Troubletwisters by Garth Nix and Sean Williams

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Troubletwisters by Garth Nix and Sean Williams

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Category: Teens
Rating: 4.5/5
Reviewer: Nigethan Sathiyalingam
Reviewed by Nigethan Sathiyalingam
Summary: An explosive introduction to a richly realised fantasy series by a pair of accomplished writers, flavoured with plenty of flair to distinguish it from generic fantasy. Recommended.
Buy? Yes Borrow? Yes
Pages: 320 Date: June 2011
Publisher: Egmont
ISBN: 978-1405258579

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Jack and Jaide Shield, twins, are living perfectly normal lives until a brief visit from their elusive father sparks an unexplainable, chaotic, reality-bending storm that destroys their home and introduces them to the mysterious world of the Wardens, a group gifted with diverse powers, and their perpetual struggle against a force known only as The Evil. As young Wardens, or Troubletwisters, just growing into their Gifts, the pair struggle to make sense of the chaos that surrounds them and discover the true nature of their heritage.

After the freak incident that destroyed their home, the twins are forced to stay at the isolated home of the enigmatic Grandma X. Unable to find answers to the odd happenings at the mysterious house of their Grandmother, they soon become suspicious of the seemingly eccentric Grandma X, but their decision to run away from the house only leads to them to further chaos and danger. Throughout, the authors play their cards close to their chests, revealing details about their fantasy world at a slow trickle, and the curiosity that the twins feel will be shared by readers creating suspense and anticipation. Furthermore, the plotting is dense with plenty of twists and the isolated nature of their location makes the atmosphere all the more tense.

I particularly admired the richness of characters created by the authors. Jack and Jaide form convincing, genuinely likeable protagonists who display a real growth in maturity by the conclusion; the authors have also been careful to restrain from over-emphasising Jack and Jaide's connection as twins, helping to avoid any cliché or soppiness. The individual voices of the siblings are simultaneously integrated seamlessly into the narrative rather than slowing down the pace of the story. Grandma X cuts an impressive figure and her anti-thesis in The Evil which, despite a slightly unimaginative name, is an intimidating force that exudes corruption through its sly words to Jack and the way in which it takes over the minds of multitudes of creatures bending them into menacing figures bent on capturing the Troubletwisters. Ari and Kleo, Grandma X's cats, are also voiced stylistically, and their banter with the twins helps to provide little flashes of humour to diffuse tension between the higher octane action-oriented scenes.

The pace of events does not let up during the latter third of the story as the twins start bravely experimenting with their Gifts in order to help combat The Evil's vast malevolent hordes of minions. Tension is built up relentlessly through the expert narrative, leading to a storming climax, followed by a brief denouement that provokes as many new mysteries as questions it answers. I never say no to powers and loved the subtle way in which the fascinating individual Gifts of the twins are gradually developed into awesome abilities that help fuel their resistance against the Evil.

Although the actions scenes are very well written and engaging, I did take slight issue with the way in which the twins conveniently escaped any damage other than minor scratches despite multiple conflicts with hordes of surprisingly gruesome rodents, birds and insects. Nevertheless, this was a minor quibble, and one that did not dampen my thorough enjoyment of the novel. This is a series I will definitely be looking out for.

I'd like to thank the publishers for sending a copy to The Bookbag.

Fans of high octane action and stylishly realised fantasy will love the Charlie Bone series by Jenny Nimmo, the conclusion to which is reviewed here at The Bookbag, as well as the hilarious Skulduggery Pleasant by Derek Landy.

Buy Troubletwisters by Garth Nix and Sean Williams at Amazon You can read more book reviews or buy Troubletwisters by Garth Nix and Sean Williams at Amazon.co.uk


Buy Troubletwisters by Garth Nix and Sean Williams at Amazon You can read more book reviews or buy Troubletwisters by Garth Nix and Sean Williams at Amazon.com.

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