The Bitter Twins by Jen Williams

Following on from my assorted ravings of how good The Ninth Rain was, Jen Williams does an amazing job with The Bitter Twins. There is so much going on in this book and it was all absolutely Earth-shatteringly amazing. Be warned, I’m avoiding spoilers in this review so some parts might be a little bit vague.

Jen Williams is a master at creating conflicts and it makes everything feel real. Characters have their disagreements and actually act like real people. Everything isn’t always peaches and cream, and things actually have consequences.

First off, Jen Williams has amazing characters. They come from a diverse set of backgrounds, ages, races, and are all very different. They have their quirks, ups and downs, battles, romances, challenges, and pretty much everything you want to see in a well-developed character.

Much like The Ninth Rain, The Bitter Twins is a marvellous combination of fantasy and sci-fi, with a dash of horror thrown in at times. Aliens and magic blended together into one really interesting worlds. Dangerous “Wild touched” areas where animals have been mutated to become far more vicious allows Williams to play around with standard animals and turn them into something terrifying. The effects of magic and aliens are quite evident across the landscape and it isn’t always the amazing things you’d expect to come from magic. Having said that, Williams also creates some truly awesome things too and shows how magic can enhance things in both positive and negative ways.

Once again, there is a strong theme of exploration and discovery in this book. Characters are put through challenges and discover lots about themselves they never knew. Long buried histories are investigated in much more detail than ever before. It’s really quite interesting to see the characters searching through the history of the world and working out how to use that information as a way to help themselves in the present and future.

Much like The Ninth Rain, I really enjoyed The Bitter Twins and how it built on what Williams established in the first books. Multitudes of questions from the first book are answered and many more appear to take their place. There’s so much to love in these books, and I can’t wait for the finale next year. Would highly recommend to people who enjoy:

  • Interesting characters
  • Fantastic world building
  • Aliens in fantasy
  • Interesting magic
  • Female MCs
  • Strong female characters
  • Non-human MCs
  • LGBT Characters

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