Mariah Mundi: The Midas Box

Overview

A new spine-tingling adventure by the author of Shadowmancer

The Prince Regent is no ordinary hotel—powered entirely by steam, run by an eccentric inventor who doesn’t believe in sleep, it’s a place full of shadowy characters and dangerous secrets. Mariah has just started working there as a magician’s assistant, and when he and his coworker Sacha unwittingly learn more than they were meant to know, they suddenly find themselves pawns in an evil plot so full of twists and turns ...

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Overview

A new spine-tingling adventure by the author of Shadowmancer

The Prince Regent is no ordinary hotel—powered entirely by steam, run by an eccentric inventor who doesn’t believe in sleep, it’s a place full of shadowy characters and dangerous secrets. Mariah has just started working there as a magician’s assistant, and when he and his coworker Sacha unwittingly learn more than they were meant to know, they suddenly find themselves pawns in an evil plot so full of twists and turns that even the labyrinth of hidden tunnels and caverns beneath the hotel can’t contain it.

As they struggle to unravel the mystery and stay alive in the process, encountering secret rooms, enchanted objects and vicious mythical creatures, they question whom to trust. All the adults—even the ones offering help—seem to be hiding something. After all, Mariah only got his job because his predecessor vanished one night—and, as Mariah is fast realizing, not all magic tricks are illusions.

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Editorial Reviews

KLIATT - Cara Chancellor
The Sudan is where Mariah's parents were captured and supposedly killed, and the Sudan is where the man sitting in Mariah's train seat just came from. On his way to his first job at the coastal Prince Regent hotel, 15-year-old Mariah supposes he will have to get used to life's little oddities. He's right, but the mythology, murder, and mystery that await him at the hotel are hardly "little." After learning that every boy who previously held his post disappeared, Mariah begins a detective quest that leads him through steam tunnels, kraken lairs, tidal caves, and straight into a world of deadly magical devices and even deadlier people who seek them. The Midas Box bears a striking resemblance to Susan Cooper's The Dark is Rising series—albeit shorter, younger, and without the Arthurian influence—and will appeal to much the same broad audience. Mariah's hunt for objects of power, continual pursuit by menacing individuals with strange powers, and brush with a mysterious sea creature all call to mind that popular series, but Taylor gives them an irresistible Hitchcock-worthy feel with his emphasis on blown-out candles, dark and dank tunnels, and a never-ending supply of things that go bump in the dark. Reviewer: Cara Chancellor
VOYA - Leah J. Sparks
This latest novel from the author of The New York Times bestselling Shadowmancer (G. P. Putnam's Sons, 2003/VOYA April 2004) is set primarily in the Prince Regent, a massive hotel built on the side of a cliff in a Victorian England seaside town. Fifteen-year-old Mariah Mundi graduates from the Chiswick Colonial School and goes to work as a magician's apprentice in the Prince Regent. He and mischievous coworker Sacha are soon immersed in a series of adventures involving the disappearance of Mariah's predecessor, the malevolent plans of the strange inventor who owns the hotel, and the mysterious sea captain who might know something about Mariah's missing parents. The slow pace and occasionally choppy writing in the first half of this lengthy novel will make it difficult to interest younger teens in the story, which does eventually pick up steam in the second half. Older teens may find the plot gaps and Mariah's frequently unbelievable predicaments difficult to swallow. Although Taylor's novel is planned as the first in a series involving Mariah Mundi, it is unlikely to capture the imagination of enough younger readers to have them clamoring for more. Reviewer: Leah J. Sparks
School Library Journal

Gr 7 Up

At 15, Mariah Mundi leaves the Chiswick Colonial School, where he has been since his parents' failure to return from the Sudan, to begin a job as a magician's apprentice at the Prince Regent, a colossal hotel built into a cliff side in the north of England. While the hotel's guests experience luxury aboveground, the slimy, below-sea-level basements abound in magic, murders, and devilish doings. Mariah is befriended by a servant girl, Sacha, and together they try to find Felix, the last in a line of boys sent from the Colonial School who has mysteriously vanished. In an Egyptian sarcophagus deep in the basement, the two find a clue that leads Mariah to fear for his life. The hotel's owner is an evil, narcoleptic man intent on amassing riches and finding the magic box that will turn anything put in it into gold. A kracken, a sea witch, a magic porcelain doll, a crocogon (a dragon/crocodile mix), a crab the size of a grand piano, wax figures, cadavers, and skeletons add to this open-ended story of good versus evil. With a Dickensian feel and an Edward Gorey-like cover illustration, this dark and dense fantasy quest is inviting and highly imaginative. Yet, the plot is overly complicated and difficult to follow, the shifting characters hard to keep straight. Rich descriptions tend to overwhelm the story. This is a book that will appeal to those young people who like to be challenged and who enjoy re-reading in order to uncover new levels of meaning.-Connie Tyrrell Burns, Mahoney Middle School, South Portland, ME

Kirkus Reviews
Taylor kicks off a new gothic-fantasy series with this tale of an orphaned schoolboy sent to work as a magician's assistant in a seaside resort built by an eccentric inventor. The five lads sent before him all having mysteriously disappeared in the past year, Mariah is understandably on his guard-good thing too, as he is soon being hunted by both a pair of murderous detectives in the hire of the resort's strangely absent-minded owner, and a sea-witch who can walk through walls. Fortunately, Mariah numbers among his allies a squad of grown-ups belonging to the "Bureau of Antiquities," a secret organization dedicated to keeping magical objects out of the hands of Bad Guys. As usual, Taylor outfits his characters with outlandish names (Perfidious Albion, Isambard Black), chucks in a few monsters and oils the nonstop melodrama with massive coincidences, secret agendas, convenient keys, overheard conversations and gaps in logic. Not that his fans will care. As the main villain survives to leer and scheme another day, look for sequels. (Fantasy. 11-13)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780399243479
  • Publisher: Penguin Group (USA)
  • Publication date: 5/29/2008
  • Pages: 292
  • Age range: 12 years
  • Lexile: 850L (what's this?)
  • Product dimensions: 6.10 (w) x 9.10 (h) x 1.00 (d)

Meet the Author

G. P. Taylor is the author of several novels for young adults, including New York Times Bestsellers Shadowmancer and Wormwood. He lives in the UK.

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Sort by: Showing all of 5 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted June 21, 2012

    Anonymous

    Just finished this book and can't wait to read the next one. Lots of twists and turns that keep your interest and make you want to read "just one more chapter" again and again. Reminds me of something Tim Burton would make into a movie.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted July 31, 2011

    Very enjoyable

    I hope the other books in the series become available as nook books.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted February 7, 2011

    Fantastic

    This is the first book in a series of which there are three so far. It's wonderfully written; just the right amount of mystery,suspence, humor, and quirkiness. I haven't gone into a book as much as I did this for a long time. The story is captivating and makes you not want to stop reading it. I had to buy the second book in hardback since this one is unfortunately the only available on nook. I haven't read the second yet but I'm really looking forward to it. Highly recommended.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 21, 2012

    Awesome

    Loved it

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 3, 2010

    No text was provided for this review.

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