Title: First Frost
Author: Jennifer Estep
Publication Year: 2011
Genre: Fiction, Young Adult, Fantasy
Source: E-book version borrowed from the public library
From the cover:
I am Gwen Frost, and I have a Gypsy gift. It’s called psychometry – that’s a fancy way of saying that I see images in my head and get flashes of other people’s memories off almost everything I touch, even guys.
My gift makes me kind of nosy. Okay, okay, maybe a lot nosy — to the point of obsession sometimes. I want to know everything about everyone around me. But even I don’t want to know the secrets my friend Paige is hiding or the terrible loss that will send me to a new school – Mythos Academy, where the teachers aren’t preparing us for the SATs, but to battle Reapers of Chaos. Now I have no friends and no idea how my gift fits in with all these warrior whiz kids. The only thing I do know is that my life is never, ever going to be the same…
(This is a prequel novella in the Mythos Academy series.)
I like this whole trend of novellas in YA series, particularly as prequels that give brief glimpses into the characters and premise of the first book. It gives me a chance to decide whether or not I’m interested enough to involve myself in the whole series before I commit myself. Most of the time, it manages to pique my interest enough to continue.
First Frost is definitely one of those times. Even though I generally like reading books that have a paranormal or mythological element to them, I wasn’t so sure about this one. I’d just finished reading the Vampire Academy series, and I wasn’t too keen on going on to read yet another series about kids at a school for supernaturals. I also wasn’t too sure about the psychometry angel: it’s not usually something that I find as interesting as, say, vampires and witches. But after reading this novella, I decided that it was worth a shot.
Estep does a great job of positioning Gwen at a crossroads in her life, and of revealing just enough of her powers and personality in First Frost to get the reader interested in the rest of the series. Definitely read this book before starting the rest of the series. It’s essential.