that battle and the treasure hunting!


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