Literature: Mythos Academy
Mythos Academy is a teen fantasy adventure/romance series by Jennifer Estep. The books in the series are:
- First Frost (eBook novella)
- Touch of Frost
- Dark Frost
- Kiss of Frost
- Spartan Frost (eBook novella)
- Crimson Frost
- Killer Frost
The books are about Gwendolyn Frost, a seventeen year old girl whose gypsy heritage has granted her psychometric powers, the ability to read the history of anything - or anyone
she touches. One day, she borrows a friend's hairbrush and learns that her friend's stepfather had been sexually abusing her. Once she recovers from the trauma sufficiently to be coherent, she tells what she saw to her mother, a police officer. Her mother investigates, finds enough legally admissible evidence to get a warrant, puts the man behind bars... and is killed by a drunk driver on her way home.
While still recovering from her mother's death and her inadvertent role in it, her grandmother has her transferred to Mythos Academy, a school where everybody
has some sort of magical power. In addition to all the regular classes, she now also has to deal with unusual ones, like mythological history or gym classes where the teacher is more interested in instructing about swordsmanship than sportsmanship. Gwen tries to deal with her classes and her mourning while doing her best to ignore all the stuff about the evil god Loki and his Reapers of Chaos, when a series of events forces her to realize something rather unexpected.
None of the stuff covered in Myth-History is fictional.
Loki is real, and the Reapers are on the verge of freeing him from the prison the other Gods sealed him into at the end of the Chaos War.
And Gwen is the latest hereditary Champion of the Goddess Nike, who had defeated Loki in the final battle of that war.
Tropes found in this series include
- Adults Are Useless: Played with. While the adults frequently make bad judgement calls that cause problems that have to be resolved by the teenaged main characters, these calls are generally sensible from their perspective given the information available to them at the time. On one occasion Gwen gets chewed out for not telling the teachers about a potential threat, as they can't protect people from dangers they aren't aware of.
- Alpha Bitch: The Valkyries in book one. At the end of the book Daphne realizes how hopelessly shallow and cruel they are, leaves the group, and distributes a number of very cruel emails that their former leader and her number two had exchanged to the whole group, causing the clique to self-destruct.
- Always Chaotic Evil: The Reapers of Chaos, who are all willing to kill anyone, including themselves and each other, in service of Loki. Subverted in Book Five, when we finally hear of a Reaper pulling a Heel-Face Turn, Tyr Forseti, Gwen's Dad.
- Babies Ever After: After defeating Loki, Nike grants Gwen a vision of her most likely future, which involves marrying Logan and having at least one child.
- Big Bad: Loki
- Blessed with Suck: Gwen's magic has it's uses, but it also wreaks havoc on her personal life, as she can't touch anyone without reading their minds. She lost her first boyfriend when she kissed him and immediately knew that he'd rather be kissing someone else. Not to mention the hairbrush incident - she got to experience her friend's rape as if it had happened to her.
- Canine Companion: Nott, and later Nyx.
- Chekhov's Armory: A literal one. The Library of Antiquities is full of divinely empowered Artifacts, many of which get used over the course of the series.
- The Chosen One: Gwen is Champion of Nike.
- Clingy MacGuffin: If a person destined to wield an Artifact gets a hold of it, it will stay in his/her possession no matter how many times they try to return it to its original owner.
- Distaff Counterpart: The only real difference between a Viking and a Valkyrie (Or a Roman and an Amazon) is gender. The power sets are the same.
- Disproportionate Retribution: In the first book, Jasmine tries to get revenge on the girl who stole her boyfriend by sacrificing her to Loki. Two books later Vivian goes out of her way to kill said boy because he turned her down when she asked him out.
- Evil Stepmother: Agrona Quinn.
- Five-Man Band: By the fourth book, they've established this pattern:
- Grand Theft Me: Loki tries this on Logan. Later on Gwen invites Loki to try it on her so she can take him down in a Heroic Sacrifice.
- Improbable Weapon User: Any Spartan. Their magic allows them to instantly know how to turn anything into a weapon.
- I Want My Beloved to Be Happy: Metis had a massive crush on Nikamedes in her school days, but he was in love with her best friend (Gwen's mother), so she backed away. Twenty years after those two break up, she's still mooning over the guy but Cannot Spit It Out. Gwen eventually gets sick of watching this and spills the beans.
- MacGuffin Delivery Service: Gwen has this pulled on her twice. The second time she sees it coming and twists it to her advantage.
- Mind Rape: Gwen managed to do this to herself in the hairbrush incident. She later uses her magic to send that memory to Vivian, mind raping her into catatonia.
- Mundane Utility: Gwen uses her psychometry to track down lost items for pocket money.
- Nice Job Breaking It, Hero: Gwen's attempt to move the last key to Loki's prison to a more secure location ultimately caused his release.
- Red Herring: There's one in every book but the last.
- Book 1: Morgan
- Book 2: Oliver
- Book 3: Samantha
- Book 4: Linus Quinn and Inari
- Book 5: Rory
- Rich Kids: Everyone at Mythos is descended from mythological heroes, who saved and invested all the treasures that their patron deities bestowed on them. Being raised middle class, Gwen is the poorest girl in the school by a considerable margin.
- Shout-Out: Gwen owns a Karma Girl poster and likes the food at the Pork Pit.
- Sins Of The Father: Nikamedes doesn't get along well with Gwen in the early books because he's still upset about her mother breaking up with him over an argument about their future careers some twenty-odd years previous. He eventually realizes that he's wrong to do so, apologizes, and is much easier on her for the rest of the series (At least, so long as something doesn't happen that is genuinely Gwen's fault).
- Squick: In-Universe example. One of the things that Gwen hates cleaning up during her shifts at the library is used condoms left behind by students screwing in the stacks. Made squickier than normal by the fact that her psychometry would cause her to see the memory of the couple that was using it while they were going at it the moment she picked them up. She probably knows far more about who's doing what to whom than anyone would want to know.
- Suddenly Always Knew That: Gwen's touch magic allows her to download other people's weapon skills from them (Or their favorite weapon).
- Super Strength: Vikings and Valkyries.
- Super Speed: Romans and Amazons.
- Talking Sword: Vic and his Evil Counterpart Lucretia.
- Virgin Power: Inverted. Gwen's powers don't come from her virginity. The reason she's a virgin is because her powers make her extremely wary about making skin contact with other people.
- Was It All a Lie?: Linus Quinn asks this when he learns that his second wife is a Reaper. The answer? Every minute of it.
- What Happened to the Mouse?: The only person that Gwen knew from her pre-Mythos days that she still interacts with after transferring is her grandmother.
- Wild Teen Party: Everyone at Mythos knows that they could easily die young in a battle against the Reapers. As a result, they like to live it up. Massive keg parties are common.
- You Killed My Mother: Gwen to Vivian, Logan to Agrona, and Rory to Covington. This is hardly a complete list of people who have lost loved ones to the Reapers - it's just the list of those who know the identity of the Reaper responsible.