Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Humpday Super Symmetry 12/12/12 style!

Woohoo - we made it through - greetings and salutations my fellow Humpday nation. The holiday season has kicked into high gear - lots of family gatherings, a successful Cookiepalooza, and most of the shopping done and wrapped! about taking a quick break, deep breath in and Ohmmmm my! (yep - eye candy time!)  

For those of you in the market for a great new series, or who are stumped trying to buy something for the tween/teen set - try Jennifer Estep's Mythos Academy series - book 4 soon to be released (on Christmas eve!).

Crimson Frost, Mythos Academy Book 4, Jennifer Estep, K-Teen, 12/24/12

Gwen should have known that her first official date with Logan Quinn was destined to end in disaster. She was prepared to get into a swordfight, or be ambushed by Reapers. But getting arrested mid-sip at the local coffee hangout? She didn't see that one coming. Gwen is accused of purposely helping the Reapers free the evil god Loki from his prison - and the person leading the charge against her is Linus Quinn, Logan's dad. The worst part is that pretty much everyone at Mythos Academy thinks she's guilty. If she's going to get out of this mess alive, she'll have to do it herself...

I have said it once, and I'll say it again - if you haven't jumped on the Mythos bandwagon - you really must haul it to the nearest station!   Jennifer Estep, well established now as an urban fantasy diva, continues to feed readers something special in her cleverly concocted world of Mythos Academy. Equally enthralling for Young Adults and Big Kids alike, this latest installment picks up exactly where book 3 left off.    With three full novel (and 2 novella) predecessors, new readers will want to start at the beginning so as not to miss one juicy, exciting detail of the wild adventures of Gwen Frost and her fight to, dare I say it, save the world.

The longer Estep writes this series, the more she closes in on that sweet spot - providing just the right balance between her strong leading lady and a true ensemble cast.  The boyfriend drama of past installments takes a back seat when a truly perilous issue arises and Gwen finds only she can save herself. Will Loki's supporters get the better of Nike's champion? When the whole school turns against the gypsy "traitor", Gwen finds she's going to need every last ally, no matter how far fetched he or she may seem.

Crimson Frost takes the reader to a darker place than previous novels, this one full of self doubt and isolation. Gwen's struggles against the brutal harassment of her peers at Mythos and her ability to overcome great odds prove her position as a stellar role model for today's teens. The story imparts this powerful message that sometimes there really is no one to save you so you might as well set about saving yourself.  

The clever weaving of myth and fiction continues to propel this series forward, with any number of paths and disasters for future story arcs to take.  Full of action and suspense, the story line is creative and captivating - one of those true page turners that make both child and adult want to read way past bedtime and into the night.  Small threads from previous novels are picked up and develop naturally and I love that she is not afraid to touch on subjects that today's teens contend with daily: bullying, self doubt, sexual identity, navigating first love, but does it in a way that is nonchalant, intentionally woven into the fabric of her characters' stories as they unfold page by page.

There is great difficulty in reviewing an ongoing series without providing spoiler alerts to readers, which I prefer not to do. For this reason, I will leave the following thoughts on Crimson Frost rather than give away plot twists:  With each installment, the author consistently develops a deeper understanding of her characters and their world while providing the readers with the action packed, fast paced, highly enjoyable read they've come to expect. It is a rare thing to find a series where the subsequent books trump the previous ones. But honestly she manages to do it each time.

Jennifer Estep continues to demonstrate her ability to keep the bar raised for YA series. You cannot beat the wit and humor of her dialogue and the amazing action and suspense kick mythic booty! Mythos Academy remains on this reviewer's auto-buy list!   

RATING: Five chocolate dipped strawberries and anything Grandma Frost wants to throw in for good measure!!!!!

This book was given to us by the author for an unbiased review.  Many thanks!
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