The second book in the Mythos Academy series, published December 2011.
At Mythos Academy, teen warriors in the making train to take up their roles protecting humankind. With her snarky, self-deprecating voice and strange gift of psychometry - the ability to know an object's history just by touching it - Gwen Frost is an outsider both to the students of the Academy and the rest of the world. But now that she's taking private tutoring with the Academy's most notorious young Spartan, and has Nike's own sword to protect her, she's ready to make mark...
After her encounter with the Reaper in the first book in the series, Gwen really needs to learn how to fight. So before school, she is getting lessons from her not so secret crush Logan, the Spartan, and his two friends, Oliver and Kenzie. Gwen really sucks at it though, she cannot even last a minute against Logan. Which is not really strange, as Logan was born a warrior, and has been training ever since he could hold a sword, and any other weapon there is. And after sword training, there is archery. Even though Gwen can hit the target, her arrows won’t stuck in it. Until something strange happens, thinking about her best friend Daphne, a Valkyrie, makes her hit the target dead in the middle, and the arrow going halfway through it! Somehow, she can channel the memories she had of Daphne at various tournaments, and training sessions.
Oliver doesn’t seem to like her very much, and the situation does not improve when she accidentally knocks his gymbag over, and touches his private notebook. Her psychometric powers kick in, and she sees him scribbling, and feels what he is feeling. And apparently, he has a crush on somebody. But before she can see who it is, he catches her and takes the notebook away from her. Logan has told him about her powers, and Oliver is afraid she might tell about what she has seen.
The next weekend, the whole school will take of for a weekend of skiing and parties up in the mountains. Gwen really doesn’t want to go, but when her grandmother tells her in a vision that she should go, and her best friend really gives her no choice, she decides to go after all. She cannot stay in the school al alone, all the teachers and staff are going there too. And perhaps she can forget Logan, who is making out with Savannah, one of the Amazons, all the time, right in front of her. There will be kids from the New York Academy as well, and perhaps she will meet someone nice.
To Gwen’s own surprise, she does meet a young man right away, and he seems to like her. At first she cannot believe he doesn’t have a girlfriend already, but he actually is talking to her, and soon they swap phonenumbers. Daphne and her boyfriend Carson take Gwen up the mountain, to teach her how to ski, using Daphne’s memories. All the other kids know how to already, and they can’t believe Gwen has never been on a ski vacation.
Gwen is actually having fun, when she spots a Fenrir Wolf in the treeline, watching her. Fenrir Wolves are known allies of the Reapers, and she knows he is there to kill her! How could she be so careless! Lucky, some other students appear to take the skilift, and she can join them. But she is so shaken from the experience, her joy in skiing is gone for the day. Daphne and Carson are not spooked at all when she tells them what she has seen; the Fenrir Wolves are living here in the wild after all, with lots of other wildlife. It is cool she has seen a Wolf upclose!
That night there is a party in the village, and Gwen really doesn’t want to go. The only purpose to the party seems to get drunk and make out, which is something she is not looking forward to. Only the thought of meeting Preston again, makes her want to go at last.
A lot happens in the next few days, good things and bad things and ugly things and happy things. And I really don’t want to spoil anymore surprises in this good story.
I finally took the time to start reading this book. I’ve read so many raving reviews about it, and I was not disappointed. Even though it is YA, which is NOT my favourite genre, I really like those books. Jennifer Estep sure created an unique world, and I would like to read more books in this setting.
I really liked Gwen. She is trying hard to fit into the Mythos Academy, but she still misses her mom and living with her grandmother. Her powers are evolving, and she likes that. The other kids don’t really accept her, she is just “that Gypsy girl”. And no, not the usual meaning of the word Gypsy. She also still has to work in the Library, where the librarian really seems to dislike her. Like it was her fault the library got trashed when she was fighting for her life? Gwen has a big crush on Logan, and it hurts that he doesn’t want her and has a new girlfriend every other week it seems.
I liked Daphne and Logan, they really care about Gwen, but they are also wrapped up in their love, like teenagers are at that age. And then there is of course the handsome Logan. He really likes to care for Gwen, but is still keeping his distance.
The setting of the book was great.
I think you can read this book without reading the first one, there is a lot of looking back on the happenings in the first book, but I do recommend reading them all in order. It will add to your enjoyment of the series and the many characters.
If you like great characters mixed with action and mythology and surprises in the plot, you really should try this series. And if you don’t want to read YA, try Jennifer Estep’s Elemental Assassin series.