Thursday, August 16, 2012

REVIEW: Dark Frost by Jennifer Estep

Dark Frost (Mythos Academy, #3) Dark Frost by Jennifer Estep
My rating: 2 of 5 stars

CAUTION: Long Review, Spoilers

It's official. This series suck. I have read book 1-3 and the prequel "First Frost"; I believe I can make this judgement now.

It would take a major effort to turn this series around. It's doable, but unfortunately I don't see that happening any time soon.

The Writing

The beginning was repetitive. I don't mind rehash; I actually appreciate it a lot given the countless series I juggle. However, this series goes overboard with it and Dark Frost is one of the worst examples. Case in point: the book rehashed about Loki and the Helheim Dagger 3-4 times in the first few chapters. Enough already. I get it.

The bright side was the book was slightly fast-paced, faster than book 1 and 2, and had more actions.

The World Building

The world building is still as shallow as book 1. The series said there were Samurais, Ninjas, and Romans but these characters haven't made a presence in the series yet. The series also said there was a plethora of gods but only 4-5 gods have been mentioned so far and they have only been from the Norse and Greek pantheons. It's disappointing to see that the magical world contain Asian influences but there hasn't been anything or anyone Asian in the series.

We are still not given any detail as to how the gods, their champions, and their followers from various pantheon cooperates. It is still a mystery as how the magical world in this series function and by book 3 it shouldn't be. For a series that supposed to be epic and full of magical diversity, it has been a big letdown.

The Characters

+++ Gwen

In book 2, Gwen finally showed some character growth which thrilled me. So it was a goddammit moment when she took couple major steps back in book 3.

The thing that I liked most about Gwen (and possibly the only good trait she had going on for her) was that she embraced her psychometry magic. No matter how little Gwen thought of her magic, if she would realized her potential and set her mind to it her magic could be the most powerful of them all. Too bad Gwen went and sabotaged that hope of her being a competent heroine when she got her ass handed to her multiple times throughout the book. Use your goddamn magic!

And the worst part was that late in the book when boy trouble arose Gwen was willing to give up her magic just so she can make out with Logan. Really!

No, wait. There were at least two other scenes that showed how more infuriating can Gwen get.

One was when she finally learned where the Helheim Dagger was with a clue that was under her nose all along, instead of gathering the professors and guards to come help her collect the dagger like a smart person would Gwen pulled a TSTL act. She went to the hiding place by herself... at night... in the dark... a place where Reapers have infiltrated. Absolutely no surprise what happened next the minute Gwen had her hands on the dagger.

The second scene, also late in the book, was when she had a mental breakdown after using her magic to save herself (finally!) at the cost of a villain's life. What the fuck? The villain died. It was good thing. Despicable dude was going to torture you — some more — and you're having an attack of conscience?!

Does this girl have any ounce of self-preservation instinct?

+++ Logan

In book 1-2, Logan was described as this cool self-assured guy with a player's reputation. In book 3, he was emo. The dude had a classic case of transference. He doesn't know what he want and to deal with his tragic past so pitiful Gwen becomes the target for his frustration.

Note to Logan! Every student in that school you're going to has a tragic past, including Gwen. You're not the only one whose family were killed by reapers.

I cannot see what Gwen see in Logan. The dude is hot, but so is every other boy in that magical world.

+++ Vivian

Vivian revealed as the Loki's Champion was predictable. It was either her, the girl who is suddenly introduced in book 3 and is soooo nice to everyone, or Logan's bitchy ex who everyone knows hates Gwen since the prequel.

Vivian barely had character development. All her family and friends were killed by Reaper, so how did she became a Reaper? The book didn't explain.

But really, the issue I had with Vivian was actually the issue I had with Gwen. Vivian showed how incompetent Gwen was as the series' protagonist. How could Gwen lose to Vivian? Vivian had telepathy, but Gwen's magic was more powerful. Gwen is capable of doing the same sort of mind-warping thing as Vivian. Had Gwen been magic-trained as much she was weapon-trained, she wouldn't have been easily fooled by.

Speaking of which, why isn't Gwen magically-trained? Isn't the magical school suppose to give magic lessons? What a big plot-hole.

In Conclusion

I rate DF 2-stars for it was okay.

At this point, this series has become one of those series where I'm continuing it because I want to know how it ends and not because I care about Gwen. I kinda wish she did died near the end and the series would pick up from another Mythos Academy student's POV. Maybe Oliver the gay Spartan, Gwen's new friend.

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