Book Review: Jennifer Estep’s Crimson Frost

Posted February 6, 2013 by Kathy Davie in Book Reviews, Young Adult readers

I received this book for free from the library in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Book Review: Jennifer Estep’s Crimson Frost

Crimson Frost


Jennifer Estep

urban fantasy in Paperback edition that was published by K-Teen on December 24, 2012 and has 354 pages.

Explore it on Goodreads or Amazon.

Other books by this author which I have reviewed include Spider’s Bite, Web of Lies, Jennifer Estep, Venom, Karma Girl, Tangled Threads, Touch of Frost, Spider's Revenge, Kiss of Frost, Hot Mama, By a Thread, Dark Frost, Widow's Web, Deadly Sting, Midnight Frost, Heart of Venom, The Spider, Killer Frost, Tan­gled Dreams, Tangled Schemes, Spider's Bargain, "Poison", Spider’s Nemesis, "Wasted", Web of Death, "Web of Deceit", Black Widow, Poison Promise, Cold Burn of Magic, The Spider's Trap, Dark Heart of Magic, Bitter Bite, Unraveled, "Nice Guys Bite", Bright Blaze of Magic, Snared

Fourth in the Mythos Academy urban fantasy series for young adults involving Gwen Frost, Nike’s Champion.

Be sure to read Gwen’s letter to Logan at the back of the book…

My Take

I like this series. Yes, it’s a bit clichéd with its underdog protagonist, but I do like the twist Estep puts on Gwen as both unacknowledged champion and underdog. It shocked me to realize this is only the fourth in the series as I feel so much a part of Gwen and her friends. As though I’ve been reading about them forever. And I mean that in a good way. It’s a tribute to how well the author has pulled me in to the storyline.

That said, I am disappointed with this installment. It feels as though Estep let logic out the window in favor of illogical melodramatic tension. What??? They can’t figure out a way to prove who is whose champion? Give. Me. A. Break. And I just cannot get over the fact that the Protectorate is completely ignoring signed witness statements. No. No. No. It’s no wonder they’re all afraid of the Reapers if the good guys are this stupid.

There was no sense of justice being sought. What was with Raven and her attitude? Vivian’s claims should have been easy enough to disprove. Why were the other Protectorate agents going along with how Linus handled things? The way in which he exposed Gwen so early while “claiming” that investigations were ongoing? I can only assume “innocent before being proved guilty” is not a part of Pantheon law.

All of Linus’ actions — heck, all his words, no matter how he words them — indicate that he’s already tried and sentenced his victim. Without ever speaking to her. Or, obviously, anyone else. God forbid he should believe his own son.

The quote that starts there are none so blind…certainly applies to the Protectorate. A caution to not allow one’s prejudice to influence what one sees. For great loss would not have occurred, if not for this blindness.

I just don’t get it. It makes no sense. The entire process is just so wrong. Arghhh!!!

On the plus side…Logan is so sweet on their first date. And I do love how Logan jumps right in there, as do Gwen’s friends.

The Story

Blind prejudice sets a series of catastrophic events in motion.

As Gwen says: “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…”

The Characters

Gwen Frost is Nike’s Champion with the power of psychometry, the magic of touch; she carries a magic sword named Vic, and is a student at Mythos Academy. And she’s Logan’s Gypsy girl. Nyx is Nott’s newborn cub which Gwen is caring for in her dorm at school. Grandma Frost is a former Nike champion and can see into the future.

Logan Quinn is a Spartan and fellow student, who finally came clean with his deep, dark secret. Oliver Hector and Kenzie Tanaka are fellow Spartans and Logan’s best friends. The one difference is that Oliver is gay, and while secretly in love with Kenzie, has found a new romance. Kenzie is dating Talia Pizarro, an Amazon.

Daphne Cruz is a Valkyrie with newly discovered healing power, Gwen’s best friend, and carries Sigyn’s onyx bow and single arrow. She and Carson Callahan, a Celtic band geek who uses the Horn of Roland, are still together. Morgan McDougall, a Valkyrie, appears to be on Gwen’s side as well along with Talia.

The teachers at Mythos Academy
Nickamedes, the head librarian at the Library of Antiquities at the school, is Logan’s uncle, Gwen’s tough and touchy boss, and Gwen’s mother’s best friend until they fought. He, along with Professor Aurora Metes (wisdom), who was her mom’s best friend, Coach Ajax, and Raven, who sells coffee at the library, make up Mythos Academy’s security council.

Helena Paxton is a bitchy Amazon student — the new mean-girl — who will stop at nothing to hurt Gwen.

The Protectorate
The Protectorate is the police force for the mythological world. Linus Quinn is the head of the Protectorate and Logan’s dad. Never satisfied with his son. Agrona is Logan’s stepmother and Linus’ right hand in the Protectorate and on the academy board. Sergei Sokolov, a Bogatyr, and Inari Sato, a ninja, are fellow agents. Alexei Sokolov is Sergei’s son, and a Bogatyr as well, and has been pulled in to play Gwen’s guard while they investigate her.

Reapers of Chaos are the followers of Loki, the Norse god of mischief and chaos. Gwen was compelled to free him in Dark Frost.

Vivian Holler was the student in Dark Frost, who turned out to be Loki’s Champion and forced Gwen to free him. Lucretia is Vivian’s sword and an old enemy of Vic’s.

Mythos Academy is a boarding school for the children of the Pantheon. Vikings, Valkyrie, Amazons, Romans, ninjas, Bogatyrs, all the mythological warriors of the world send their children to Mythos and other similar schools to learn about their world and how to protect it and themselves against their enemies. Nike is the Greek goddess of victory.

The Cover and Title

The cover has a softness to it. All browns and pinks with a softly determined, violet-eyed Gwen staring out at us wearing the snowflake necklace given her by Logan, and one of the gryphon statues that helped her, standing a fearsome guard behind her left shoulder.

The title is the blood drawn, physically and metaphysically from young Gwen, the Crimson Frost that will see her life change dramatically.