Elementals: Ice Wolves by Amie Kaufman
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.
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.
My Rating: 5/5