BOOK REVIEW: Ice Wolves {Elementals, Book One} by Amie Kaufman

If I’m being honest, I must tell you that I purchased Amie Kaufman’s Elementals: Ice Wolves because…wolves! Y’all know I’m Team Wolf, so I couldn’t pass this one up…and I’m glad I didn’t!

Twelve-year-old twins, Rayna and Anders Bardasen, are street kids. Orphaned as tots when their parents were killed in a supposed Scorch Dragon attack in Vallen, the two ditched their orphanage digs years ago, preferring to fend for themselves using nothing but street smarts. Stealing, pickpocketing, occasionally running with other orphans, the two have done it all {typically with Rayna at the helm}; but everything changes during the Trial of the Staff.

The Trial of the Staff {think The Hunger Games’ Reaping Ceremony} is an event that brings Elementals to life. Those who transform into a wolf while touching the staff are immediately enrolled in Ulfar Academy to train as Ice Wolves; those who fail to transform are mere mortals. Then there are the rare few whom transform into Scorch Dragons. Scorch Dragons live in the secret location, Drekhelm, and are sworn enemies of Ice Wolves. Which brings us to our predicament.

During a pickpocketing gone wrong, Rayna and Anders find themselves in line for the Trial of the Staff. Believing that their placement will merely make those around them forget about their thieving faux pas, they’re unconcerned about what may happen; but when Rayna transforms into a Scorch Dragon all bets are off. With the town of Holbard in an uproar as the Ice Wolves attempt to capture Rayna; very few notice that Anders himself as transformed as well - into an Ice Wolf.

Virtually unheard of for siblings to transform into different elementals, Rayna and Anders are an anomaly, and manage to escape unscathed - for a short time, that is. When an attack leaves Rayna captured by Scorch Dragons, and Anders enrolled as a student at Ulfar, however, Anders must use his new resources {and friends} to find his sister before she is used as a sacrifice on the equinox.

Rather than beat around the bush, I’m going to be blunt: this book fell short for me; but I’m eager to read the sequel. I know, I know, random right? Here’s the sitch…Rayna and Anders were very ho-hum characters for me. They left no impact on me after the pages were closed; however, there were secondary characters whom I loved {despite the fact that they had little page time}.

Lisabet was lovable in the same vein as Harry Potter’s Hermione Granger. Bookish; inquisitive; a bit of a loner, but intriguing; helpful. I loved every. single. moment that she was on the page. Hayn was brilliant. He has hero status written all over him; and I can only hope that his character plays a more pivotal role in Scorch Dragons. Last, but not least, the dragons of Drekhelm {notably Leif}. Y’all, I may have come for the wolves; but I am determined to stay in this world due to the dragons.

Star Rating: ***



R's Rue said...

Thank you for the review.

ellie said...

Sounds like it has enough to at least playout a trilogy. Some great winter reading I am sure. Awesome and hearty review!

Caitlin'nMegan said...

I have wondered about this book. Glad to read your review. I was thinking it might be more along the "warriors" genre. Good info to know about this series. Thanks so much!

Why Girls Are Weird said...

Never heard of this but sounds like I need to look into it!

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