Publisher's Note:  

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.

Are they ready?


by Garth Nix & Sean Williams

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Overall Review:  

This is a story of good verses evil.  Two of the main characters, who are preteens, are coming of age and realizing their powers; yet while learning to harness them, there are many comical and lighthearted moments.  The preteens are good-hearted but go through a time of internal struggle and realize that although evil looks enticing, in the end, it causes pain and grief. 

Two of the main adults in the story are basically witches, although they are not called that in the novel.  One has two cats who are "familiars."  They do the bidding of the character who owns them, yet, in the end, they still have cat attitudes.  Magic is employed throughout the book and an unseen evil character is fighting for dominance. 

The story struggles to get moving until about half-way through when it finally takes off.  Although, beware, the authors seem to have a love of bugs, cockroaches, and rats.  They write in a way that, although there are many battles between good and evil, they are mindful of the age of potential readers.  Overall, the book was easy to read with language that would be comfortable for a middle grade reader.  The characters are interesting and likable and they grow as the book progresses.

Content Analysis:  

Profanity/Language:  None 

Violence/Gore:  Building destroyed by unknown phenomena almost harming 2 preteens, several pages; trusted adult seems to hypnotize 2 preteens several times, multiple pages; 2 preteens attacked multiple times by a variety of bugs, multiple pages, gross but not harmful; sister slaps brother; freaky masks; pre-teen boy is buried underground but survives; preteen boy is bitten by ants; dead rats talk because they are inhabited by an evil power; preteen boy races away from rats and bugs chasing him, freaky and gross; preteen boy's finger scratched by teeth of an animal, drop of blood mentioned; preteen girl's finger bitten by teeth of an animal, blood mentioned; preteen boy uses a flame thrower on rats and bugs, mention of stuff burning but no gory details; a vision of cats being torn apart, no details.

Sex/Nudity:  None

Mature Subject Matter:  

Natural disasters, magic, evil.

Alcohol / Drug Use:  


Reviewed By Beth
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