“You wake upon the cold ground. As you struggle to rise, as your breath exhales like a ghost, you know only two things: You can’t remember who you are. And you’re being hunted.”
In addition to being a great summary of our starting point, the above quote from the book description gives a glimpse of the tense, foreboding atmosphere that permeates Sarah Diemer’s Twixt. Our nameless first person narrator has little time to register her strange, cold surroundings, the blood on her hands or the fear coursing through her before a young woman suddenly arrives and urges her to run. It’s almost night, and that means the Snatchers are coming…
Twixt was recommended to me by a friend and I didn’t know anything going in, and as that’s how I’d recommend experiencing it I won’t get into plot details. I will say it starts strong and builds wonderfully throughout. The writing style is tremendous and the atmosphere established downright chilling. The strange world our heroine finds herself in is fantastically imaginative and vividly realized. Even elements common to this genre are given a little slant of context that makes them feel new.
The story, characters and world all convey emotional impact throughout the book, perfectly capturing the appropriate “in over your head” feeling. I was a step ahead on figuring out some of the book’s mysteries, but other twists and turns were unexpected and they all fit logically and worked to support and enhance the story being told. The variety of characters presented also really adds to the narrative, as we are shown several different points of view on the state of life in Twixt. Encountering numerous attitudes and people ranging from deep to shallow and several shades in between also adds a great feeling of authenticity to the rather unusual setting and events.
While romantic elements obviously aren’t uncommon in any type of novel, I’ve read very few where the romance feels completely natural. Twixt manages this with a perfect touch, with it’s characters’ emotions easy to relate to and deftly related to the reader. I was tempted not to bring up one of the main pairings is between two young women, as one of the wonderful things here is that relationship being treated as perfectly normal and not requiring further mention or explanation, but it is something I’m sure some readers would rather know ahead of time and since the book description contains this information too I decided to mention it.
Speaking of the book description – it doesn’t really have spoilers but it does summarize a bit more than I personally would like and I’m kind of glad I didn’t read it before the book. If you haven’t seen it already I’d advise skipping it.
Twixt is easily one of the best paranormal stories I’ve read and can be appreciated well beyond it’s intended YA audience. Highly recommended.