Genre: Fantasy, YA
Ellie and Savannah Senka have been raised in separate foster homes, never knowing that they are twins and the offspring of a powerful magician. When their own powers begin to manifest, they miraculously find each other and begin a journey to discover their purpose. When they find themselves drawn to a mysterious mansion, they end up in a different world entirely. This world is full of magic and curiosities beyond their imagination, and they are the long-awaited solution–the twins who will reset the balance of the magical world. They have a lot to learn, and only a little time to learn it in if they wish to thwart the evil threatening to take over their world.
At it’s heart, The Mansion’s Twins is a sweet, wholesome story about a set of twins who basically live out the weird fantasies all kids have at some point. Finding an identical twin, realizing you have magical power, living in a magical house with all manner of magical secrets… All the details are the sort of things kids love to dream about.
The main story of Ellie and Savannah is pretty good. The style of the book is very imaginative and whimsical, and particularly the tests they face as they set off to the heart of the magic world to reset the balance. I was pretty impressed by the originality in general.
The main part of the book really could use some editing though, and some serious proof-reading. The story has so many subplots and different characters running around that it’s difficult to remember them all, let alone try to relate what they are doing to the context of the main plot. Throughout the book, the viewpoints change with reckless abandon. One page we’ll be following Ellie and Savannah through the innermost workings of the mansion, and then in the next paragraph we’ll suddenly be following some obscure happening back at the main part of the mansion.
The proof-reading is kind of a minor detail, but it really affects the overall readability of the book. I try to be openminded about it, because I certainly know the struggle, but there were quite a lot of typos, grammar issues, and poor sentence structure. It just needs to be fixed. It’s the sort of thing that could be completely remedied by a careful read-through and editing session.
As it is, I really felt myself lagging through the middle and towards the end. I wanted to figure out what happened to Savannah and Ellie, and I was really curious about their quest, but it seemed like the story was more focused on the cool inventions and ended up bogged down in details.
Still, there were good things about this book. The relationship between the sisters was really special, and it’s not very common to find stories that focus so much on the great relationships that can exist between siblings. I think this book would really appeal to younger teenage girls, probably between the ages of 11 and 14. Plus, it’s available for free through the Kindle Unlimited service on Amazon!
Overall, I liked it: 3 out of 5 stars