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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 thatthan 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. 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,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 itI personally will go back to reading Kaufman s YA books. 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 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 lotThe 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 whatcould you want However something fell flat for me and i think its because i wanted this story to be unique anddifferent 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 atyounger 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 Characters 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 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 .I got Harry Potter like vibes from this Young magical child who never knew he held magic, finds he is so muchand 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. I know it s middle grade, but it s by Amie Kaufman, so obviously I HAD to read it anyway.Likes It s by Amie Kaufman Awesome cover Characters were nice and likeable Plot was good Awesome premise World was introduced well not jarringly DRAGONS Wolves were pretty cool too Setting descriptions Loved the Winter vibes I was entertained and never boredDislikes Characters weren t super unique Characters weren t super developed, and are fairly forgettable Plot was fairly predictable I neededdragons Wolves feel so average when the alternative is dragons So much of the world was left unexplained Neededorigins I havequestions than answers about everything I need a sequel dammit Side characters are under utilisedThat 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 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 iswell, 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 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 andquestions 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 somethingThe ending was predictable and slightly anticlimactic but it has me hoping that the sequel will direct the story in a direction that isof 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. I loved the Illuminae Files series, so I wanted to readby 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 `EPUB ↹ Ice Wolves ⇞ Everyone In Vallen Knows That Ice Wolves And Scorch Dragons Are Sworn Enemies Who Live Deeply Separate LivesSo 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 AwayIn 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 Complicated Than Obedience, And Friendship Is The Most Powerful Shapeshifting Force Of All