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Troubletwisters: Book 1 Hardcover – May 1, 2011

61 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews


Praise for the Troubletwisters series

"[An] enjoyable romp." — Publishers Weekly

"Full of adventure and the unexpected, the first book in Nix and Williams's new series is delightfully twisted. The pacing is perfect, the setting is eerily dark, the faceless Evil rings true, and the resolution is satisfying." —Booklist

"This gripping fantasy for the middle-grade set delivers magic and delightful dollops of ick." —Kirkus Reviews

About the Author

Garth Nix is the New York Times best-selling author of the Seventh Tower series, as well as the acclaimed novels SABRIEL, LIRAEL, and ABHORSEN. He lives in Sydney, Australia, with his wife and children.

New York Times-bestselling author Sean Williams lives in Adelaide, South Australia. He is the author of over sixty published short stories and twenty-two novels, and has written several novels in the Star Wars universe.

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Product Details

  • Age Range: 8 - 12 years
  • Grade Level: 3 - 7
  • Series: Troubletwisters (Book 1)
  • Hardcover: 304 pages
  • Publisher: Scholastic Press; First Edition edition (May 1, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 9780545258975
  • ISBN-13: 978-0545258975
  • ASIN: 0545258979
  • Product Dimensions: 1.2 x 6.2 x 8.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (61 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,270,844 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Garth Nix has worked as a bookseller, book sales representative, publicist, editor, marketing consultant and literary agent. He also spent five years as a part-time soldier in the Australian Army Reserve. A full-time writer since 2001, more than five million copies of his books have been sold around the world and his work has been translated into 40 languages. Garth's books have appeared on the bestseller lists of The New York Times, Publishers Weekly (US), The Bookseller(UK), The Australian and The Sunday Times (UK). He lives in Sydney, Australia, with his wife and two children.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By L. Horn on February 3, 2012
Format: Hardcover
My 10-year-old daughter thought this book looked and sounded great, so we bought it. Ugh. No good at all--the book just spun its wheels and went nowhere, even though bizarre stuff was happening all around these characters. (Both main characters seemed a bit slow on the uptake if you ask me).

We finally quit without finishing it about 1/2 way through (something we virtually NEVER do) and went on to read something else. Didn't find it worth our time to continue waiting for the story line to pick up. Sorry, but if you haven't hooked me by the half-way point, you haven't done your job as an author.

I'm in charge of an elementary school library, so I've read a LOT of juvenile/young adult books, both good and bad, so that I can try to match kids up with books that would interest them. I would definitely rank this with the "bad" and not recommend it to anyone.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By EA Solinas HALL OF FAMETOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on April 21, 2012
Format: Paperback
This book is a collaboration between two of Australia's best-known authors -- Garth Nix, author of the brilliant Old Kingdom trilogy and Seven Keys series, and Sean Williams, a sci-fi/fantasy author who has written a bunch of Star Wars books.

So with that pedigree, you would expect "Troubletwisters" to be a heckuva fantasy novel, younger readers or no. However, it's merely "good," not "excellent" -- Nix and Williams spin up some truly evocative, sometimes horrifying fantastical situations, and have lovely prose. But the good vs. evil conflict feels kind of simplistic.

After a bizarre incident destroys their house, twins Jaide and Jack are left at their Grandmother X's house, in a small seaside village. The twins soon realize that there's something strange about this place, with doors no one can see and cats that talk -- but then even stranger things happen, with hordes of insects attacking them for no reason.

Eventually, their grandmother has to explain what is going on -- it turns out that an ancient, nameless Evil is trying to devour everything in our world, and her town is one of the places where it can break through. Now the twins must call on their own burgeoning "troubletwister" powers, or risk losing everything...

"Troubletwisters" suffers from being rather... typical. The plot is your basic "kids go to a strange place and discover they have special powers to stop the Forces of Evil" storyline, and both the Evil and the good guys are rather vaguely outlined. So for the first hundred-or-so pages, it feels like we've been here before.

But the plot and writing really take off once the Evil's nature is revealed, and the pedestrian concept blossoms into a fantasy thriller.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Pop Bop TOP 500 REVIEWER on August 8, 2011
Format: Hardcover
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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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Rabid Reader on June 29, 2012
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I usually love anything Garth Nix, and I expected, at worst, to LIKE a half-breed of his. Not so. I seem to be running into this a lot, but it felt like another lukewarm fanfiction dressed up as original fiction. Ugh, what is with this trend!? If I wanted to read Old Kingdom fanfics, I'd go read them for free on the internet, not pay for a hardback copy of it. I know that Garth Nix is Garth Nix, but I felt like this was just a mishmash of his other characters in a mishmash of his other settings without much original content to hook me in.

I got bored with this about 1/3 through, hung on to the halfwayish point and I'll be honest, I won't waste more time on this. It's lousy, it's not worth it to finish. I'd rather go on and read something else.
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