Ice Wolves is the first book in Amie Kaufman's middle-grade Elementals series. While I usually don't read middle-grade (I'm too attached to having romantic plot lines), I felt compelled by the synopsis-- two siblings, twins, taking enemy elemental forms. Plus, I knew the author, Amie Kaufman, from her spectacular Starbound Trilogy, therefore I felt that I could rely on her to write a good middle-grade.
Ice Wolves was quite good, while it wasn't nearly as riveting as some other action-adventure novels I've read, even novels I read on the camping trip in which I read this one (6 books in 5 days), it was still quite a fun little adventure. It didn't have any BIG action until the very end, but there was a certain charisma and charm to the characters that keeps you reading.
Anders is the shadow to Rayna's flame. (Which is why the forms they chose makes sense?) While Rayna is outgoing and bold, Anders is shy and nervous. We get to see the novel from his eyes, which is a bit of a shame, because I would have liked to see some things from Rayna's point-of-view, but then again, that would kind of ruin the whole plot of the novel.
See, Rayna and Anders grew up in the Ice Wolves' territory, meaning that they grew up learning about how evil the Scorch Dragons were, and how no scorch dragon can be trusted. When Rayna takes the shape of a Scorch Dragon, and then seemingly is kidnapped by the other species, Anders enrolls himself in the Ice Wolves' training academy so that he can save her.
I would give Ice Wolves 6/10 stars. It was a short book, a nice and quick read that was somewhat lacking in the interest departments at times, but still a fun read. Like I said before, I think what really fuels the story are the characters, instead of action or adventure.
Everyone in Vallen knows that ice wolves and scorch dragons are sworn enemies who live deeply separate lives.
So when twelve-year-old orphan Anders takes one elemental form and his twin sister, Rayna, takes another, he wonders whether they are even related. Still, whether or not they’re family, Rayna is Anders’s only true friend. She’s nothing like the brutal, cruel dragons who claimed her as one of their own and stole her away.
In order to rescue her, Anders must enlist at the foreboding Ulfar Academy, a school for young wolves that values loyalty to the pack above all else. But for Anders, loyalty is more complicated than obedience, and friendship is the most powerful shapeshifting force of all.
Ugh. I'm petty but like, good on Anders for forgiving Lisbeth so soon, but like I said, I'm petty so I was hoping he'd hold out for longer (though she did save his life?). I guess it's also a middle-grade novel, so teaching forgiveness over pettiness is an important lesson...
The thing that had to annoy me the most about the book was when Anders finds Rayna and then has the audacity to be irked with her for fitting in with the other Scorch Dragons. See, yes, I guess that's human nature, but Anders has shown that he has the ability to look at the bigger picture with Lisbeth, so why can't he do the same with his sister? Seriously, he was feeling resentful with Rayna for actually fitting in and not wanting to leave the dragons, when he was literally feeling the same thing with the wolves.
Anyway, thanks for reading,