Y’all, Garth Nix knows how to write a prologue, or at least I’m going to assume Nix wrote the prologue, but hey, it could have been Sean Williams. Anyways, with middle graders, you have to hook them and reel them in. Troubletwisters definitely begins with a bang-literally. Jaide and Jack Shields are twins. (Sidebar: I think twins are a trend in MG SFF) Their dad is about to return from a business trip and they are watching. With excitement, they bring his bag upstairs, touch a metal rod and all hell breaks loose with these white eyes leading to the twins being sent to live with Grandma X -an estranged mysterious relative.
You see, Jaide and Jack aren’t ordinary twins. They are troubletwisters, meaning they have Gifts, but don’t have full control over them. AND AND AND the Evil wants them. Troubletwisters is creepy, funny and warm at turns -but never slow. There is so much action, and mythology, and worldbuilding that there is nary a moment to sigh in boredom while reading. Also, the side characters – the cats and Grandma X ROCK. Seriously, Grandma X brews a mean hot chocolate.
Troubletwisters definitely has what I would consider to be girl AND boy appeal. There’s adventure! There are characters of both genders in main roles. Both play active roles. Both are strong and equal. Jaide, the girl character, is not relegated to traditional gender roles. I love that. Each is brave and admirable. There’s none of that ew gross girls, or ew gross boys crap.
The writing style of Garth Nix and Sean Williams is very action oriented, but a bit more detailed than your James Pattersons and ‘Pittacus Lores’. Yet, I never felt that Troubletwisters get bogged down or overly wordy. I couldn’t differentiate between the two authors writing, so the book flows very seamlessly. No awkward breaks or bizarre writing shifts.
I liked Troubletwisters. I’m starting to thing that I need to read everything Garth Nix has ever written, because seriously his books are legit and full of winning.
Disclosure: I supported my public library and borrowed Troubletwisters from it.
Troubletwisters is a CYBILS nominee.