Ice Wolves (Elementals, # 1)
By: Amie Kaufman
Published: March 27th 2018 by HarperCollins
Genre: Young Adult, Fantasy, Paranormal
Source: Publisher via Edelweiss (Thank you!!)
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Goodreads description--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 has to question whether they are even related. Still, whether or not they’re family, Anders knows that Rayna is his best and only true friend. She’s nothing like the brutal, cruel dragons who claimed her as one of their own and stole her away.
To learn what he needs to rescue her, Anders will have to 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 blind obedience, and friendship is the most powerful shape-shifting force of all.
I have to admit that I am not normally a fan of middle grade books. Yet I decided to give this one a try because I've enjoyed Amie Kaufman before and because...well dragons of course.
I made it to 37% and my overwhelming feeling was that of forcing myself to pick this book up and read. This is more a statement about where I am in my life right now than the book itself. I have never had less time to read than now and so more than ever I want to be reading books that I'm really enjoying and not ones that require me to force myself to continue.
Ice Wolves is narrated by 12 year old Anders who has always felt a little in his sister's shadow. Not that he was jealous of her but just that she was better at most things than him. She took the lead and really took care of him. So he is quite unsure of himself. I know Anders starts the book in such a lowly state so we can see him grow as a character but I struggle with weak characters.
The setup of events to come feels a bit predictable also. I mean certainly I've been surprised in times past when things felt predictable and then some twist came in that threw me off what I'd been expecting. This is possible. However, the vibe I was getting was one that didn't exactly have me excited about continuing the find out what was going to happen to see whether I was right in my predictions or not.
Ice Wolves wasn't a bad read at the point I decided to DNF it. More than anything, I just felt an obligation to continue reading because this was a review book rather than a desire to continue based upon the story and characters. This is likely my own fault as my real life situation leaves me so little time to read that I probably shouldn't have requested a middle grade read when those don't typically appeal to me. I can see myself potentially returning to Ice Wolves at a different time in my life--perhaps even when my children are at the middle grade reading level. Have you read Ice Wolves? What did you think? Let me know!