Ice Wolves (Elementals, #1)
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.

Ice Wolves (Elementals, #1) Details

TitleIce Wolves (Elementals, #1)
Author
LanguageEnglish
ReleaseMar 27th, 2018
PublisherHarperCollins
ISBN-139780062458001
Rating
GenreFantasy, Childrens, Middle Grade, Young Adult, Dragons

Ice Wolves (Elementals, #1) Review

  • Cait • A Page with a View
    January 1, 1970
    Release date: March 27, 2018This was such a fun read! I'll admit I mainly picked it up because:1. I love winter (look at that gorgeous cover)2. yay wolves3. DRAGONS?! yes. 4. POC kids on the cover5. Amie Kaufman. Enough said. So I didn't know a ton about the plot and thought the whole thing was SUCH a fun surprise. The basic story is that Anders and Rayna are twins who live on the street and depend on each other. One day they find themselves in a crowd where kids are being tested to see if they Release date: March 27, 2018This was such a fun read! I'll admit I mainly picked it up because:1. I love winter (look at that gorgeous cover)2. yay wolves3. DRAGONS?! yes. 4. POC kids on the cover5. Amie Kaufman. Enough said. So I didn't know a ton about the plot and thought the whole thing was SUCH a fun surprise. The basic story is that Anders and Rayna are twins who live on the street and depend on each other. One day they find themselves in a crowd where kids are being tested to see if they have the wolf blood necessary to enter Ulfar Academy and train to join the Wolf Guard. (The ice wolves and scorch dragons have been bitter enemies for ages and the conflict is now escalating to war). When the twins are tested by accident, Anders transforms into an ice wolf and his twin sister turns out to be a scorch dragon. Rayna has to flee, while Anders is taken to the academy to learn how to kill dragons. He's faced with a lot of difficult questions since he feels pulled to be loyal to his new pack. Eventually Anders and his new friends discover that the "enemy" side might not be everything they've been told and they must work to unlearn internalized prejudice. A lot of adventures ensue, but the twins are basically fighting to create a home for themselves. This is a middle grade story, but I think any age will find it entertaining. The writing was strong, the characters were well developed, the pacing kept me invested in the story, and the fantasy world was wonderful!Thank you to the publisher for sending me an ARC.
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  • Meagan Spooner
    January 1, 1970
    Most of you have probably only read Amie's young adult works thus far, but I am here to tell you all that she OWNS middle-grade—seriously. The first book of Amie's I ever read was middle-grade, and it kicked ass, and she's only gotten better with each word she writes. Ice Wolves is full of so much heart and creativity, humor and pathos, that it doesn't matter whether you're typically a MG fan or not—you will love this story. You'll cheer, you'll laugh out loud, and you'll wind up on the edge of Most of you have probably only read Amie's young adult works thus far, but I am here to tell you all that she OWNS middle-grade—seriously. The first book of Amie's I ever read was middle-grade, and it kicked ass, and she's only gotten better with each word she writes. Ice Wolves is full of so much heart and creativity, humor and pathos, that it doesn't matter whether you're typically a MG fan or not—you will love this story. You'll cheer, you'll laugh out loud, and you'll wind up on the edge of your seat, unable to put it down. And if all of that hasn't convinced you? DRAGONS, guys. DRAGONS.
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  • Fatima Havilliard
    January 1, 1970
    At this point I'll read everything by Amie Kaufman, even I'll be pleasured to read her shopping list. And look at the sypnosis: "An ancient, ongoing battle between two clans of humans who can shapeshift" Duh. I'm obviously in. But, why 2018? Can't I have it earlier?
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  • Ryan Buckby
    January 1, 1970
    actual rating: 3.5 I was left a little disappointed with this book and not one to not to dislike a Amie Kaufman book but this one just didn't reach that height. Plot: Ice wolves is a first in a middle-grade fantasy book by Amie Kaufman and to me the plot and some of the things within is world still don't make sense to me. The majority of the middle-grade novels i've read are by Rick Riordan who wrote the percy jackson series, so my reading for middle-grade is really limited but i'm trying to actual rating: 3.5 I was left a little disappointed with this book and not one to not to dislike a Amie Kaufman book but this one just didn't reach that height. Plot: Ice wolves is a first in a middle-grade fantasy book by Amie Kaufman and to me the plot and some of the things within is world still don't make sense to me. The majority of the middle-grade novels i've read are by Rick Riordan who wrote the percy jackson series, so my reading for middle-grade is really limited but i'm trying to read a lot more. The premise of the book was really interesting and i was intrigued by how magical this world could be because there's wolves and dragons but what more could you want. However something fell flat for me and i think its because i wanted this story to be unique and more different to a lot of the fantasy stories I've read but i found it to fall down the same hole that a lot of fantasy books do. The plot was pretty strong for most part of the book but i think there were some parts that either dragged or were unnecessary for this book to have. Amie did a good job at not dumbing her story down even though her story was targeted at more younger readers i feel like the writing was very mature but still good enough for anyone to pick it up, because if you dumb things down for any reader you will lose them but Amie's story didn't do that. Characters: Anders: the main protagonist of this story is the hufflepuff star that i loved reading from because he didn't know situations that were presented and was learning the entire book. Anders soon fines out that he takes the form of a wolf and he attends and soon forms friendships with a group of 'misfits'. He grew from this book where he lives in his sisters shadow but soon learns to stand up for himself and start speaking out for himself which made me happy for him. Lisabet: I loved lisabet because she reminds me of Hermione Granger from Harry Potter and i loved how smart and quirky she is because it reminds me of reading from Hermione again. She is fiercely loyal to everyone around her and she has so much determination to get the truth out and bring things out to help people and try change things for the better. Just one thing that i hope she doesn't do in the sequels is trying to impress her mother and hurting Anders in the process because she tended to do things for her own personal gain but hopefully what she learned changes her for the better. Rayna: Rayna is Anders twin sister and the total opposite to her brother and i feel like i can relate to that because i know myself that me and my own twin are two very opposite people. Rayna wasn't in the story much because she is taken away so early on when its revealed she takes the form of a dragon. I know so little of her and i hope in the next book she has a larger role because i would love to see the dynamic of the two and see how much its changed since she is a dragon and Anders is a wolf. Overall i enjoyed most parts of this book but for me it wasn't anything spectacular or out there for me to give this book a 5 out of 5 stars, but hopefully the sequel can come out and be the better one of the two. Of course i will be picking up the sequel because i want to love this series a lot and i don't want it to become one that i forget about because the potential is there for it and i hope it does reach that!
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  • Angelica
    January 1, 1970
    **I received an advance copy of this book from the publisher via Edelweiss in exchange for an honest review. Thank you, HarperCollins!! All opinions are my own.**May it be known, that even as I write this less than positive review, that I love Aime Kaufman. Not only does she seem like a really nice person, but Illuminae is one of my favorite YA Sci-fi novels of all time. So, while her young adult books have been enjoyable for me, I am afraid to say that the sentiment did not extend to her middle **I received an advance copy of this book from the publisher via Edelweiss in exchange for an honest review. Thank you, HarperCollins!! All opinions are my own.**May it be known, that even as I write this less than positive review, that I love Aime Kaufman. Not only does she seem like a really nice person, but Illuminae is one of my favorite YA Sci-fi novels of all time. So, while her young adult books have been enjoyable for me, I am afraid to say that the sentiment did not extend to her middle-grade debut.I feel bad in saying this, as I always feel bad when I give a negative review to an ARC I requested, but I didn’t really enjoy this one. The premise is extremely cool, a world where Ice Wolves and Scorch Dragons exist in constant battle with each other, and twins are caught on each side of the war? Count me in! That sounds like an amazing middle-grade novel!So, what went wrong?Well, for starters, I wasn’t a huge fan of Anders, the main character. You all know that characters are the most important thing in a story for me. More than plot, more than setting, the characters are what make or break a novel in my eyes, and as much as I tried, these characters were doing nothing for me.Another issue is that I tended to get bored while reading. If a book bores you, that’s a problem. Some books you read to be enlightened, some books you read to be entertained. This book’s purpose falls into the latter, and sadly, it didn’t do its job. I wanted to be swept away into this story, and that’s not how it all went down.This is a fairly short novel, or at least, it felt that way. When I read it I managed to get through large chunks in short amounts of time. The reason it took me over a week to get through it was that whenever I put it down, which happened often, I didn’t have the motivation to pick it back up.Still, despite these things, there were several things that the book did very well and for which Kaufman clearly deserves praise. The main thing is the city in which the story takes place and how it is famed for being multicultural and diverse. That city holds people from all over the world, all living together in peace. No one looks like any other person, and yet, all form one people. I absolutely loved that. Also, the story did begin to pick up near the end.Overall, I wasn’t a huge fan. I love middle-grade novels and think they are a seriously underrated category full of unnoticed talent and potential. I also think that to write middle grade you need a very specific set of skills. Middle-grade books are the line between children’s and young adult and. This book at times felt like one or the other, never fully landing on the mark where I like my middle-grade books to be.Perhaps some of you will have better luck with it. Perhaps some younger readers might like it more. I personally will go back to reading Kaufman’s YA books.
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  • Lara (Bookish_turtle)
    January 1, 1970
    I know it's middle grade, but it's by Amie Kaufman, so obviously I HAD to read it anyway.Likes- It's by Amie Kaufman- Awesome cover- Characters were nice and likeable- Plot was good- Awesome premise- World was introduced well; not jarringly- DRAGONS- Wolves were pretty cool too- Setting descriptions: Loved the Winter vibes!- I was entertained and never boredDislikes- Characters weren't super unique- Characters weren't super developed, and are fairly forgettable- Plot was fairly predictable- I ne I know it's middle grade, but it's by Amie Kaufman, so obviously I HAD to read it anyway.Likes- It's by Amie Kaufman- Awesome cover- Characters were nice and likeable- Plot was good- Awesome premise- World was introduced well; not jarringly- DRAGONS- Wolves were pretty cool too- Setting descriptions: Loved the Winter vibes!- I was entertained and never boredDislikes- Characters weren't super unique- Characters weren't super developed, and are fairly forgettable- Plot was fairly predictable- I needed more dragons. Wolves feel so average when the alternative is dragons...- So much of the world was left unexplained. Needed more origins!- I have more questions than answers about everything (I need a sequel dammit)- Side characters are under-utilisedThat said, it was pretty good. I feel like 3 stars is a bit low, but I try to use the Goodreads star system, where 3 stars means 'liked it', and that is definitely how I felt about this book. I think 3.5 stars might be the perfect amount... Though I don't like half stars. I am just unsure of this book.Also, completely unrelated, but seeing Leigh Bardugo, Meagan Spooner, Jay Kristoff and Marie Lu in the acknowledgements made me smile so much. I love when my favourite authors are friends with my other favourite authors!
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  • Yodamom
    January 1, 1970
    I almost didn't read this when I saw it was middle school level. It's hard, I'm a well aged adult, yes well aged. I like to think I'm mature and need adult level book to be entertained. But, I really loved the Illuminae Files she wrote so I dove in. I am not not mature or this was really good writing. I loved it.The story follows two orphans, twins as they struggle to live free in a world separated by war and hate. There are humans who need protection, wolves who provide it and dragons who cause I almost didn't read this when I saw it was middle school level. It's hard, I'm a well aged adult, yes well aged. I like to think I'm mature and need adult level book to be entertained. But, I really loved the Illuminae Files she wrote so I dove in. I am not not mature or this was really good writing. I loved it.The story follows two orphans, twins as they struggle to live free in a world separated by war and hate. There are humans who need protection, wolves who provide it and dragons who cause all the trouble. When one twin changes and the other goes another way the questions start forming and the truth slowly starts to unfold. One goes to be sacrificed one goes to a magical military school. There are a lot of unknowns, lies, hidden secrets and magic all new to them. One of the twins struggles with the need to save the other twin and new friendships who to trust. Meanwhile something is not adding up, and the teachers know more.I got Harry Potter like vibes from this. Young magical child who never knew he held magic, finds he is so much more and attends a school for other like him, where a smart loner type girl befriends him. That is were the likeness ends. I think fans of Harry Potter might really enjoy this. There is no sex, no romance.
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  • Jessica
    January 1, 1970
    Well, this was positively delightful! Amie has created a very fascinating new world, reminiscent of medieval Scandinavia but with a very diverse cast of characters and complete with a unique magic system. Not to mention the shapeshifting that is . . . well, very unique! Really enjoyed this, and the only drawback is that, since I was sent an ARC from a giveaway here on Goodreads, I have to wait even longer for the next one!
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  • rachel • typed truths
    January 1, 1970
    Cue disappointed sigh. Kaufman’s middle-grade debut was one of most anticipated releases of next year but it was quite underwhelming. While I adore the idea of combining shapeshifting and elemental magic, the world felt generic and mild. The history of the world came across as complex and clever but in reality, I was left with only a vague impression of some kind of war and more questions than answers. The fact that Anders’ home city - and the setting of the book - was famed for being multicultu Cue disappointed sigh. Kaufman’s middle-grade debut was one of most anticipated releases of next year but it was quite underwhelming. While I adore the idea of combining shapeshifting and elemental magic, the world felt generic and mild. The history of the world came across as complex and clever but in reality, I was left with only a vague impression of some kind of war and more questions than answers. The fact that Anders’ home city - and the setting of the book - was famed for being multicultural was a brilliant idea, I will say. I did love how that allowed Kaufman to create a diverse cast of characters and expand on the mythology of her world through them. It definitely had the potential to be unique but it fell into some predictable pitfalls that left me wanting. I adored the characters. Our protagonist, Ander,s was a real sweetie and his blossoming friendships with his fellow packmates checked all the boxes. I love large ragtag friendship groups in these kinds of MG adventures, especially when they remind me of Harry Potter in the way these characters did. Lisabet was such a Hermione! I loved her tireless loyalty and dedication to doing the right thing, no matter how difficult it was for her to do so. I really hope that she plays an important role in the sequels. I will say that I was disappointed with Rayna’s character, though. I adore sibling stories but I felt like we barely got to know her before she was whisked away. Her and Anders’ close bond was mainly told to us, rather than shown. The plot was what really did it let down for me. It was not that riveting. Honestly, I would say that I was a tad bored. Maybe I have read too many fantasy stories similar to this but I struggled to get into it. I understand that the school scenes were important for Anders’ growth and the world-building but I also just needed something more. The ending was predictable and slightly anticlimactic but it has me hoping that the sequel will direct the story in a direction that is more of my thing. Overall? I loved the idea of the world but the execution was not as unique or engaging as I expected. Anders was a solid protagonist and I did enjoy seeing his relationships with his classmates grow throughout the story but there was something missing. The plot never quite captivated me and I was mostly left feeling underwhelmed. I will still give the sequel a chance because I think it has real potential but I would not say this is my favourite Amie Kaufman book. Review copy provided by the publisher for an honest review.
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  • Sandra
    January 1, 1970
    ICE WOLVES AND SCORCH DRAGONSICE WOLVES AND SCORCH DRAGONSICE WOLVES AND SCORCH DRAGONS
  • Rachel
    January 1, 1970
    Book #3 finished in the 24 hour readathon!This book was so fun!4.5 stars, but I'll bump it up to 5. I LOVE wolves, and dragons, so to have both of them in the story was great. Really sweet story with characters who I cared about. Even as an adult I enjoyed it! Definitely recommend. I can't wait to read the next book in the series.
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  • Sara Saif
    January 1, 1970
    Middle-grade books are fun, but only if they’re funny. It’s a bunch of kids running around and doing things it’s supposed to be hysterical. And that is why I find that I didn’t enjoy Ice Wolves as much as I wanted to.Approximately 90% of the middle-grade books I’ve read so far have been Rick Riordan’s. He’s hilarious and that more than anything, is what makes them so charming to read. Lately the formula has begun to seem repetitive but still it’s hard to care when you’re busy wiping off tears an Middle-grade books are fun, but only if they’re funny. It’s a bunch of kids running around and doing things it’s supposed to be hysterical. And that is why I find that I didn’t enjoy Ice Wolves as much as I wanted to.Approximately 90% of the middle-grade books I’ve read so far have been Rick Riordan’s. He’s hilarious and that more than anything, is what makes them so charming to read. Lately the formula has begun to seem repetitive but still it’s hard to care when you’re busy wiping off tears and doubling over with laughter. Ice Wolves was super-serious and while I enjoyed the concept of “channeling essence” and transforming into fantastic beasts, the book was boring, almost tedious for lack of levity.12 year old Rayna and Anders are twins who live in the capital city of an island called Vallen. 10 years ago, dragons betrayed and killed wolves, starting a war that ended by them being driven out of Vallen and retreating to the mountains. Now any dragon found is hunted and the wolves train their young for imminent attacks. A trial is held each month when 12 year olds are tested to see if they transform into a wolf. Rayna turns into a dragon and Anders into a wolf which is supposedly impossible. After she’s taken by the dragons, he enrolls himself into Ulfar academy to try and learn as much as he can about dragons so he can go rescue his sister from their clutches.The major mystery here is the reason for the dragon’s betrayal and why, allegedly, one of them killed a wolf when before they seemed to get along no matter how tentatively and make magical artifacts of use together. Then there’s the matter of the twins’ family.The characters, the kids, in the book weren't memorable enough and neither were the adults.The book is small-scale which is totally okay and so the mystery isn’t that big. Personally I don’t feel a smidge of excitement thinking about the second book. While I did not have to slog through it (it’s not that bad) I didn’t particularly have an amazing time either.
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  • Melanie (TBR and Beyond)
    January 1, 1970
    I'm so happy that Amie decided to take a stab at the middle-grade category! She certainly didn't disappoint and I had every faith in her! I'm a HUGE mg lover and this book a fantastic start to a great series. WOLVES and DRAGONS??? What else is there to say? MORE OF THIS!!!RTC
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  • Aly
    January 1, 1970
    Another great book from Amie Kaufman! I listened to the audio and it was great. The narrator has done The Illuminae Files and does an awesome job. The story was interesting and well paced. I liked the characters and the wolves and dragons were cool. It was nice seeing the story from a younger character's POV. The story did a good job of giving us some history as we went, so we weren't overloaded at the beginning and we found out things as Anders learned them. Seeing the different abilities of th Another great book from Amie Kaufman! I listened to the audio and it was great. The narrator has done The Illuminae Files and does an awesome job. The story was interesting and well paced. I liked the characters and the wolves and dragons were cool. It was nice seeing the story from a younger character's POV. The story did a good job of giving us some history as we went, so we weren't overloaded at the beginning and we found out things as Anders learned them. Seeing the different abilities of the two races was fun and I was invested throughout the book. There were strong female characters which I enjoyed as well as some cool guys who didn't put women down. I really loved this book and now I can't wait for book 2! Highly recommend.
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  • Julie Daniels
    January 1, 1970
    So good. I would have loved this when I was a kid. And I do now. Review to come closer to release date.Full review(5/16/18)Middle Grade is a genre that I love yet rarely read. That's why I jump at the chance to read MG when I receive a MG ARC from a publisher for review. My tbr is out if control but when I received Elementals: Ice Wolves by Amie Kaufman and read the synopsis I had to read it immediately. I finished the book I was reading and started Ice Wolves right away. And it did not disappoi So good. I would have loved this when I was a kid. And I do now. Review to come closer to release date.Full review(5/16/18)Middle Grade is a genre that I love yet rarely read. That's why I jump at the chance to read MG when I receive a MG ARC from a publisher for review. My tbr is out if control but when I received Elementals: Ice Wolves by Amie Kaufman and read the synopsis I had to read it immediately. I finished the book I was reading and started Ice Wolves right away. And it did not disappoint! I must add that it being an Amie Kaufman book added to my eagerness to read it. Though this was the first(and definitely not the last) of her books that I've read, I've heard nothing but amazing things about her books and in fact own all of her books that are out. After reading this one and loving it so much I'm excited to read her other works now. This is a book I would have adored when I was a kid and loved even as an adult. It was a great magical adventure with excellent characters. The world-building was solid. I hate to make the Harry Potter comparison but it's undeniable that with orohans with unknown magical(shifter) lineage and a boarding school setting, that there are some base similarities. And even more so in the writing style. When discussing this book with a fellow reader, we agreed that it gave us both "Harry Potter vibes" and we both loved it all the more. Don't get me wrong though. This book is its own entity and it's own adventure but it managed to capture the spark that Harry Potter kindled in me as a child. I also loved the detailed, beautiful map that added to the magic of this book. As far as Middle Grade characters go, Anders, Rayna, Lisabet, and the others in this great book were top notch. There was diversity! Brown main characters and on the cover! We need more of that in MG books. There was never any info-dumping or confusion. The plot was great - it wasn't extremely easy to predict as you might worry a MG plot might be. I just adored this book and I'm desperately waiting for book two to see what becomes of my beloved characters! *Thanks to Harper Collins Children's for the Advance Copy for review*
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  • ALEXA
    January 1, 1970
    3.5 stars! Pretty solid series starter, complete with interesting world and readable plot featuring some familiar tropes. While not necessarily a new fave, I am quite curious to see what happens next.
  • Jeann (Happy Indulgence)
    January 1, 1970
    Ice Wolves is a fun, magical little story about families with magic in their veins with children who become wolves or dragons. When Anders shifts into a wolf - and his sister Rayna a dragon, the two go off into their own adventures, discovering more about themselves.This was a quick, magical read with a lot of charm and adventure. I liked how the core of the story was about acceptance of each other regardless of what they become. Wolves and dragons never interact, creating rumours and myths abou Ice Wolves is a fun, magical little story about families with magic in their veins with children who become wolves or dragons. When Anders shifts into a wolf - and his sister Rayna a dragon, the two go off into their own adventures, discovering more about themselves.This was a quick, magical read with a lot of charm and adventure. I liked how the core of the story was about acceptance of each other regardless of what they become. Wolves and dragons never interact, creating rumours and myths about each other, but Anders knows better because of his sister. The academy part seemed to be rather short, with many of Ander's friends and classmates kind of blending in with one another. The characters also weren't particularly memorable despite them being shapeshifters. I did adore Lisbeth, the smart, resourceful young girl who helps him on his journey and puts everything aside to trust in him. It's a coming of age story as he grows deeper in understanding, friendship and confidence. It's also a story of magical creatures, shapeshifting and cold, wintery days.Check out Happy Indulgence Books for more reviews!
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  • Kaycee Bowick (Off_The_Press)
    January 1, 1970
    Middle Grade/YA? Check.Shapeshifters? Check.Elemental Magic? Check.Wolves? Big Check.So many exciting new releases that I can't wait to get into my hands... ahhem, I mean, my classroom! Sign me up for this one!
  • Mary H
    January 1, 1970
    This was so much fun! Definitely need a second book asap!
  • Nemo (The Moonlight Library)
    January 1, 1970
    This review was originally posted on The Moonlight LibraryIce Wolves is the story of 12-year-old orphaned homeless boy Anders who, upon finding he can transform into an ice wolf, is separated from his twin sister Rayna, who transforms into the ice wolves’ bitter enemy the scorch dragon.I didn’t know what to expect going in to this. I’ve never read an Amie Kaufman book before, and this is middle-grade as well when I normally read YA, but I was immediately drawn to the use of elemental magic combi This review was originally posted on The Moonlight LibraryIce Wolves is the story of 12-year-old orphaned homeless boy Anders who, upon finding he can transform into an ice wolf, is separated from his twin sister Rayna, who transforms into the ice wolves’ bitter enemy the scorch dragon.I didn’t know what to expect going in to this. I’ve never read an Amie Kaufman book before, and this is middle-grade as well when I normally read YA, but I was immediately drawn to the use of elemental magic combined with shapeshifting. I thought we would see the story from both the twins’ points of view, as you probably would in a YA novel, but this stuck with Anders as the single protagonist and it worked really well.Anders starts off as a shy beta twin, used to rambunctious, confident Rayna taking charge, but once she’s gone, kidnapped by dragons, he quickly plots to save her, and that involves enrolling at Ulfer Academy, the home/barracks of the ice wolves, and becoming part of their pack. This means that the plot, apart from Anders trying to figure out how to save Rayna, also consisted of boarding school-type tropes such as shared dorm rooms, combat and history classes, revered professors, and communal eating. I really enjoyed this aspect, and I loved seeing Anders growing as an individual as opposed to one half of a set of twins. He really came into his own, made his own choices and his own friends.One thing I would like to mention is the casual approach to gender and sexuality. Kaufman mentions that one highly regarded female professor was married to a woman, and one of Anders’ fellow first years is gender neutral, using the term ‘they’ instead of ‘he’ or ‘she’, which I’ve never come across in a novel not trying to make a point about gender identity. It was cool to see that dropped casually into not only a fantasy novel but one aimed at a middle-grade audience. Anders also makes a strong friendship with a female student, with no hinting of romance, and the first years share mixed-gender dorm rooms.I liked how Kaufman revealed the world lore, with the ice wolves and scorch dragons, and kids at the Academy travelling from all over the country to attend. There was even a character from the territory of the thunder lions who was a wolf instead, so I’m hoping to see more of the other elemental shapeshifters in future novels.I’m not sure what the future holds for this series but I am definitely invested and I hope to see lots more books in this world.
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  • Carina Olsen
    January 1, 1970
    This book was full of excitement and fun. Also heartbreaking at times too. I'm thrilled to say that I enjoyed this book so much. It's a four star for me, and I am dying to read the next two books in this series. I also pretty much adore Amie, and am so happy that she is writing this middle grade series. Eee. This book was great.I am also fully thrilled at this gorgeous cover. I love it very much. And must also mention that this book is wonderfully diverse too, and was written really well. Such g This book was full of excitement and fun. Also heartbreaking at times too. I'm thrilled to say that I enjoyed this book so much. It's a four star for me, and I am dying to read the next two books in this series. I also pretty much adore Amie, and am so happy that she is writing this middle grade series. Eee. This book was great.I am also fully thrilled at this gorgeous cover. I love it very much. And must also mention that this book is wonderfully diverse too, and was written really well. Such gorgeous writing. Also, these characters just about killed me. I loved the world and story too, and the small parts of magic were so great to read about as well.I'm unsure how much I wish to share about this lovely book. Not too much, as it wasn't that long, but it was still pretty incredible. And I enjoyed reading this book a whole lot. Ice Wolves tells the story of twelve year old Anders, and his twin sister, Rayna. The book is from Anders point of view, which I adored. He was such an amazing boy to read about. He started out as really shy and not all that brave, but he ended up changing a lot, and he grew to be really brave by the end of the book. I can't wait to see how he changes even more in the next ones. And also so curious to know if the next books will be from his point of view too, or from Rayna next. I'm hoping book two will be named Scorch Dragons. Fingers crossed. I would love to still read from Anders. As I said, this book tells the story of Anders and his twin sister Rayna. They are orphans, and have been living on the streets since they were six years old. They steal to eat every day, and hide away to sleep at night. My heart kept breaking for these adorable children. I only wanted the best for them. Sniffs. They were such amazing characters, though. Still strong, despite not having the best life. Still trying their best to survive. And loving each other, protecting each other. I loved their special bond a whole lot. So cute.I'm not going to describe everything that happens in this book, but must talk a little bit about the history of it. In this world, some people have the power to change into wolves, aka ice wolves. The wolves protect the city against some fierce scorch dragons, whom they had a war against years back. The dragons are evil, or so the wolves claim. And the wolves have been protecting everyone for years now. When children become twelve, they are all to be tested to see if they have enough wolf blood to become an ice wolf too.And this is how this book begins, with Anders and Rayna ending up being tested by accident. And it does not go well. Rayna ends up turning into a scorch dragon, the enemy of this whole town. The wolves ends up attacking her, trying to capture her, but she gets away. At the same time, Anders ends up turning into a ice wolf. Which should not be possible, since they are twins, and should have just one type of elemental blood. But it still happened. They turned into different creatures. They are now supposed to be enemies.This whole plot is all kinds of exciting. Anders is learning how to be a human and a wolf. He now has to study at a school, ending up as a soldier when he's grown up. But even while he is at this school for a few weeks, all he can think about is going to the dragons to save his sister, as he is sure she is going to end up killed. I loved reading about Anders a lot, about how he found new friends, yet always thought about his twin too. Their bond was gorgeous, and I am really excited about reading more about them together.While I pretty much loved this book, I am giving it four stars. I don't really have a big reason for this, just that I felt like some things could have been a little more. A little more magic, a little more exciting things happening. It felt a bit slow in the entire middle of the book. But I still adored it a lot, and I'm so glad I read this book. You are all going to love it too. It's an fantastic stories about awesome creatures and kind of a magic school. There is a lot happening, and I haven't mentioned all of it. I enjoyed this story a whole lot.Ice Wolves was such a stunning middle grade book. Full of adventure and fun. Stunning friendships and gorgeous magic too. I adored these characters, and I cannot wait to read more about them in the next books. Eee. Fingers crossed book two will be from Anders too, but I will love it either way. And just so excited. But oh, waiting a whole year will be torture, I'm sure. Rude. But worth it. Huge thank you to the publisher for the auto approval on Edelweiss. And to a friend from trading this gorgeous print with me.---This review was first posted on my blog, Carina's Books, here: http://carinabooks.blogspot.no/2018/0...
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  • Brooklyn Tayla
    January 1, 1970
    This book is a key example of, in my opinion, what a great middle grade book should be! It was so exciting and the fantasy elements were so unique and visual, I felt like I could clearly picture everything as I read it, but more than that, I felt like I was a part of the adventure! I loved the concept of transforming into an ice wolf or scorch Dragon, and I loved the way Amie Kaufman described the movements of the transformations, it was stunning! The characters were so precious too, especislly This book is a key example of, in my opinion, what a great middle grade book should be! It was so exciting and the fantasy elements were so unique and visual, I felt like I could clearly picture everything as I read it, but more than that, I felt like I was a part of the adventure! I loved the concept of transforming into an ice wolf or scorch Dragon, and I loved the way Amie Kaufman described the movements of the transformations, it was stunning! The characters were so precious too, especislly Anders, I loved getting into his mind and seeing things how he did, and I felt like I was feeling his emotions as I was reading, I love how much he grew throughout the book, and I loved how I was constantly speculating about what would come next – there was never a dull moment and I found myself hooked as I was reading and going through the pages, I couldn’t put it down, I know it’s something that will definitley stay with me, when I started it I felt like it was already going to be a new favourite, and I am already so excited to see what happens in the next book! 
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  • Dreximgirl
    January 1, 1970
    This was a fun, action packed but thoughtful read. I liked all the characters and the plot has definitely got me intrigued. It does read a little on the younger end of middle grade but it's still a good story and I liked it a lot. Looking forward to the next in the series.
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  • Kathy Martin
    January 1, 1970
    Anders and Rayna are street kids in Vallen and have been since they left an orphanage when they were six and the carers wanted to separate them. Life is hard. They make their way by stealing and picking pockets. But they have each other. The think of themselves as twins though their personalities are much different. Rayna is the leader because she is quicker with a story and more of a planner than Anders. The city is guarded by ice wolves who are protecting them from the scorch dragons that caus Anders and Rayna are street kids in Vallen and have been since they left an orphanage when they were six and the carers wanted to separate them. Life is hard. They make their way by stealing and picking pockets. But they have each other. The think of themselves as twins though their personalities are much different. Rayna is the leader because she is quicker with a story and more of a planner than Anders. The city is guarded by ice wolves who are protecting them from the scorch dragons that caused the war that made them orphans. One day, while picking pockets at a monthly trial to find more ice wolves, they need to be tested to get away from one of their victims. Rayna touches the magic staff and turns into a scorch dragon which puts her in immediate danger from the ice wolves doing the testing. When Anders touches the staff, he becomes an ice wolf but his main concern is saving his twin. When Rayna is forced to leave the city in the company of other scorch dragons, Anders is determined to find and rescue her. His best course of action is to join the Ulfar academy which trains the ice wolves to protect the city. His only intention when joining is to learn enough about the dragons to find his sister. He doesn't expect to make friends including his roommates Lisabet, Viktoria, and Sakarias. Lisabeth questions the wolves policies toward the dragons and helps Anders learn to read and find out more about the magical objects held by the wolves which might help him locate his sister. While Lisabet wants to find some way for the dragons and the wolves to talk and to forge some kind of peace, most of the adult wolves don't think that is possible and may, in fact, be creating incidents to make the dragons look bad in order to secure the wolves' power in the city. There is a magical object that will locate the dragons which Anders wants to steal in order to find his sister and the wolves want to use to carry their war to the dragons' home. He steals it and has many adventures on his way to the home of the dragons where he learns that all is not as he thought.The story is filled with adventure. I liked Anders who had great love and loyalty to his sister. I liked that he made friends in his new school and that he learned that it was all right to step out of his sister's shadow and make his own decisions. This is the first book in a trilogy. I am eager to know what happens next for Anders, Lisabet, and Rayna.
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  • Ally
    January 1, 1970
    I loved Kaufman’s sci-fi book, Illuminae, and when I was given the opportunity to pick up her book at a book festival, I was quite excited!I had very little knowledge on what the book was about other than it being a Middle Grade novel filled with Viking like magic. I went into the book blindly, which was quite nice to do since everything was a surprise. We follow the story of Anders, who is an orphan surviving the streets alongside his twin sister Rayna. Due to a series of unfortunate events, Ra I loved Kaufman’s sci-fi book, Illuminae, and when I was given the opportunity to pick up her book at a book festival, I was quite excited!I had very little knowledge on what the book was about other than it being a Middle Grade novel filled with Viking like magic. I went into the book blindly, which was quite nice to do since everything was a surprise. We follow the story of Anders, who is an orphan surviving the streets alongside his twin sister Rayna. Due to a series of unfortunate events, Rayna and Anders get separated and Anders enrolls to an academy for people who are able to shift into wolves (actual wolves not the werewolves thing). Anders does everything he can to get his sister back and learns some mysteries along the way.The best part of the book was the diverse cast. There were characters of all shapes, sexualities, and color. The main character is a young boy with brown skin and black curly hair. He has a non-binary friend who uses “they” pronouns and a bad ass fighting teacher who protected a section of the city all by herself with her wife. It was nice to have representation be so normalized, having no one in the story question it and just accepted it.The story focuses on the importance of friendship and family, like most middle grade novels tend to these days (Something I feel YA should write about too). Even though this is considered a middle grade novel, it is a novel that any age group can enjoy. I personally found enjoyment in it, and Kaufman is still able to build a mystery in her lore that will have the older audience trying to piece things together just as the intended young readers.I believe if you enjoyed books such as Percy Jackson by Rick Riordan, Magisterium by Holly Black & Cassandra Clare or Artemis Fowl by Eoin Colfer you will defiantly enjoy Ice Wolves.
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  • Laura (acquariusgb)
    January 1, 1970
    Ice wolves is a great book about family, friendship, magic and legends. Anders and Rayna are two 12 year-old twins living in the streets of Vallen.Being orphaned, they always counted on each other to survive and have food at the end of the day. One day, during a monthly ceremony, they shapeshift one into a scorch dragon and the other one into an icewolf. These two groups of shapeshifters are against each other, so the two twins get separated.What I loved about this book was the setting. Grass on Ice wolves is a great book about family, friendship, magic and legends. Anders and Rayna are two 12 year-old twins living in the streets of Vallen.Being orphaned, they always counted on each other to survive and have food at the end of the day. One day, during a monthly ceremony, they shapeshift one into a scorch dragon and the other one into an icewolf. These two groups of shapeshifters are against each other, so the two twins get separated.What I loved about this book was the setting. Grass on top of the roofs, the icewolves academy, the land that seemed Scandinavian. I loved also the background story, the things we discovered along the way and I'm sure there will be more through out the series: Who were Anders and Rayna's parents? Why are they one wolf and the other one dragon?In the book, it was mentioned another shapeshifter clan, the lions, are there any other elementals?This book follows Anders's point of view, how he does anything to find his sister but also how he makes new friends along the way. I would love to know Rayna's story during the separation with her brother, maybe we'll find out more about it in the second book. In this first book of the series, Amie Kaufman gave us a lot to think about and I can't wait to continue this series.
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  • Lisa
    January 1, 1970
    Skies, I wish I would have had this book as a ten-year-old! However, I still get disproportionately excited about people turning into wolves and dragons, so I guess this proves both the book‘s greatness and the fact that growing old is mandatory but growing up is optional.
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  • Kayla
    January 1, 1970
    This was okay I guess? Totally mixed opinions on this book
  • Lex
    January 1, 1970
    I'm in between liked it and really liked it. So yeah, 3.5 stars. It's so slow that I skipped some descriptions. It's interesting enough that I finished it, obviously. The action came at the end. Which is in my opinion, took so long. I love action scenes, so I read and devour all of it and when it ended, I was like "WHA?" So now, my problem is "where's the next one?" because I want to know what happened next. Like dude, it finally got really interesting and you leave me hanging to know more. -_- I'm in between liked it and really liked it. So yeah, 3.5 stars. It's so slow that I skipped some descriptions. It's interesting enough that I finished it, obviously. The action came at the end. Which is in my opinion, took so long. I love action scenes, so I read and devour all of it and when it ended, I was like "WHA?" So now, my problem is "where's the next one?" because I want to know what happened next. Like dude, it finally got really interesting and you leave me hanging to know more. -_- World building wise, it's good. Writing, too. But as I said, it's a bit slow for me and less action. Maybe in the second book? More gore and action scene please. oh wait, can't have gore cause this is a Middle Grade book. LOL.
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  • Megan Rivera
    January 1, 1970
    I love wolfs and dragons. I love how much the twins love each other. It was a great book to read.
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