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Troubletwisters (Playaway Children)

4.3 out of 5 stars 13 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Preloaded Digital Audio Player
  • Publisher: Brilliance Audio (1 Jun. 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1455824631
  • ISBN-13: 978-1455824632
  • Product Dimensions: 18.5 x 13.7 x 2.3 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (13 customer reviews)

More About the Author

Garth Nix was born in 1963 and grew up in Canberra, Australia. After taking his degree in professional writing from the University of Canberra, he worked in a bookshop and then moved to Sydney. There he sank lower into the morass of the publishing industry, steadily devolving from sales rep through publicist until in 1991 he became a senior editor with a major multinational publisher. After a period travelling in Eastern Europe, the Middle East and Asia in 1993, he left publishing to work as a marketing communications consultant . In 1999 he was lured back to the publishing world to become a part-time literary agent. He now lives in Sydney, a five-minute walk from Coogee Beach, with his wife Anna, son Thomas, and lots of books.

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Customer Reviews

4.3 out of 5 stars
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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
I read the book in two days, which tells you how good I think it is. I was lucky enough to see the authors speak at the Hay Festival last weekend - they summed up their book up as "Twins use Gifts to fight THE EVIL!"

That's exactly right. I wont' give any spoilers away here - simply to say that this is wonderful story of a pair of twins, on the cusp becoming teenagers, who find new abilities "Gifts", awakening in themselves, which they must learn to master in order to quell the evil force that threatens their town. And because the twins are just learning how to use their powers, they don't always get the results they want. They are helped along the way by their intriguing Grandma X (who knows a lot more than she's letting on) and also by two cats - Kleo and Ari (some enjoyable shades of Mogget from the Abhorsen trilogy here).

I loved the twins powers, which all come from nature and the environment around them and young readers will particularly love some of their gruesome battles with ants, cockroaches and rats!

The second book in the series has been finished so should be published soon and a third book is in the planning stage. That said, this story stands on its own and at the end I found myself looking forward to reading new stories about the twins.

Enjoy!
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Format: Paperback
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.
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2 Comments 8 of 8 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
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Format: Paperback
TroubleTwisters is an exciting fantasy adventure.

Jaide and Jack are twins. At the beginning of the story they are waiting for their dad to return home. He is late and they are worried. When he does finally arrive, the trouble begins because the twins accidently drop his suitcase and what they find inside sets in motion a chain reaction. They are about to have a most bizarre experience which literally bends walls. In the chaos of the magic, their father accidently destroys their house and so Jaide and Jack have to go and live with their unfamiliar Grandma. She is mysteriously known as Grandma X.

Jaide and Jack are not happy about the move. They think their Grandma is mighty strange and her house is equally unusual. Grandma X lives in the small town of Portland. But it isn't any Portland, you've ever seen before. The fantastical element of this story is the nature of what it means to be a TroubleTwister. It is a path fraught with danger and an otherworldly dark side.

This novel will definitely appeal to the tween market. In fact the concept may appeal to big kids everywhere. Who doesn't want to discover they have a secret heritage and a magical power? It is a universal theme about discovering your true identity and as a consequence having a huge responsibility upon your shoulders.

There is a lot of action in this story. Jack and Jaide must overcome obstacle after obstacle and they must also empower themselves with knowledge. I really liked the fact that they were unlocking the truth on their journey. They were not easily gifted it by other knowing characters.

Having said that, I do feel that this novel was weighted down by description. I felt particularly at the beginning the story didn't get moving quickly enough.
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Format: Paperback
Here's the thing with Garth Nix. There are more volumes in each of his series than are necessary. Take "Keys to the Kingdom". Because we have seven days in the week, we got seven volumes. A great first volume, full of really entertaining and creative angles, a novel plotline, and interesting characters. Then we got five more volumes that were more or less the same, with some plot advancement, and a little bit of development of some of the characters. Then we got a final , ("Sunday"), volume that wrapped everything up. A person could have read Monday, Thursday, Saturday and Sunday and have missed very little.

In the "Seventh Tower" series you get six books. Again, the first book is great; good, complex fantasy world, interesting plot, attractive protagonists, and well paced action. You can skip right to volume six, ("Violet Keystone"), and not miss anything important to the resolution of the story.

"Troubletwisters" seems to follow that pattern. The twin heroes have a good dynamic. Nix cuts out the sibling rivalry stuff before it gets too old. The parents are not lame, but actually are part of the story. Not to introduce any spoilers, but the gifts of the kids' and the good versus evil world they enter is finely imagined. The cat characters are a hoot.

The problem is that most of the book consists of people telling the kids that "the time is not yet right to answer your question". The kids start coming off as pretty clueless as their situation becomes increasingly obvious to the reader, while they wander around wondering what's going on.

This sounds like more severe criticism than it really is. This book is head and shoulders above most current "kids come into their surprising powers" stories.
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