Gwen Frost is a Gypsy with the ability to know someone's secrets and thoughts just by a touch of the hand. Being a Gypsy is a family tradition, her mother had the ability to know when someone was telling the truth and her grandmother can sort of see the future or at least the possible future. Gwen's life is changed forever when a drunk driver kills her mom and Gwen is forced to go to Mythos Academy. Gwen feels guilty about her mother's death, because her mom was trying to help one of Gwen's friends, a friend on whom Gwen used her ability. Gwen tries to keep her gift under wraps, but people at Mythos quickly realize she can find lost objects. Other than when people want to use her gift, Gwen is a loner, not letting people know just how deep her gift runs. The children at Mythos are special, they are warriors who fight for the gods, most as heroes, but a few as Reapers of Chaos. Gwen cannot comprehend how she ended up at such a place, especially since she does not believe the myths at all. When a girl is killed and Gwen is attacked, she begins to believe in the myths and begins to sort of make friends. Daphne is a Valkrie, one of the popular girls, on whom Gwen also spied at one point in the story who is in love with Carson, who is a band geek. Gwen's other "friend" is Logan, a Spartan with a healthy libido, who may actually have a crush on her. As Gwen tries to discover the killer's identity, she along with her friends are put in danger, because chaos is closer than she thinks.
I love twists on mythology and was pleasantly surprised by how much I enjoyed this one. Gwen has a neat talent with her touch magic and is pretty likeable. The suspense and the myth history was great and I like how Estep uses the stories of Norse mythology and mixes it with Greek/Roman myths. The teens are a wild bunch though, who seem to get drunk and sleep with anything that moves. However as one of my professors once said, the Greeks and Romans were a very sexual people, particularly the Greeks who slept with everything, so it is kind of fitting in the book that the warriors inherited this. Estep explains the lax adult supervision on the fact that many will die before they truly live, so the adults let them live it up while they can. It makes sense, but I would make sure to recommend this to high school and up, your more mature Percy Jackson fans.
Favorite Character: I liked Gwen. She had typical teen thoughts and did not immediately buy into the whole mythological world, even with having her special powers. I think most of us would doubt this until we actually experienced it. Gwen feels the guilt and loss of her mother keenly and it does have an effect on her actions. I like her loyalty and tenacity on trying to find out the truth no matter what.
Favorite Quote: "In the end, I always wanted to know people's secrets, no matter how dark and twisted they were." Isn't that why we read books?! :)
I really enjoyed this one and have already checked out the second book in the series. 4 cups of cocoa!