The first book in the Mythos Academy series, published August 2011.
My name is Gwen Frost, and I go to Mythos Academy -- a school of myths, magic and warrior whiz kids, where even the lowliest geek knows how to chop off somebody's head with a sword and Logan Quinn, the hottest Spartan guy in school, also happens to be the deadliest.
But lately, things have been weird, even for Mythos. First, mean girl Jasmine Ashton was murdered in the Library of Antiquities. Then, someone stole the Bowl of Tears, a magical artifact that can be used to bring about the second Chaos War. You know, death, destruction and lots of other bad, bad things. Freaky stuff like this goes on all the time at Mythos, but I'm determined to find out who killed Jasmine and why - especially since I should have been the one who died.
Gwen Frost is still grieving from her mother’s death, when she is carted off to Mythos Academy. Mythos is not an ordinary school, the emphasis is on myths, and weapons training instead of basketball. Fencing and swimming instead of football or other team sports. The kids attending are descendants from the Valkyries, Spartans, Amazons, Vikings and such, and are being trained as warriors. Gwen doesn’t understand why she is here, she is no warrior, she is just a young girl with a Gypsy gift: psychometrie. She specializes in finding lost stuff for her fellow students, and earning a few dollars that way. She doesn’t really believe in all the stuff that is being thought at Mythos: the war between the God of Chaos, and all the other gods and goddesses.
Then one night, the most popular girl of school is murdered in the library, while Gwen is shelving some books in the back. She herself only gets knocked unconscious, so why wasn’t she murdered as well? And why doesn’t she get a clue about the murder when she touches Jasmine’s blood?
When the next day her fellow students are not upset at all over Jasmine’s death, she really does not understand that. Not even her best friends are mourning her, life just goes on, and her best friend is ready and willing to take over Jasmine’s homecoming Queen-crown and Jasmine’s hot boyfriend. It appears Jasmine was not so popular because she was a good girl, and no-one really misses her. And students seem to die at Mythos on a regular bases, so that is also nothing new.
The war against Chaos is still very real within the walls of Mythos, and slowly Gwen realises this as well. Slowly she makes some friends, Daphne, one of the Valkyries, and Logan Quinn, a Spartan guy and the best warrior at school. She is even falling in love with him, but he tells her there can never be something between them, even though he likes her as well.
I like Jennifer Estep’s Assassin books, and due to the raving reviews this YA book has gotten, I wanted to read it myself. Even though I don’t like YA books in general. And I admit, I still don’t. The story itself is a good one, and I even liked Gwen and the characters surrounding her. But there is so much repeating in this book, and Gwen doubts herself a lot of times. I just think I am too old to enjoy reading about teenagers, even teenagers with magical powers and gifts. Still, I will be reading the rest of the series, as it is the story itself that is good.
Gwen is a good girl, no one wants to tell her what it means to be a Gypsy, she has to find out everything for herself. I really wish Jennifer Estep had found another name for this gift, as I just kept thinking of “normal” Gypsies (the wanderers of old, selling cheap stuff and steeling chickens), and it has absolutely nothing to do with that.
Gwen loves comic books, and she just visits her grandmother whenever she wishes, and not just as allowed, now and then in the weekend. She wears hoodies, while every other girl (and boy) at school is decked out in the latest and most expensive fashions. She doesn’t mind that she doesn’t fit in, but she is feeling lonely, totally without friends at Mythos. So when Daphne got closer to her, that was a good thing in my opinion. The opportunity to be “normal” gossiping teenagers. Chatting about boys.
A lot of humor, and action and some suspense. I don’t really get the teachers in this place, perhaps in the next book.