Through the Looking Glass Children's Book Reviews

Troubletwisters Audio

Troubletwisters Audio

Garth Nix, Sean Williams
For ages 9 to 12
Unabridged audiobook (CD)
Performed/read by: Miriam Margolyes
Brilliance Audio , 2011   ISBN: 978-1455808502

Jack and Jaide Shields’ lives start to become strange when they got a letter from a woman calling herself Grandma X. They have never head of a Grandma X and their mother tells the twins to forget that they ever saw the letter. When their father gets home from a trip the twins, as per usual, carry his suitcase up to his bedroom. Usually the suitcase contains presents for the twins, hence their interest in getting it upstairs. This time the suitcase breaks apart when they get it to their father’s room. A metal rod falls out of the suitcase and when Jaide picks the rod up, terrifying things start happen. Jaide cannot led the rod go and horrible eyes appear all around the children and a terrible voice shouts at them. Alarmed when he hears the children screaming, Hector Shields comes running to their aid. He manages to free them from the rod and gets them out of the house. Then, with Hector inside it, the house blows up.

   Hector, who is thankfully not seriously injured, leaves soon after the explosion. His wife and children, having nowhere else to go, drive to Portland to stay with Hector’s mother, who turns out to be none other than Grandma X. They aren’t there long before the twins’ mother has to go to work, and Jack and Jaide are left in their grandmother’s care. She is a rather strange old woman and they are not sure what to think of her. Things get stranger and stranger with every passing hour. A man is blown by a kind of mini tornado up to Grandma’s house, a basement door seems to appear and disappear, and then swarms of insects attack the children for no apparent reason. Then Jack finds out that he can understand what Ari, Grandma’s cat, is saying. Matters really come to a head when they see Grandma X doing magic. In the dead of night she goes up on the widow’s walk of her house and she commands a horde of rats, which are all around the house, to go away. There is no doubt in Jaide and Jack’s minds that Grandma X is some kind of witch.

   In the morning, frightened by what they saw, the twins decide to run away, and they barely leave the house when they encounter what looks like a person and then Jack disappears into a hole in the ground. Thankfully Grandma X arrives on the scene and Jaide finds out that Grandma X is not the one they have to fear. A being called The Evil is the enemy, and it is eager to get its hands on the twins. They are troubletwisters, children who are born with magical Gifts. When these Gifts first manifest themselves, troubletwisters have very little control over them and they often cause all kinds of chaos (such as blowing up houses) which is why they are given the name troubletwisters. With help they can learn how to control their gifts, and they become Wardens, magical people who fight against The Evil. Grandma X and their father are Wardens, and one day the twins will become Wardens as well. If they live long enough. The Evil is determined to claim them and their powers for itself. 

   In this extraordinary audiobook we meet two seemingly ordinary children who are not, in fact, ordinary at all. They have magical abilities that have the potential to be very powerful, but they do not know how to control said powers, which makes them rather like a pair of loose cannons.

   Listeners will quickly get caught up by the adventures the twins have, and they will begin to wonder how on earth Jaiden and Jack are going to protect themselves from The Evil.