November 27, 2015

Review of Troubletwisters by Garth Nix

Release Date: May 1, 2011
Publisher: Scholastic Press
Page Count: 304
Format: Paperback
Genre: MG
Jaide and Jack Shield's lives are changing in a very, very strange way. The weather is turning against them. Magical disasters occur when they're around. And a mysterious explosion has just destroyed their house...from the inside.
Without knowing why, the twins are stolen away to live with Grandma X -- a relative they've never, ever met. At Grandma X's house, things are even stranger. Weather vanes point in the opposite direction of the wind. Doors appear and disappear. Cats talk.
Jaide and Jack don't know the reason behind all this strangeness. They don't know that they're troubletwisters, and that they must defend the world against a dark, evil force. The time has come for them to discover the truth--and the powers that come with the truth.

It's not typical for me to read MG (although I've read and reviewed a few in the past) and so picking up Troubletwisters was a risk as there was a good chance it would end up disappointing me. While I didn't exactly have the highest expectations for this book it turned out to be on the outer edges of OK with mediocre to average writing and characters.

Troubletwisters starts off with a "prologue" of sorts with instant action happening within the first pages of the book. Normally this would be a positive benefit to the book but in this instance it felt too rushed and happened before I could comfortably get into the book itself. The events moved too quickly and the settings and continuation of the plot felt the same way. Continuing this negative trend was that the whole premise of the book had elements that were largely similar to a plethora of the other MG books out there. Either its orphans, missing parents, boarding schools, or in this instance being sent away to live with another relative for a while (the Fablehaven books are prime examples of this type). Additionally another thing that turned me off was the whole "destiny" thing where the protagonist has some kind of hidden destiny or power (which is what exactly happened in Troubletwisters). The characters slightly made up with OK writing although they weren't nearly as sophisticated as the characters I've become used to in YA. Maybe it's because I've been reading YA for so long but this attempt at a MG just felt sub-par and unsatisfactory for me. Someone who regularly reads MG might enjoy Troubletwisters but to YA readers I would not recommend this book at all.

3/5 - OK book

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