TOUCH OF FROST
It’s hard to read Touch of Frost and not be reminded of other magic school series. This isn’t to say that it doesn’t work on its own merit, but the concept has arguably been done more effectively in the past. Gwen is a quick-witted heroine and a great role model — although it should be noted there’s a fair amount of cursing and talk of sex. It’s competently written with well-drawn characters. Hopefully future books of the series will cut back on repetitive passages, such as Gwen describing her gift.
Shortly after learning of her Gypsy gift — the ability to know everything about a person or item just from touch — 17-year-old Gwen loses her mother and is sent to Mythos Academy, which caters to teenage Valkyries, Amazons, Vikings and other warrior types who are destined to keep the world safe from imprisoned Norse God Loki. Gwen questions why she’s even at the school, as she’s no warrior, and finds talk of mythological gods and wars hard to believe. But her grandmother is determined to keep her at the school, and it isn’t long before Gwen is investigating the death of a popular Valkyrie classmate who was murdered right in front of her eyes. (K TEEN, Aug., 384 pp., $9.95, ISBN: 9780758266927, PB, 14 & Up)