Author: Aimee Carter
Publication date: February 2, 2016
Source/format: ARC from BEA 2015
Synopsis (from Goodreads.com):
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.
M Y T H O U G H T S
Simon Thorn and the Wolf's Den is definitely a must read for those who like the Percy Jackson and the Olympians series and Animorphs. Although very similar to Percy Jackson, Simon Thorn and the Wolf's Den is its own identity. With people talking to animals and people being able to shape shift into animals, readers are in for a fun ride. Simon never knew about his family's secrets. His uncle has always warned him to stay away from animals and Central Park because of the secrets that the family is harboring. Isn't it strange that Simon's mom is a zoologist and Simon can talk to animals? It all makes sense when Simon is thrown into this Animalgam world. However, Simon has no idea what he is in for.
Simon needs to rescue his mother and to do so, he must embrace his family heritage. Aimee Carter does an excellent job with tapping into topics about finding yourself, friendship, family and etc. Although the world building is strong in the novel, I would like to see more character development. Also, Simon Thorn and the Wolf's Den is very predictable and I expected more twists and turns. Because the novel is the first in the series, I assume readers will see more character development and more twists in future installments of the Simon Thorn series.