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Elementals #1

Ice Wolves

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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.

326 pages, ebook

First published March 27, 2018

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About the author

Amie Kaufman

34 books12.6k followers
Amie Kaufman is a New York Times and internationally bestselling author of young adult fiction. Her multi-award winning work is slated for publication in over 30 countries, and is in development for film and TV. Raised in Australia and occasionally Ireland, Amie has degrees in history, literature, law and conflict resolution. She lives in Melbourne with her husband and daughter, their rescue dog, and an extremely large personal library. She is the host of the podcasts Amie Kaufman on Writing, and Pub Dates.

You can sign up for her newsletter to see what she's working on, hear when she releases a new book, and be automatically entered for giveaways: https://amiekaufman.substack.com/

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5 stars
906 (31%)
4 stars
1,142 (40%)
3 stars
658 (23%)
2 stars
102 (3%)
1 star
32 (1%)
Displaying 1 - 30 of 520 reviews
Profile Image for Meagan Spooner.
Author 18 books3,348 followers
September 14, 2017
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.
Profile Image for Brenda.
4,093 reviews2,662 followers
May 16, 2021
Twelve-year-old twins Anders and Rayna had always done everything together. Orphaned at a young age, they were living on the streets, surviving on their wits alone but the day the two transformed – Rayna into a scorch dragon and Anders into a wolf, was a terrifying one for them both. Supposedly it wasn’t possible to be siblings and be different forms, but it was there in front of them. As Rayna flew overhead, off and away, Anders despaired of ever seeing her again. Joining the Ulfar Academy and learning all he could about being the wolf he’d become had him hoping he could recue Rayna before the dreaded equinox rolled around…

Ice Wolves is the 1st in the Elementals series by Aussie author Amie Kaufman and it was brilliant! Yes, it’s middle grade, but it’s intense, fast paced, thrilling and magical. The transformation from human to wolf was intriguing and well described, the same for the scorch dragons. Fire and ice – weapons of choice – dragons and wolves. I can’t wait to read the next in the series. Highly recommended.
Profile Image for Juli.
1,879 reviews474 followers
May 7, 2019
I loved the Illuminae Files series, so I wanted to read more by Amie Kaufman. In a bit of a reading slump right now....needed something different....and this book was the perfect change of pace for me! Ice Wolves is the first book in the Elementals series. Magic, Shape Shifters, dragons. Awesome!

Anders and Rayna are street kids. They live by their wits. Anders struggles a bit, but Rayna always has his back. But when Rayna transforms into a scorch dragon and Anders takes his form as an ice wolf, he wonders if they really are family. A wolf can't possibly be related to a dragon. Dragons are blood thirsty, dangerous creatures who want to destroy everything. How can his sister be a dragon? When dragons appear and take Rayna away with them, Anders is determined to get his sister back. But he's in the Ulfar Academy for training as a wolf. How can he escape and go rescue his sister?

This is such a fun, adventurous romp of a story! I listened to the audio book while working in my garden and enjoyed Anders and Rayna immensely. Nice mix of humor, adventure and fantasy.

The audio book is just under 8 hours long and narrated by Johnathan McClain. McClain's performance is very entertaining. He does the character voices quite well and reads at an even pace. I have hearing loss but was easily able to hear and enjoy the entire book.

This series has two books so far, with a third scheduled to publish in 2020. Eagerly awaiting my library to shelve book two, Scorch Dragons, so I can find out what happens next!
Profile Image for Fatima  Havilliard.
109 reviews34 followers
Want to read
February 28, 2016
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?

Profile Image for Ryan Buckby.
652 reviews88 followers
April 19, 2018
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.


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!
Profile Image for Angelica.
805 reviews1,121 followers
March 22, 2018
**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.
Profile Image for shopping for a moon.
164 reviews178 followers
September 16, 2020
A very entertaining and adventurous story that essentially centers around the feeling of belonging! The story begins when Anders and his twin sister Rayna get sorted into two opposing clans- the wolves and the scorch dragons. We mostly follow Anders starting his training as part of the wolf pack, so we get to read a lot about his life at the academy. While I adored the setting and the friendship that formed there, I also found the scorch dragons to be super interesting and can‘t wait to hopefully see more of them in the sequel. A little more magic and politics would also be very much appreciated to give the story just a little bit more depth!
Profile Image for Lara (Bookish_turtle).
247 reviews191 followers
May 10, 2018
I know it's middle grade, but it's by Amie Kaufman, so obviously I HAD to read it anyway.

- It's by Amie Kaufman
- Awesome cover
- Characters were nice and likeable
- Plot was good
- Awesome premise
- World was introduced well; not jarringly
- Wolves were pretty cool too
- Setting descriptions: Loved the Winter vibes!
- I was entertained and never bored

- 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-utilised

That 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!
Profile Image for Yodamom.
1,988 reviews195 followers
June 23, 2018
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.
Profile Image for Jessica.
Author 29 books5,627 followers
February 19, 2018
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!
Profile Image for rachel, x.
1,717 reviews858 followers
November 28, 2017
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.
Profile Image for ℓуηη_σƒ_νєℓαяιѕ.
434 reviews61 followers
May 15, 2020
Believathon 2020 🐉🐺 Prompt: Read the first book in a series

I was taken aback by how much I enjoyed this book 🙈 I've tried a handful of middle-grades over the past year and they always failed to capture my interest. But with Believathon happening on Twitter I thought I'd give them one more try, to give them the chance to wow me. I'm so very glad I did!

The quality of this story shouldn't surprise me, it's Kaufman afterall. But still I found myself surprised. I loved the the elemental magic 💧🌀🔥, uniquely different depending on regions. I loved the lore of the artifacts and all their different uses. I loved the history of this war between dragons🐉 and wolves 🐺

There were so many elements in this book that reminded me of elements in many of my other favorites 😊 We have the misfit orphans who are a bit different than others, like Nona in the Book of the Ancestor series, as well as Harry Potter. We also have the special school element, just like in both of those series (which will always be a favourite for me 🙌). And there be dragons 🐉, which of course puts me in mind of How to Train Your Dragon as well as Lisabet being the Furstulf's daughter, much like Hiccup and being the chief's son.

Ahh! There's just so much to love about this book! And I didn't expect to feel so strongly about it at all 😱 But I love. That's all there is to say. I loooovess it! It has strong, loyal sibling bonds, friendships, found family, love & bravery winning the day 💗 And hopefully it can overcome prejudices and stop a war in the next one. Which I will be tackling soon 👌💖

If you want to wade into the world of middle-grades, I think this book is an excellent place to start! 🙌🎉
Profile Image for Sara Saif.
543 reviews221 followers
April 5, 2018

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.

Profile Image for Connor.
686 reviews1,656 followers
October 14, 2019
[3.75 Stars] I love wolves and dragons, so a book with people who can turn into them is right up my alley. My brother read this a little while ago and lent it to me since I always end up enjoying books he's enjoyed. This one was no exception.

Anders and his twin sister live in a really fleshed out world, full of history, different cultures, and ideologies. I really liked following Anders on his personal journey of discovery. He's been told one thing his entire life, but now he's forced to start questioning that method of thinking and find answers for himself. I love that he starts to expand his world and allows his circle of loved ones to grow throughout the course of this novel.

I also really appreciated how casual sexuality and gender identity are in this world. People have same sex partners and/or go by gender neutral pronouns, and no one in this world bats an eye. It was nice to see it treated as just one part of who those characters were.

I do think this novel slows way down after the excitement of the beginning though. Anders has a difficult time progressing much at all in his goal to save his sister, and so I found that entire section to be harder to get through. The plot seems to stall out until it gets picked back up later in the novel. Don't get me wrong, there are some moments of tension to kept me reading (obviously), but I wish there had been more.
Profile Image for Rachel Bea.
358 reviews112 followers
April 29, 2018
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.
Profile Image for Zitong Ren.
504 reviews153 followers
July 21, 2019
Provided by the State Library Victoria as part of the Inky Awards.

Well then, this book was certainly interesting, in both good and bad ways. I think, and don’t quote me on this, this is only the fourth book I’m reading as part of being an Inky Judge, but I do think this is by far, in terms of an age bracket, this book is the youngest. When I first opened the book and gazed the size of the words, I was genuinely scared, and by that I mean that I have not read a books with words the size since like grade 4 for crying out loud. Instead of being YA, I would personally say this should fall into the middle-grade bracket.

Much of the book felt too childish and a lot of the worldbuilding, name given and the entire story bothered me in some way or other, as one, I’m a bit nit picky in these sort of things, and second, I’ve read a lot of fantasy. To begin with, I know it is targeted towards middle-grade students, so I can certainly see the appeal, especially to younger kids who maybe haven’t read a lot of books and are maybe looking for another version of Harry Potter, or Percy Jackson.

In this book, there are two sides, one are the Ice Wolves, and the other, the Scorch Dragons, of which are the most bitter enemies. Rayna and Anders are twins, but Rayna is a dragon and Anders becomes a wolf, something that is meant to be ‘impossible.’ The amount of times of things being deemed impossible really got onto my nerves and started to really bother me. Though repetition is good to remind younger people? The characters are all really naive, which is understandable, but some of the twists were so obvious that it got bothersome for the characters to not see such things. In some books, a plot twist may turn out to be life changing towards the characters, or scary, or even surprising. The plot twists in this book felt… uninteresting and very predictable,

The world building in this book felt a bit far fetched and frankly, poor. We are constantly reminded that Vallen is a small island, but hey look, there’s three distinct and seperate mountain ranges, which is geographical impossible to happen on such a small area. Mountain ranges are caused by the collision of tectonic plates, and there is no way that I’m believing that there are four/five different plates on a island where one city takes up ten percent of the map. Then there’s my issue with naming. Right at the end, and hopefully this isn’t a spoiler, but what happens is that there is a mixture of both ice and fire, and the name that is given? Icefire… I’ve never actually read a name that was that badly made up that it actually becomes funny and I don’t even care how cool it is, because that name is, no offence but quite dumb?

The middle part of the book was frankly quite boring and it was literally two kids going to the library after class for about one hundred pages. Look, I do see how younger kids will like it, lots of adventure, a bunch of different people, an entirely different world that is simplistic in its nature and maybe I’ve grown out of it, but I didn’t like it. I have heard a lot of the Iluminae Files and that is on my to-read list, and there’s also a book two, of which, if I have the spare time, I may read just to amuse me. 5/10

Edit: I have read the first book in the Illuminae Files and liked it well enough.
Profile Image for Julia Benassi.
Author 0 books99 followers
August 25, 2020
Just because you’re adding something to who you are doesn’t mean you have to give up who you used to be.
Ya que dormí un par de horitas muy preciadas, puedo escribir algo coherente about this book (?

¿Me gustó Ice Wolves? Sí, me gustó, pero acá es cuando viene el "pero". Me gustó pero no fue nada que no haya leído antes, sobre todo en la parte del Middle Grade. Ya me estoy empezando a cansar de la fórmula de escuelta elitista + padres ausentes, y en ese sentido obvio que esperaba algo más de lo que recibí (sobre todo porque los últimos MG que leí rompen de alguna forma con esa fórmula que empezó con HP). Fue eso por sobre todo lo que bajó el puntaje, y un poquito Anders porque no llegué a conectar con su personaje mucho.
Más allá de esos detalles, la construcción del mundo y de la magia me gustó muchísimo. Me pareció que era muy original, en contraposición a la fórmula cliché del MG. El desarrollo de la historia en sí creo que es un "okay", y creo que la zona más fuerte y que tiene mucho para explotar es la del conflicto político que hay atrás. Leí la sinopsis del segundo y está la promesa de que ese conflicto va a ampliarse así que OBVIO I need Scorch Dragons. Also, lo que más me gustó: lobitos cachorros. ESO.
Profile Image for Jeann (Happy Indulgence) .
1,006 reviews3,574 followers
April 1, 2018
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!
Profile Image for Leah Waters.
366 reviews56 followers
May 12, 2021
This book was so fun!

I loved it. It's so hard to find new MG sometimes, but this was just great. There was so much diversity, and I loved the characters and found family. The magic system was developed and the world was fascinating.

Really, I have no complaints. This is just amazing middle grade fantasy.
Profile Image for Alexa.
2,145 reviews11.3k followers
December 17, 2018
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.
Profile Image for Weinlachgummi.
973 reviews44 followers
September 4, 2019
Beast Changers Im Bann der Eiswölfe lockt mit einem tollen Cover, welches sofort meine Aufmerksamkeit erweckt hat. Aber nicht nur das Cover hat mich dazu bewogen, das Buch lesen zu wollen, sondern auch der Autoren Name, Amie Kaufman hat mit J. Kristoff zusammen die Illuminae Akten geschrieben, welche mir ausgesprochen gut gefallen haben und so war ich neugierig darauf, auch mal etwas von ihr alleine zu lesen.

Auch die Geschichte hat sich interessant angehört. Die Zwillinge Rayna und Anders leben auf der Straße, ihre Familie haben sie vor Jahren bei Drachen angriffen verloren. In diesem Universum gibt es Tierwandler, es gibt wohl noch mehr Tiere, in welche diese sich verwandeln können, aber hier sind wohl die Eiswölfe und die Drachen die am meisten verbreitetsten. Und wie man sich schon denken kann, sind diese verfeindet, Eis und Feuer vertragen sich einfach nicht. Aber war das schon immer so? Und muss es jetzt bis in alle Ewigkeit so bleiben?

Der Leser begleitet Anders, so erfährt man um einiges mehr über ihn, als über seine Schwester. Beide sind sie unterschiedlich und dies nicht nur durch die Tiere, in welche sie sich verwandeln können. Auch von Typ her sind sie sehr verschieden. Wobei Anders hier eine schöne Entwicklung durch macht, stand er wohl früher immer im Schatten seiner Schwester, merkt er nun, dass er auch alleine etwas erreichen kann.

Die Idee der Geschichte hat mir gefallen und ist nicht das typische, was man schon hundertmal gelesen hat. Gefallen hat mir auch, wie die Autorin das Bild von den Eiswölfen und den Feuerdrachen zeichnete, und auch von Orten, hier hat mir besonders die Akademie gefallen. An manchen Stellen bin ich etwas über Formulierungen gestolpert, was den Lesefluss etwas gemildert hat. Davon abgesehen ließ es sich einfach lesen und passt zur Zielgruppe ab 10 Jahren.

Ich bin gespannt, wie es nun in Band 2 weiter gehen wird. Einige Geheimnisse warten noch darauf gelüftet zu werden und ich bin neugierig, wie sich Anders noch weiter Entwickeln wird und darauf, Rayna nun auch besser kennenzulernen.

Feuer und Eis.
Eine jahrelange Fehde zwischen Eiswölfen und Feuerdrachen und zwei Zwillinge die zwischen die Fronten geraten.
Bildgewand und spannend erzählt die Autorin hier eine Geschichte über Tierwandler.
Und über Freundschaft, Geschwisterliebe und Selbstfindung.
Ich bin gespannt, was da noch alles kommen wird.
Profile Image for Julie Daniels.
177 reviews29 followers
May 16, 2018
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*
Profile Image for Ally.
344 reviews20 followers
January 29, 2018
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.
Profile Image for Aly.
2,604 reviews
May 22, 2018
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.
Profile Image for Kaycee Bowick (Off_The_Press).
84 reviews47 followers
Want to read
January 13, 2018
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!
Profile Image for tappkalina.
649 reviews399 followers
Shelved as 'dnf'
December 12, 2021
DNF at 57%. I'm so sad and disappointed, because I was so excited for this, but it's so slow and boring.
Profile Image for Carina Olsen.
784 reviews144 followers
January 26, 2018
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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