Review: Spartan Heart by Jennifer Estep

Posted May 26, 2020 by Lola in Fantasy, Review / 2 Comments

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Spartan HeartSpartan Heart (Mythos Academy: Colorado #1)
by Jennifer Estep
narrated by Amanda Dolan

My Rating: 4 stars

Genre: Urban Fantasy
Age Category: Young Adult
Type of romance: MF

New school year, same old problems . . .

At Mythos Academy, everyone knows exactly who I am: Rory Forseti, Spartan girl and the daughter of Reapers.

Even though I fought alongside my cousin Gwen Frost to save the mythological world from Loki and his evil Reapers of Chaos, I’m still the most hated girl at the academy because of all the horrible things my parents did. I had hoped that this school year would be different, but the other kids just won’t let me forget about my parents.

But something strange is going on at the Colorado academy. First, I run into a Viking guy who dislikes me more than most. Then I notice some odd artifacts in the Library of Antiquities. And worst of all, I start hearing rumors about a new group of Reapers who can summon mythological monsters.

I might be the most hated girl at Mythos Academy, but I’m also the only one who can save it . . .

My Review

I’ve read the Mythos Academy series years ago and really enjoyed the series. Eventually I heard about this new series and when Anne from Books of My Hearts recommended the audio versions I finally decided to add these to my list of books to listen and not much later got around to picking this one up.

I am glad I gave this spin-off series a try. It was fun being back in the world of Mythos Academy and even a bit nostalgic. This spin-off takes shortly after the end of the first Mythos Academy series. It’s set at a different Mythos Academy, this one’s in Colorado. And it follows the story of Rory, the cousin of Gwen, who was the main character of the first series. I think this will be better enjoyed if you read the Mythos Academy series first as it basically builds on the plot of that, but it’s also a new adventure.

The evil god Loki is defeated and you would think things would be back to normal, but instead a new danger is rising. I like how this series deals with what happens after the big battle in Mythos Academy. It’s interesting to see that questions answered with how even though the evil god is death, not all the reapers are death. I like how it deals with the aftermath of those events and how that progresses into a new adventure with Rory in the main role.

The plot moves at a good pace, with enough going on and the next danger looming and preparation for that. I liked seeing the characters deal with everything that happened. There were a few parts that felt a bit slower or less interesting and it definitely was one of those books that got better as it progressed. I liked when Rory finds her place a bit instead of feeling bad because of the other kids their attitude’s and when Ian stops being mean to her.

I liked Rory as a main character. She’s this fierce warrior. As a spartan she can see how to kill her enemies and kill someone with almost anything. Her parents were reaper assassins and she’s having a hard time at school as everyone thinks she’s evil now because of who her parents were. We really see how mean the other kids are toward her and how Rory struggles with this as well as her conflicted emotions toward her parents. I like how we see her change throughout the book and have her decide what kind of warrior she wants to be. I liked reading about her and the further I got the more I liked her. There are some great scenes toward the end where she really shows her strengths.

There is a fun cast of side characters. I liked Aunt Rachel and how she’s there for Rory. Then there’s Babbs who was awesome and she and Rory made for an awesome team. Then there is Ian who is totally mean to Rory, I really didn’t like him at first. Yes there is a reason for his behavior, but I still thought he acted too harshly and judged her without knowing her. I was super impressed when Rory actually is nice to him and helps him even after how he acted to her and that made me like her even more. Ian does get nicer after that and by the end I did like how he and Rory acted and I can see a potential romance between the two. There are some great actions he takes toward the end of the book that really shown how much he has changes towards Rory.

The world was already familiar to me because of the Mythos Academy series and there are enough reminders of what Gwen has gone through and the type of warriors and what they can do to easily get back into it. I like seeing a bit more of other warriors types in this one and having the point of view of a Spartan this time is different from Gwen’s point of view too. Then there are the usual artifacts as well and the focus on those with how the bad guys are after them and we get to see some of them in action too which was neat. There are some similarities with the Mythos Academy series but I thought it still felt fresh and unique and having some of the same things that made the first series fun.

I liked the narrator for this book. I thought she did a good voice for Rory. She didn’t have as much variety in voices for the side characters as I liked, some she did better than others. I thought she did Babbs accent really well and some of the female voices, but the male voices sounded a bit too similar at times. I thought she did the narration well for this book and I enjoyed listening to it.

To summarize: I enjoyed being back in this world and am glad I decided to pick up this spin-off series. This series follows Rory, who is Gwen’s cousin from the first series. I liked how this series shows the aftermath of the big battle of the first series and how it didn’t solve everything and new dangers are rising now. The plot was interesting with enough happening and them preparing for the next event or fight. I thought Rory was a likable character. I felt bad for her and how the other kids treated her. She really changes and grows throughout the book and I liked seeing her find her place and decide what type of warrior she wants to be. There are some great side characters like Aunt Rachel, Zoey and Ian. Although Ian was quite mean to Rory at first and judged her without knowing her, yes there was a reason for it, but I still didn’t like it and thought he was too harsh. I was glad when that got resolved and thought it was nice of Rory to still help him after how mean he was to her. There is more of the world we see, another academy, more of the warriors and artifacts. The narrator handled this book well, I enjoyed listening to it. her female voices were a bit better than her male voices as those could be a bit similar at times. Her voice for Rory and Babs was great and I liked how she did the accent for Babs. I enjoyed listening to this one and look forward to continuing this series.

4 Stars


You can also read my review on Goodreads, Bookbub, B&N and Amazon.

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2 responses to “Review: Spartan Heart by Jennifer Estep

    • I liked the mix of familiar and fresh this spinoff had. Definitely look forward to listening to the rest of this series.

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