Tuesday, July 24, 2007

Harry Potter's Successor

Bloggers have power, don't you know? They have convinced the higher ups at CBS to bring back "Jericho," for example--a show the network canceled. And, no doubt, bloggers will influence your TBR (to be read) list, which I hope to do right here. For all you Harry P. lovers I invite you to read the following about G.P. Taylor's, Mariah Mundi. I'm aware that not all of you (Patrick and Princess S.) are ready to receive the following news report from the BBC, but let it sink in and have an open mind. I have said it before, there is life after Harry after all.

BBC and Bloggers find successor to Potter Crown
By Abigail Dunne

Read it and weep…as Harry retires – who will take his crown?

It was billed as the publishing sensation of 2007 and like the fireworks of the 4th July or the greatest spell of a scar faced wizard it took the headlines. The whole world gasped at the final pages of Deathly Hallows and no one could say they were disappointed. JK Rowling had certainly done it again. People had tried to guess the plot but not a single blogger appeared to get it all right. Some were very near but others missed the mark. One of the greatest writers of fantasy fiction had done the Houdini.

Within hours of the publication of Deathly Hallows, BBC News in the UK announced online that they had found the successor to Harry, Ron, Hermione and Voldermort. Now as we close the pages of the final chapter on the Potter saga, one book that isn’t even published yet appears to be quietly pushing itself forward as a contender for the title of ‘Hotter than Potter.’

Since the publication of Shadowmancer in 2004 in the USA and its rise to the top of the New York Times list, GP Taylor has slipped from the radar of the American book scene. Penguin Putnam published two further books, Wormwood got to the dizzy heights of #2 on the charts but Taylor’s 3rd book Tersias the Oracle slipped into stores without any promotion whatsoever. It was as if Putnam just put it out there as cheaply as possible with no explanation why.

Death Threats

Many of his fans didn’t even know the book was published. Following a death threat, Taylor refused to tour in the USA and there were rumors in the British press that he was unhappy with the way his books had been released in the US. All in all it served to keep Taylor under the radar. Starved of publicity, readers were hard pressed to find the sequels to Shadowmancer and with little action from Universal Pictures on the screenplay of the book Taylor vanished completely. He is on record in saying that he thought he would be shot dead in Books of Wonder in New York at a signing.

It was only when proof copies of his latest novel Mariah Mundi and The Midas Box began to circulate on Ebay that people again began to take notice of this quiet British author. Potter fans hungry for another book to fill the void of Deathly Hallows began to quickly blog about the title before they had even read it. News was sketchy. Taylor’s own website had the book listed as Mariah Mundi and the Ghost of the Prince Regent, but the title was changed at the last minute before the proof copies were published. Now it would seem that everyone wants to get hold of a proof of the book. One New York dealer has had countless enquires already and shops in the UK are taking advanced orders so customers can secure first editions. Buddyhollywood.com said, “the recipe is there, tried and tested. Young hero, girl sidekick, evil villain, perilous plot and sting in the tail ending. Nothing unusual. If you read Tolkein, Lewis and Rowling the same devices are in use. But like Harry Potter there is something unforgettable about the boy, Mariah Mundi.

Mundi has lost his parents and it is not known if they are dead. He attended a boarding school in London, from where he was sent at the age of fifteen to work in a large and mysterious hotel in the north of England. All fish out of water stuff with plenty of spooky goings on to keep you turning the pages.

Mariah Mundi combines the big story of CS Lewis and the plot of an Indiana Jones movie…

With plenty of 'whodunit' thrown in (there is a killer at large and a strange box that has the power to turn everyday objects to gold and a secret society called The Bureau of Antiquities) this book combines the big story of CS Lewis and the plot of an Indiana Jones movie. Probably why Hollywood is already queuing to get their hands on the rights for the book.”

BBC News said on the day of the release of Deathly Hallows that, “when Harry Potter hangs up his wizard's cloak, booksellers will be looking to GP Taylor's autumn release, Mariah Mundi - The Midas Box, to keep the cash tills ringing.”

Taylor broke his silence to speak to the BBC saying, “There's a lot of stuff out there that is like Potter, but I think people are tired of it. Children are getting sick of dragons, fairies and goblins. They've got dragon fatigue and gnome fatigue.”

So what makes Mariah Mundi so different?

Those who have read it say that it is hot stuff. Grittier and more edgy than what he usually writes and packed with hidden humor. It is a fast paced page-turner and isn’t as preachy as Shadowmancer, although still maintaining a strong moral story. It is different to Harry Potter with a strong narrated voice and saturated with description and character.

Like Potter, the hero is a young boy, without parents. He too grows up in a school away from home, but the similarities end there. Mariah Mundi takes no prisoners. He is like James Bond and spider man rolled into one. There are some great set pieces that keep you reading and leave you wanting more.

Interestingly, Taylor sets the tale in late Victorian England. It is dark and Gothic with fog and strange contraptions with just enough fantasy to keep the Potter fan interested. It is written more like a movie than a novel with set pieces that jump at you like scenes from a Stephen King classic than children’s book. It is a lump in the throat adventure that keeps you on your seat until the very end.

There may be many other books lined up to take the Potter crown, but bat least with Mariah Mundi you’ll come back wanting more without the whiff of publishers hype to spoil the story.


Gina Conroy said...

I've tried to email the new code several times, but you're email at aol comes back not delivered. So here's the code for WI! Hope you get it...I just realized since this accepts html, it might show up so OMIT the *** at the beginning before copying!

Okay, so it wouldn't accept my tag at all. I'm not sure how to get the code to you. Email me if you have another email address!

The Gatekeeper said...

Email is on its way, Gina. Sorry for all the problems.

Lady G~ said...

Hmmm... looks like I'm going to have to check these books out. I like the idea that it's set in late Victorian England and that the character is like James Bond and Spider Man.

We've not read any of the Harry Potter books. We haven't seen the movies either. It hasn't really peaked our interest.

I'm on my way to look up the Mariah Mundi series, via amazon. :o)

The Gatekeeper said...

Hey there, Lady G. I hope you do get into Rev. Graham's books. Unfortunately, you won't find Mariah Mindi yet. It won't be available until next year, I think. I'll have to look that up. I couldn't even find a release date for the UK. I'm looking forward to reading it.

Sharon Lynne said...

When I first bought Shadowmancer, and brought it on vacation, my friend's son kept "borrowing" the book every night. Then he started reading it in the day. I couldn't get my hands on it.

Then I brought it home, and my writing friend borrowed it. She absolutely loves it and I'm never getting it back.

It must be a pretty good book! Someday I'll finish it!

The Gatekeeper said...

LOL. Heehehee. Sorry SL, I promise I will finish Shadowmancer soon and get it back to you. Oh wait . . . my Princess would like to read it after me. This summer vacation is no vacation at all. Poohey! I was hoping to have finished 7 books by now. I'm on book four. And again, I say, poohey.

The Gatekeeper said...

This comment was left on the next post, so I thought I would cut and paste, and place it here.

Anonymous said...

WH Smith find surprise competitor to Harry Potter.

British book chain WH Smith are dancing in the aisles today as figures for the first days sale of Harry Potter Deathly Hallows came racing in. Not only did they achieve an astounding result for the much anticipated final book of the Potter series, they also had an unexpected success from a surprising source.

It was a thing of Muggle magic gone mad.Over TWENTY THOUSAND copies of a back catalogue paperback flew out of the 600 stores in the WH Smith chain in FIVE HOURS as if Harry himself had put a 'sellemquick' spell over them.

Ransacked by house-elves
To the surprise of staff, copies of Wormwood by GP Taylor disappeared as if an army of marauding shop lifting Dobby elves had ransacked the stores. The nearest top selling paperback was High School Musical which had only sold four thousand copies nationally in a WEEK.

Wormwood had been chosen by book executives at WH Smith as 'The Perfect Partner for Harry Potter.' A candidate in the scramble to see which children's series will now compete with JK Rowling's famous offspring. Originally published by the prestigious Faber and Faber in 2004, Wormwood has already been a best seller. A Faber official said 'to sell 20 thousand in a year would be good, but in a DAY is amazing.' The figures make Wormwood a #1 British paperback for the 2nd time around...

GP Taylor has already gone "toe to toe" with JK Rowling - 15 weeks at the top of the paperback charts while the Potter author was the best seller in hardback. For battling it out with the Queen of Scotland he gained the title 'Hotter than Potter and has since been dubbed by the BBC as 'the new CS Lewis.'

Mariah Mundi to keep cashtills ringing.
Now that JK Rowling has signed off her final instalment of Harry Potter, GP Taylor will be prominent among the contenders to take over her mantle. Speculation is growing that Taylor's Mariah Mundi and The Midas Box may be the book series to entertain children and adults alike and bring life after Harry Potter. The Sunday Times listed Taylor as a possible candidate as did the BBC on the same day Potter was released. "And when Harry Potter hangs up his wizard's cloak, booksellers will be looking to GP Taylor's autumn release, Mariah Mundi - The Midas Box, to keep the cashtills ringing." said a report by Sean Coughlin of BBC online.

'Like the Potter books, the Mariah Mundi stories will be a seven-part series, with publishers Faber and Faber buying up the books with a "seven figure deal".
But GP Taylor says it's time to draw a line under the fantasy and wizardry of the Potter years - and his new book offers "grit" rather than dragons.

It will be a whodunnit, set in a hotel in the north east of England, with a boy and girl as the lead characters - both outsiders, presented with an edge of realism rather than magic.'

The Vicar, exorcist and former night club bouncer said,' I am sure the critics will hate it and the children and adults will love it. We have already had significant film interest in the book and those who have read it have really enjoyed it.' So far, librarians who have been usually hostile to Taylor's dark writing have been pleasantly surprised by the change in style and the use of humor in Mariah Mundi.

In the space of a week, news items and bloggers around the world were promoting GP Taylor and Mariah Mundi as a successor to Harry Potter. He said, "This summer is going to be the biggest event in children's literature - no matter who replaces her, we'll never see these times again."

Related Stories.



1:56 PM

Anonymous said...

found via Thoof, neat!

The Gatekeeper said...

Oh, welcome. I am loving Thoof right now.

Janey Loree said...

Hey Gatekeeper...This is a great article as usual!!!

The Gatekeeper said...

Aah, thanks Janey.

Naomi said...

Hi Gatekeeper

Great post. I'm a big Harry Potter fan and will miss him dearly. Sounds like he will have a worthy successor in the Mariah Mundi stories. I haven't heard of GP Taylor before, but it sounds like he will be big news here and in the U.S. very soon.

The Gatekeeper said...

Hi Naomi, yes, I think you're right. GP Taylor will be big news here and in the UK very soon. He's one of those authors who stays very low key and loves to tour schools and all that. A worthy man, indeed.