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review 2017-12-14 00:04
Kiss of Frost (Mythos Academy #2) by Jennifer Estep
Kiss of Frost - Jennifer Estep

Gwen Frost, with her unique gifts is just beginning to learn her place in the world, and the magical training academy and their long historical war and her special legacy within it and Nike’s champion.

 

Of course epic history doesn’t change day to day life - including being pulled into the parties that characterise Mythos Academy and her complicated relationship with Logan, the very sexy Spartan warrior.

 

And into this complexities steps an assassin - someone is out to kill Gwen and there is no shortage of enemies who may want her dead


There’s some fascinating concepts in this book. I like the idea of many many supernatural warriors inheriting divine powers. I like the diversity of their powers. As an massive mythology buff I love the idea of the gods underlying this whole conflict and world building. Norse, Greek and more? Of course I’m into it… though I do rather think the world building rests a lot more on “the Greek gods. And Loki. Because”. I think that because may be because someone looked for an archetypical trickster among the Olympians and realised “all of these fuckers” was the best answer (yes, Dolos of course -but still the Greeks were pretty much all tricksters to some degree in the same way many of the Norse gods moonlighted as warriors)

 

The whole concept of the school is one I’d be a lot more interested in if it were actually developed a lot more: because instead of seeing all the mythology, history and training we get a lot of partying and Gwen disapproving of said partying because raaah.

 

We also have Daphne who is a much more interesting character with layers, managing to embrace the partying culture of the school, be “girly” and pink, be a computer geek and being a super strong warrior.

 

And I do like a lot about Gwen - she has some excellent challenging of the classism that completely permeates the school. I also like to see a character with psychometric powers who doesn’t considered themselves cursed - and even appreciates the knowledge and secrets she learns. There are some excellent foundations to this story

 

But what was built on this story I have trouble with

 

I have a lot of trouble getting past the decisions that Gwen makes in this book. No matter how much she wants to prove herself the kickarse warrior like the other students, I find it bemusing that Gwen, who has not been raised as part of a warrior culture, would decide that multiple attempts on her life are totally something she should keep to herself

 

I would find it bemusing, if she had been raised by a warrior culture, and knowing what is at stake after the last book, that she would consider it appropriate not to tell anyone of the literally murderous threat on campus



And who thinks “I won’t tell my teacher about this LITERAL ASSASSINATION ATTEMPT because I don’t think he likes me”? And she won’t tell the teacher she really likes. Or her grandmother

 

In fact, I find everyone’s decision making in this book to be utterly bizarre. When a fellow student learns something you don’t want to disclose, do you really think “trying to kill them but not really I want to scare them” is a tactic for silencing them? Especially since you’re doing it anonymously? How do you intimidate someone into silence when they neither know who you are or what you want? And seriously, murder? And, again, this is a campuses where we already explained last book that everyone has been raised to be a warrior, fully expects to be attacked by their enemy and several of them are already used to death. But he thinks ambushes are going to make someone thing “zomg must be silent!” and not “we’re under attack! Sound the alarm!”

 

 

Read More

 

 

Source: www.fangsforthefantasy.com/2017/11/kiss-of-frost-mythos-academy-2-by.html
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review 2017-12-11 22:36
Deadly Sting / Jennifer Estep
Deadly Sting - Jennifer Estep

Most people shy away from blood, but for an assassin like me— Gin Blanco, aka the Spider—it’s just part of the job. Still, it would be nice to get a night off, especially when I’m attending the biggest gala event of the summer at Briartop, Ashland’s fanciest art museum. But it’s just not meant to be. For this exhibition of my late nemesis’s priceless possessions is not only the place to be seen, but the place to be robbed and taken hostage at gunpoint as well. No sooner did I get my champagne than a bunch of the unluckiest thieves ever burst into the museum and started looting the place.

Unlucky why? Because I brought along a couple of knives in addition to my killer dress. Add these to my Ice and Stone magic, and nothing makes me happier than showing the bad guys why red really is my color.

 

I couldn’t resist another installment of Elemental Assassin—I need a regular supply of urban fantasy if I’m to be happy these days!

Estep continues to provide action-filled plots, consistent with the world of Ashland that she has created for our reading pleasure. Nevertheless, it’s the action between Gin and Owen that rivets the attention in book 8, as we wonder if these two star-crossed lovers will find their way back together again.

This time around, we see Gin doing the patient Griselda routine, while Owen tries to sort himself out. She’s not happy about it, particularly as it seems that Owen and his sister Eva seem to continually need her assistance to get out or stay out of the clutches of Ashland’s underworld. Owen is willing to accept the assistance, but not necessarily Gin.

Gin actually gets some self-reflection time in this book—time to realize that she does make very pragmatic, unromantic decisions mostly and that this may be hard for those closest to her to live with. But she certainly proves that she is a strong, independent woman—Owen may be “needing some space,” but she continues to run her restaurant, take courses, spend time with her friends, and defend herself from all the opportunistic villains who want to take her down!

With her sister Bria and her pals, Jo-Jo and Sophia Deveraux and Roslyn Phillips, we are definitely getting into Bechdel test territory. Certainly they do discuss the men in their lives, but plenty more besides that. That’s what I like to see—a woman realistically surrounded by supportive women friends who are there to listen, support, and help when they can! More of this, please, Ms. Estep.

P.S. All the Southern cooking got to me--I ended up making Cornmeal Cheese muffins half way through the book so that I could concentrate on reading again!

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review 2017-12-11 22:32
Widow's Web / Jennifer Estep
Widow's Web - Jennifer Estep

Once an assassin, always an assassin. So much for being plain old Gin Blanco. With every lowlife in Ashland gunning for me, I don’t need another problem, but a new one has come to town.

Salina might seem like a sweet Southern belle, but she’s really a dangerous enemy whose water elemental magic can go head-to-head with my own Ice and Stone power. Salina also has an intimate history with my lover, Owen Grayson, and now that she’s back in town, she thinks he’s hers for the taking.

Salina’s playing a mysterious game that involves a shady local casino owner with a surprising connection to Owen. But they call me the Spider for a reason. I’m going to untangle her deadly scheme, even if it leaves my love affair hanging by a thread.

 

It really struck me as I was reading this volume of the Elemental Assassin series (number 7, if you’re counting) that Jennifer Estep is really working her way through all the relationship issues that a woman can have. The first couple of books revolve around being fixated on the wrong person—the one you’ve got chemistry with, but not necessarily shared values. The relationship that’s doomed from the start, but you’re still inexplicably drawn to (that would be detective Donovan Caine).

Then Gin meets Owen Grayson, someone she’s got things in common with—this is the stage where she’s found someone who could be compatible, but she’s not sure he’ll accept all of her, even the ruthless parts. They do the “do we really trust each other” dance for a couple of books, before seeming to settle into a pretty solid relationship.

The last book tested Gin’s commitment—bringing Donovan back into her life, seemingly anxious to reconcile. She passes on Mr. Caine, realizing that they still have polar opposite values and that it couldn’t possibly work. This book, its Owen’s turn, as his former fianceé Salina returns to Ashland, determined to get him back.

Things that I have complained about in earlier books—repetition, mostly—isn’t present in this installment. Estep seems to have either matured as a writer or found a much more stringent editor who doesn’t put up with it. As a result, the books are much more entertaining and my irritation quotient is dramatically reduced.

A nice little urban fantasy hit to keep my addiction alive!

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review 2017-12-10 14:10
Für die Fortsetzung wünsche ich mir mehr Augenmerk auf Rory
Bitterfrost: Mythos Academy Colorado 1 - Jennifer Estep,Michaela Link

Inhaltsangabe

Die neue Serie aus der Welt der »Mythos Academy«!

Mit ihrer »Frost«-Reihe begeisterte Jennifer Estep unzählige Fans in Deutschland. Doch ist der Kampf gegen Lokis Schnitter wirklich vorüber? Auf der Mythos Academy in Colorado geschehen besorgniserregende Ereignisse, aber nur wenige erkennen die Zeichen. Rory Forseti ist eine von ihnen. Trotz ihres jungen Alters hat sich die Spartanerin bereits im Kampf gegen Loki bewiesen. Dennoch ist sie eine Außenseiterin an ihrer Schule, denn ihre Eltern waren Schnitter – Verbrecher im Dienste Lokis. Rorys Vorsätze, endlich Freunde zu finden, werden über den Haufen geworfen, als sie Zeugin eines Mordes wird. Und wie sich herausstellt, stecken auch noch Lokis Schergen dahinter! Rory kann nicht zulassen, dass erneut Menschen durch die Schnitter leiden. Als eine Spezialeinheit sie für den Kampf gegen den Feind rekrutiert, gibt es für Rory kein Zurück mehr.

 

Meine Meinung

Nie hätte ich damit gerechnet, dass Jennifer Estep mit dieser Grundidee nochmal in die Vollen greifen würde. Nun geht es von der Mythos Academy in North Carolina zu der bereits bekannten Academy in Colorado. Bereits im Buch „Frostfluch“ mochte ich dieses kühle Setting, mit seinen Holzelementen und nordischen Gottheiten sehr gerne.

Absolut gern war ich mit Rory und den Greifen an den Eir-Ruinen.

 

Auch die neue Prota, Rory Forseti kenne ich bereits als Gwens Cousine, der sie bei dem entscheidenden Kampf gegen Loki zur Seite stand.

Anfänglich glich mir dieser Reihenauftakt zu sehr dem Reihenauftakt um Gwen. Rory alias Gwen, Rory’s Tante Rachel nahm die Rolle von Gwen’s Großmutter ein und dann begegnet auch Rory an ihrem ersten Tag nach den Ferien einen mysteriösen und gutaussehenden Jungen.

 

Aber die Autorin ließ diese Gemeinsamkeiten Gott sei Dank im Sand verlaufen. Sobald der Mord passierte und Rory der neuen Gefahr gegenüberstand, konnte man merken, dass Estep einen anderen Weg nimmt.

Toll finde ich die Idee der Spezialeinheit namens Midgard.

Dieses Wort hat in der Mythologie eine tolle Bedeutung und passt perfekt.

 

Natürlich lernen wir durch diese Gruppe neue Schüler und Lehrer kennen.

Team Midgard besteht aus dem Samurai Takeda, dem Wikinger Ian, dem Römer Mateo und der Walküre Zoe. Wie mir bereits der Kreis um Gwen Frost sehr gut gefiel, so konnte ich auch hier gleich jeden Charakter ins Herz schließen. Vor allem Ian, der anfänglich stark gegen Rory ist, hat in diesem Band seine ganz eigene Geschichte zu erzählen.

 

Die neue Gefahr im Leben der Mythos Academy Schüler ist eine neue Art von Wesen und ein Mann namens Sisyphus. Wer ist er? Wer sind seine Helfer? Schüler dieser Schule? Was will er?

Natürlich sind die überlebenden Schnitter wieder auf der Jagd nach einem Artefakt. Sehr schnell fasst das Team Midgard jemanden ins Auge, der die Verbindung zu Sisyphus darstellen könnte.

 

Und dann kommt Schwung in die Geschichte. Die Bösewichte zeigen sich. Erste Kämpfe werden ausgetragen und es gibt Verletzte und Tote.

 

Am Ende des Buches gibt es sogar ein kleines Wiedersehen mit Gwen.

Allerdings wünsche ich mir für die Fortsetzung der Reihe, dass Rory als Charakter vorherrschend auftritt. Der Auftritt der Heldin Gwen stellte ihre Cousine Rory wieder ein wenig in den Schatten, das fand ich schade.

 

Mein Fazit

Es war mir eine Ehre, wieder an einer Mythos Academy zu sein.

Mir gefällt der Standort in Colorado noch besser und auch Rory und ihr Team Midgard gefallen mir sehr. Für die Folgebände erhoffe ich mir, dass sie sich weiterhin hinsichtlich der Story von der bekannten Reihe entfernt und weiterhin spannende Geschichte, viel Mythologie und Action vorkommen werden.

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text 2017-12-07 15:22
How is it already December 7th?
Living with Shakespeare: Actors, Directors, and Writers on Shakespeare in Our Time - Susannah Carson
The Drowned and the Saved - Primo Levi
The Adventure of the Christmas Pudding (The crime club) - Agatha Christie
Magic's Promise - Mercedes Lackey
Widow's Web - Jennifer Estep
The Subtle Knife - Philip Pullman
Christmas Stories - Diana Secker Tesdell
Hercule Poirot's Christmas: A Hercule Poirot Mystery - Agatha Christie
Prince Caspian - C.S. Lewis

 

We're rapidly approaching the end of 2017 and I'm not ready.  Christmas is coming at warp speed it seems, and I have a family party on the 23rd and I'll spend Christmas Day at my niece's house, staying with my sister in between those two events.  Then on the 29th, I fly to the west coast to see my other sister and go to a family wedding on New Year's Eve.  I'm looking forward to all of this, but I'm wondering when I'm going to get my Christmas cards written, the food contributions prepared, and my suitcases packed.

 

And of course, I want to tie up the loose ends of this reading year, read some Christmas books, and prepare for 2018.  A bit of Peace on Earth.

 

Last weekend, I got my Christmas tree set up & decorated.  I'm enjoying the coloured lights, celebrating the upcoming solstice and the return of more light.  These days it feels like I go to work in the dark and go home in the dark--I feel like a mole!

 

I know I will get it all done.  I always do.  And if I don't, the world will not end.  Keep telling me that.

 

Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays to you all. 

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