Troubletwisters: Garth Nix and Sean Williams' action-packed new kids' fantasy

Troubletwisters is the first volume in a collaborative series from Australian YA superstars Garth Nix and Sean Williams, and it's as marvellous as its pedigree suggests.

The titular troubletwisters are a pair of adolescent twins who find themselves moving from their family home the city to the remote town of Portland, where they are to live with their mysterious Grandma X. On arrival, young Jaide and Jack quickly discover that their father's family isn't quite like any other, and that the stern and weird Grandma X may or may not be looking out for their best interests. There's magic afoot, and it's the wild, untamed magic that threatens to devour them.

From what Jack and Jaide can gather, their family expects them to come into some powers of their own, through a series of tests and trials, but they can't be sure whether the tribulations they face while exploring Portland are trials set by their grandmother or attacks from some force working against them (and Grandma X isn't saying, but it's pretty clear that she's not being entirely forthright with them -- would clouds of cockroaches really swarm the twins and nearly drag them to the ground just because they'd used some kind of perfumed soap?).

Though the device of young magicians coming into their powers is a timeworn one, Nix and Williams are the kind of clever, fleet-of-foot YA writers who can make it really dance. The story kept me guessing right up to the end, and the progression of imaginative gross and grisly confrontations between the twins and their magical enemies are sure to delight and fascinate both older and younger readers.

And though the story does arrive at a conclusion, it's also clearly not the end of Jaide and Jack's tale: it's a damned promising start to a great new series.

Troubletwisters (Amazon US)

Troubletwisters (Amazon UK)


  1. If I was sent to live with someone name “Grandma X” I’m pretty sure I’d suspect something weird was going on.

  2. Does the story take place in Alabama or Georgia?

    Oh, and recaptcha has stopped working for Firefox on two pcs.

    1. It’d be the Portland in the western part of Victoria, which is a pretty staid part of the world.

    1. Those books are easily the best stuff he’s written. I encourage EVERYONE to read Sabriel if they get the chance. He’s also writing a prequel to the series due in 2013.

  3. Sean’s written some novels with Shane Dix, and now Garth Nix.

    Any authors with a name ending in “ix” who’s looking for a collaborator? I think I know someone…

  4. awesome, love Nix’s previous work. spent most of my childhood constantly awaiting the next book in his ‘keys to the kingdom’ series and was not at all disappointed with the final book that came out last year. and for the older readers, the Old Kingdom trilogy is amazing!

  5. I read this because you suggested it. I couldn’t put it down! If anyone is a Harry Potter fan and misses the series, they should read this. It’s action packed, and very well written.

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