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Mariah Mundi and the Ghost Diamonds

G.P. Taylor

The second book in the Mariah Mundi trilogy, packed with heart-pounding adventure and clever plot-twists from the bestselling author of Shadowmancer.


‘When Harry Potter hangs up his wizard’s cloak, booksellers will be looking to G P Taylor’s Mariah Mundi: The Midas Box, to keep the cash tills ringing.’ BBC News

‘Still mourning Harry Potter? GP Taylor will take you right back to a world of fantasy -magic and fun. Fast paced adventure without a moment to lose – the ideas and imagery are unmatched by any other writer – Mariah Mundi will rival Lemony Snicket…’ New York Times

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There is never a dull moment for Mariah Mundi living in the Prince Regent Hotel. But catastrophe strikes when three eminent visitors spontaneously combust at a hotel party. Just a freak of nature or a cleverly plotted murder?

When hotel owner Captain Charity is arrested on suspicion of murder, Mariah Mundi and his friend Sacha must find the truth urgently to save both the Captain and the hotel. Could the answer lie in the mythical Ghost Diamonds?

Critic Reviews

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.

Jill Murphy, Bookbag
Critic Reviews

The second part of a trilogy, set in a Victorian-like world and full of moral values, red herrings and thrilling scrapes, it's a complex tale for older readers, but fans of Potter or Pullman will be gripped by.

Primary Times
Critic Reviews

The second book in the Mariah Mundi trilogy, The Ghost Diamonds , once again plunges the reader into the dark fantasy world of an alternative Victorian Whitby. Here, steam power drives advanced machinery; a clawing haar fog shrouds the night in hidden dangers; and the Bureau of Antiquities fights to keep powerful artefacts out of the hands of mysterious foes.
As in many of G. P. Taylor's books, the powers of good, truth and light must struggle against the almost overwhelming forces of darkness, although this time the enemy is less supernatural, and owes less to C. S. Lewis than to John Buchan or Arthur Conan Doyle. I did find the opening of the book rather slow and confusing. The prose felt dense and overdone in places, the tone was disturbing and melancholic, and the references to the previous book somewhat alienated the uninitiated.
However, I was pleasantly surprised as the story got going and I found myself increasingly drawn into an intriguing and fast-paced mystery adventure. Taylor expertly weaves a web of dark secrets and hidden agendas, with Mariah battling to uncover and outwit 'the power behind the power' a shadowy force with agents everywhere. There are few wasted references; small details early in the book take on new significance as the story unfolds and the threads come together in an exciting denouement. The action is almost breathless at times, as Mariah is chased from one deadly encounter to the next: attacked by a giant octopus, pursued by a fiendish assassin, hunted by the supposed forces of law and order.
With a Dickensian exuberance, Taylor populates his world with a host of grotesque characters: the bitter and curiously elongated Inspector Walpole; the narcoleptic Mrs Mukluk; the villainous duo Grendel and Grimm; the enigmatic aquarium owner, Titus Salt, whose deceptive appearance and prophetic visions may just save Mariah's life. Much less developed, however, is Mariah himself. I was never quite convinced by his inner life and found he lacked sympathy at times.
This book would make a challenging but engaging read for mystery adventure lovers in upper KS2 and beyond. However, I would recommend that the books be read in sequence, as Taylor clearly has an overarching scheme which deserves following from beginning to end. I eagerly await the final instalment!


G. P. Taylor is the author of several best-selling novels, including Shadowmancer, Shadowmancer: The Curse of Salamander Street, Wormwood and Tersias, as well as the Mariah Mundi trilogy. A former vicar of Cloughton in Yorkshire, he has enjoyed a varied career, moving from rock music to social work to ten years in the police force before his ordination. He now…

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