Mariah Mundi: The Midas Box G.P. Taylor Published by Faber and Faber ISBN 978 0 571 22650 4 G.P. Taylor's Mariah Mundi: The Midas Box is perfect for anyone who likes their novels set in the shadows, never knowing what will jump out next. Following the success of Shadowmancer and Wormwood, Taylor's latest offering is a slow-burning spine-tingler of the highest order. It is also the first in a series of promised seven books - Taylor has already finished the second. The author gets straight into the story with no wasted preamble. Teenager Mariah Mundi has just left school and is travelling to a seaside town in northern England to begin work at a hotel. He is very nervous, not knowing much about the job or the place where he is going to work. The setting is Victorian England, and orphans like young Mariah are packed off to work as soon as they are old enough. Mariah is seeing the big, wide world for the first time, and it's a scary place. The Prince Regent is a monster of a hotel, perched on a cliff-top overlooking the grey ocean. It's a massive, rambling edifice, with hidden rooms and secret passages burrowing under the building itself into the cliff and down to the sea. A frightening steam-powered lift shudders and hisses up and down the core of the hotel, carrying guests. Gawky Mariah arrives cold and miserable on a dark and foggy night. He is welcomed at the hotel's back door by a servant girl, Sacha. Sacha is worried about Mariah's fate. The orphan boy who worked here before him has vanished and she wants to find out what happened to him. Something very weird is going on at the hotel and Mariah falls into the middle of a mystery. No one at the hotel is quite what they seem. The owner is not to be trusted, and neither is his odd girlfriend. Before long, Mariah and Sacha are lured into the caves under the hotel, where they discover a deadly secret. Mariah is the most intriguing new character to arrive on the youth fiction scene for a long time. Read his adventures and you'll quickly find out why.