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THE MONSTER by Garth Nix


From the Troubletwisters series, volume 2

by Garth Nix & Sean Williams

Age Range: 8 - 12

Pub Date: June 1st, 2012
ISBN: 978-0-545-25898-2
Publisher: Scholastic

Beginning where Troubletwisters (2011) left off, twins Jaide and Jack Shield struggle to harness their magical powers while tracking a rat-regurgitating monster and battling dark forces.

Staying with Grandma X, the twins have joined the Wardens, a worldwide group of guardians against The Evil, and are studying ways to control and understand their magic. Their powers are unwieldy and continue to flummox Jack and Jaide. The twins forge a new friendship with Tara as the town begins to buzz with rumors of a roaming monster. Grandma X has started acting strangely, and something foul is afoot at the old sawmill. The twins are determined to find this monster, but there are so many intricately tangled secrets that they often become sidetracked. Pace rules, as event piles on event. The intensity and bizarreness ramp up when insects flock to Jack and a clowder of cats becomes possessed. The climax involves an awesome spectacle of powerful forces, as The Evil, preying on the twins’ still-malleable souls, strives to take advantage of their self-doubts and possess their gifts. As good and wicked battle, Jack and Jaide come to understand that knowing themselves is their wellspring of power, wisdom that will no doubt come in handy in the next installment.

This gripping fantasy for the middle-grade set delivers magic and delightful dollops of ick. (Urban fantasy. 8-12)