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Simon Thorn and the Wolf’s Den by Aimee Carter ARC {4 Stars}

Simon Thorn and the Wolf’s Den by Aimee Carter is a fantastic start to what promises to be a very fun new middle grade series. I suspect parents who loved Animorphs back in their day are going to be especially thrilled to have a new series that combines fantasy with changing into animals for a great adventure. Definitely a great choice for young readers who love animals as much as I do :D.

Note: I received an advanced copy of Simon Thorn and the Wolf’s Den from the publisher. Some things may have changed in the final version.

Simon Thorn and the Wolf’s Den by Aimee Carter ARC {4 Stars}

Simon Thorn and the Wolf's Den by Aimée Carter (Simon Thorn #1)
Published by Bloomsbury on Feb. 2nd, 2016
Genres: Fantasy, MG
Page Length: 420 pages
How I got my copy: Publisher
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A thrilling debut in the tradition of Rick Riordan and Brandon Mull about a boy who discovers a secret race of animal shape shifters.

Twelve-year-old Simon Thorn’s life has never been easy or normal, but things like being bullied at school and living in a cramped Manhattan apartment with his Uncle Darrell are nothing compared to his biggest secret: He can talk to animals.

But when his mom is suddenly kidnapped by a herd of rats, Simon finds out that he, his mom, and his uncle are all Animalgams—people born with the ability to change into an animal at will.

In search of his mom, Simon discovers the Animalgam Academy based at the Central Park Zoo. There he learns about the fractured five kingdoms that make up this secret world . . . and realizes he may be the only one who can save it.

4 Stars

Strengths:

  • If I could have any super power, I think that talking to animals would be really high up on my list of choices. I was always that kid obsessed with animals growing up, so the magic in this series — both talking to animals and shape shifting — is so much fun for me to read. I especially love Simon’s conversations with his mouse friend Felix, so cute!
  • It’s always great when a middle grade story is able to surprise me with plot twists. I was delighted that this book didn’t take the predictable chosen one path that it could have, things definitely stayed interesting.
  • There is a heavy emphasis on family and friendship in Simon Thorn and the Wolf’s Den. The whole central conflict is about Simon’s desire to help his family, and he can’t do that without his friends. It was also great that the adults weren’t all absent from the story for the convenience of letting the kid save the day.
  • This is definitely a quick read since the writing flows well and there is plenty of action. I had no trouble getting through it without a pause ;-).

Weaknesses:

  • Some characters felt rather under-developed, particularly in their friendships with Simon. There were a couple of secondary characters that seemed like they should be important, but didn’t actually feel connected to the story if that makes sense.
  • There are a couple of spots where the logic of the plot doesn’t flow all that well. Nothing major, but it’s hard for me as an adult not to question how a course of events could really have worked a certain way.

Summary:

Simon Thorn and the Wolf’s Den is a fun start to a series featuring lots of animals to talk to and change into! Young readers who love animals will be crying for book two within the week, and young-at-heart readers have plenty to enjoy as well :).

Anya from On Starships and Dragonwings

Have you read this one? What did you think? Are you excited for it if you haven’t gotten to it yet?
– Anya

 

 Simon Thorn and the Wolf’s Den by Aimee Carter

© 2016 – 2015, Anya. All rights reserved.

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