Mariah Mundi and the Ghost Diamonds by G P Taylor
|Mariah Mundi and the Ghost Diamonds by G P Taylor|
|Reviewer: Jill Murphy|
|Summary: More fantastical adventuring from the orphan of the Prince Regent Hotel. Fiendishly complicated plotting but great atmosphere and a very winning central character.|
|Buy? Yes||Borrow? Yes|
|Pages: 336||Date: June 2009|
Mariah Mundi hasn't quite recovered from his earlier adventure with the gruesomely wicked Otto Luger and the Midas Box. The tip of his finger is still solid gold, and the transformation is creeping slowly towards his knuckle. It would be nice if he had time to worry about it, but when three eminent guests at the Prince Regent Hotel spontaneously combust, and Jack Charity is accused, events rather take over.
Freak of nature or cleverly plotted murder? I think you can guess which. With Sacha behaving oddly and no one from the Bureau of Antiquities on hand, Mariah is pretty much on his own in solving this particular mystery. Who is the masked man roaming the streets? What hold does the dwarf Lucius have over the world's richest man? Is Titus Salt friend or foe? And where are the Ghost Diamonds?
This trilogy falls somewhere between Potter and Pullman. It's pacy and full of adventure like Potter - I certainly raced through its pages, falling for every red herring along the way, as is my wont. It's also full of Victorian atmosphere - very much like Pullman. Behind it all, though, there's a much more traditional feel to it all. Mariah's world is a very moral one, with lots of references to honourable "British" Christian values of courage and sacrifice, as exemplified by Jack Charity. Taylor, a former vicar, is unashamed by this - he's spoken of his concerns that the Potters and Buffys may promote the occult and he doesn't think it's a good thing at all.
The baddies are bad. The goodies are tempted, sometimes stray from the path, and usually repent. Utterly faithless myself, I actually like this message. We all make mistakes, but we can always put them right - if we choose to.
The writing is quite dense and it's very atmospheric. The cast of characters is huge, and everyone is three-dimensional. The plotting is complex, with red herrings a-go go. This certainly makes Ghost Diamonds a book of quality and one that could be read over and over again, offering something new each time, but it does make me remove half a Bookbag star for accessibility. I did that for the first one too. For those who'll get into it though, it comes highly recommended.
My thanks to the nice people at Faber for sending the book.
You can read more book reviews or buy Mariah Mundi and the Ghost Diamonds by G P Taylor at Amazon.co.uk.
You can read more book reviews or buy Mariah Mundi and the Ghost Diamonds by G P Taylor at Amazon.com.
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Stefan Bachmann said:
Spontaneous combustion! Oh, that is too funny. I read this book a little while ago and totally agree with the review. G. P. Taylor's plots tend to wander all over the place and yet somehow they still manage to be completely gripping and exciting.