My daughter, who has just turned 10, eagerly awaited this book, and I equally eagerly awaited my turn with it. We have both read our way through all Garth Nix's books. Here is a writer who never lacks for imagination and writes some superb stories. My dauhter finished the book in a couple fo days and then it was my turn.
Imagine two ordinary suburban twins, in an ordinary suburban house - until their father returns home one day and accidentally blows up the house. A mysterious grandmother sends the twins a card saying the cats are restless, so she expects to see her trobletwisters soon, and indeed before you know it, the pair are swept up into an adventure of good versus evil, and discovery of their own mystical and magical powers.
This book has all the elements of a perfect story for children, young adults and all older oladults who have not forgotten how to enjoy a good story.
it is perhaps not that original (strangely for Garth Nix, whose orginality is usually his defining characteristic). Maybe this is the influence of Sean Williams - but that is impossible to know. The lack of orginality is not a huge problem. It is just this is one book in a strong field that has such classics as "The Dark is Rising" sequence, all the way through to the less memorable, but still fun, "Wind Tamer".
I cannot in good conscience give the book five stars. I love Garth Nix's work, but this one was not one of my favourites of his. Again, maybe the collaboration affected it. I have not read any Sean Williams books before, but this one just did not captivate me. I liked it well enough, I just cannot say it was one of my best reads of the year.
My daughter also loved it, but again it was not a book that had her buzzing like some of Nix's other works did. If you like Garth Nix, I think you will enjoy this book. If you have read nothing of his, I would suggest younger readers start with Mister Monday, and older ones with Sabriel instead.
If kids with special powers fighting evil is your kind of book though, this is an enjoyable one.