Parents' Guide to

Elementals: Ice Wolves

By Carrie R. Wheadon, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 9+

Shapeshifting twins tale slow to wow; series has potential.

Book Amie Kaufman Fantasy 2018
Elementals: Ice Wolves Poster Image

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Kids say (3 ):

This tale of shapeshifting twins torn apart has a lot of potential, but the fantasy world and the supporting characters often feel one-dimensional. This is especially true when Anders reaches the wolf academy. We're led through this new world quickly. Uniform -- check. A couple of classes -- check. Surly profs -- check. A few new friends -- check. Perhaps it would help if the reader could get much closer to Anders during this jarring transition. There are mentions of his poor reading and surprise at being well-fed, but what about that first real bath? How about this sudden adherence to schedules and more complex social norms? Author Aime Kaufman, who normally writes for mature teens, may have kept things more on the surface for younger readers, and at a cost. Readers may feel less invested in the story as a whole.

There are scenes in the school leading up to the climactic action that also disappoint: a lot of repetition about what Anders wants the rescue plan to be, a lot of fumbling around with little success. This should slowly build here. Instead it builds only in the last few dozen pages. Here's where readers will see the potential of this series. Some clever secrets come out, and we're left hanging in a very exciting place. Let's just hope Book 2 gets much closer to its characters and this world. Then it's definitely a series worth following.

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