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The Midas Box

by G.P. Taylor

Age Range: 11 - 13

Pub Date: May 1st, 2008
ISBN: 978-0-399-24347-9
Publisher: Putnam

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)