Twin Spirit is a rather delightful read with plenty of adventure, excitement, great fun characters and rather touching moments. I'd categorize this as paranormal sci-fantasy/portal fantasy with a touch of steampunk, geared at an older grade school to teen audience, but with plenty for grown-ups like me to enjoy. (Okay, I may not be "grown-up," so let's just say older, how's that?)
Without giving too much away, Twin Spirits is about a young girl who discovers she can see and speak to the spirit of her conjoined twin who died at birth and was separated. The two of them proceed through a magic door in a tree and set off on a mission to find the ghost of their mother in a truly bizarre and innovative dimension of the "afterlife." Along the way they are harried by nasty beasties every bit as terrifying as the dementors in Harry Potter, meet some allies, some quite bizarre and loony, but all fun and sincere, and run up against more terrible baddies.
At first, Twin Spirit reminded me of the scary kid's books I read as a youth, but the further I got along, the more it felt like H.G Wells meets Alice in Wonderland, and directed by the Terry Gilliam of Time Bandits. The story is set after World War II, and issues of childhood trauma and loss are dealt with. From these, I also got a sense of The Lion, the Witch, and The Wardrobe as well as A Wrinkle in Time--and all in a good way.
This book is nicely written and uses flashbacks of sorts to give us background on many of the main characters, including how they lived and how they ended up dead, which I found quite interesting. The structure felt a little loose in parts, but never enough to keep me from wanting to continue as fast as possible.
Heartwarming and sweet in some places, harrowing in others, I enjoyed it all the way through. You just might too.