(Simon Thorn #1)
by Aimee Carter
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Publication Date: February 2nd 2016
Publisher: Bloomsbury USA Childrens
Genre: Middle Grade | Fantasy
Source: For Review
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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.
This action-packed page-turner is perfect for fans of the Spirit Animals and The School of Good and Evil series. (Goodreads)
I am a huge fan of Aimee Carter's, and when I discovered Simon Thorn and the Wolf's Den was coming out this year, I knew I would have to check it out. I was a big fan of her Goddess Test & Blackcoat Rebellion series, and I was curious to see what she could do with a middle grade novel. This book was a really fun read!
Simon Thorn was an interesting main character. I envied him for his almost fearlessness at times, wanting to save everyone, even when it drove me a little crazy that he was sometimes rushing into danger, putting himself and everyone around him at risk as well. Typical teenage boy! It was hard not to sympathize with him for all that he had been through in his short life, especially when the people he loved the most kept such huge secrets from him all his life. But he was an interesting character, and I'm looking forward to watching him grow more throughout the series.
The storyline for the book was creative and very fast paced. There was really never a dull moment in this book. Something was always happening with Simon, or he was always getting into something, and I was speeding through the pages to find out what was going to happen next. I liked that the book sent out a message about bullying, and I think a lot of kids will be able to relate to Simon because of this. I also loved that he could talk to animals. There's not enough books in the world with talk/shape-shifting animals!
Overall; Simon Thorn and the Wolf's Den was a fun, action packed read that touched my heart in a lot of places. I'm really looking forward to continuing the series as it goes along, and I definitely plan to share the books with my son, who I think will really enjoy them as well.