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Elementals: Ice Wolves by Amie Kaufman
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Elementals: Ice Wolves

by Amie Kaufman

Other authors: See the other authors section.

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10210178,594 (4.06)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.… (more)
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Showing 1-5 of 10 (next | show all)
I'm not a big fan of Rayna, but I adore Anders and Lisabet. It's definitely an interesting premise with the promise of more to come. I'm especially interested to see how things play out for Anders, and I'm curious to know more about the other elementals in the world. Good world building so far although it's small due to being seen from Anders' perspective, and he doesn't know anything beyond this one town really. ( )
  ladypembroke | May 17, 2019 |
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. ( )
  AlyP59 | Apr 25, 2019 |
Literary Merit: great! World-building! Heavy on the themes!
Characterization: great! This book is mainly Anders' story, but I'd expect other books in the series to dive deeper into his sister and others' stories.
Recommended audience: While I've generally been critical that books for middle-readers are getting too long, this one was well-plotted and easy enough to get through. Great for boys or girls, especially those interested in fantasy. For fans of Rick Riordan or Harry Potter.

This has an Oliver-Twist type of vibe, especially as the twins don't remember anything before their time in the orphanage and running away together to escape being separated. Are they even twins at all!? Biological family vs. chosen family is a major theme, especially once it comes to light that Anders is an Ice Wolf. He is whisked away to a military training center/boarding school reminiscent of Hogwarts. The difference is that students don't graduate and leave: Ice Wolves tend to stick around pretty much forever. Anders' sister doesn't transform into an Ice Wolf, but their mortal enemy: a dragon. Thus begins an epic quest. Can Anders save her? Does she even need saving?

Plenty of room for spinoffs and even more character development. A lot of speculation that the next book will follow Anders' twin, Rayna, and her time spent with the Dragons. Other lands have different Elementals: Lions were mentioned by a fellow student. If the Dragon vs. Ice Wolf thing gets old, I could see the series incorporating other Elementals as well.

Other interesting things: Wolves whether students or adults always move in groups of four. (For safety, etc.) This is so ingrained along with the idea that the pack is family, that Anders' roomates and thus, bffs are a boy and two girls. There is so much emphasis on the wolves being a pack, a family, that there's nothing weird about boys and girls rooming together, especially as first years. There is no hint of romance in this whatsoever.
The city that most of the book takes place in is described as a major trading port and hub, bringing in a diverse group from all over the world. Characters are not just diverse in the way that they look, but also the way that they live. It's not a major plot point, but one of the female characters has a wife. This may bother some readers (as in parental units) as it's NOT a plot point. Not everyone is okay with homosexuality in literature being normalized. ( )
  SWONroyal | Oct 23, 2018 |
This year I’ve read all of Kaufman’s co-authored books. Her debut solo novel is a children’s/middle-grade fantasy set in a land where people with the ability to transform into dragons are seen as the enemy of those who transform into wolves. Twelve year old Anders and his twin sister Rayna are war-orphans who survive on the city streets and rooftops as thieves. One of their favourite crowds to pickpocket is at the monthly Ulfar Trials, when the Wolf Guard test young candidates for their academy. But this time, things go wrong.

This story isn’t as intense and twisty as Kaufman’s YA science-fiction, but it isn’t trying to be. And it has shapeshifters, dragons, a magic boarding school and sibling relationships, a combination I like a lot. (I would have liked it even more when I was twelve.) Anders has always relied on Rayna to get them out of trouble, but when the twins are separated, he has to come up with a plan to reunite them.

“Maybe the guards think the dragon from last night could still be spying in the city, hiding in human form,” Anders said. “Or planning to start a fire.”
Rayna snorted. “What, and they think if they ask people, they’re just going to admit they knew where a dragon was but decided not to tell anyone?”
He nodded, lowering his voice to do his best impression of an upstanding citizen. “Yes, Guard, in fact I hide scorch dragons on my roof, because I want to be roasted alive and I don’t believe in public safety. I feel a little bit guilty about it, and I’ve been meaning to confess to somebody, but I wasn’t sure who would want to know.”
( )
  Herenya | Sep 22, 2018 |
I have read many young adult books but this one does not excite me. Orphaned twins one boy (Anders) and one girl (Rayna) are living as street thieves in a town where young people may change into ice wolves who guard the city from scorch dragons with whom they have had past wars. Long story short, Anders turns into a ice wolf and Rayna turns into a scorch dragon (Why?) There are items called artifacts that have special powers. (Why?) After Rayna becomes a dragon and is living with them we don't see her for two hundred pages. (Why don't we see any of her experiences/) Plot is generally about Anders trying to find his sister. ( )
  muddyboy | Jul 17, 2018 |
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Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Amie Kaufmanprimary authorall editionscalculated
McClain, JohnathanNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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