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The Great Mogul Diamond (The Dopple Ganger Chronicles) Review by Brandi Tesreau

By G. P. Taylor
Tyndale House Publishers
351 Executive Drive
Carol Stream, IL 60188

From New York Times bestselling author G.P. Taylor comes another action-packed mystery in The Dopple Ganger Chronicles. The Great Mogul Diamond continues the saga of the once-orphaned children, twins Sadie and Saskia Dopple and Erik Ganger. Circumstances are looking up for a change until Muzz Elliot, renowned author and the twins' adoptive mother, receives an ominous letter involving blackmail.

The whirlwind adventure begins when Sadie, Saskia, and Muzz Elliot board a train bound for France. It doesn't take long for the twins to realize that they are in the midst of a menacing plot complete with crimes, kidnapping, and perhaps even murder. Even more troubling is the fact that these calamities seem to mirror the very same events played out in Muzz Elliot's popular mystery novels. Meanwhile, Erik Ganger and detective Dorcas Potts race against time to find Muzz and the twins but end up running into some unexpected trouble. When they all finally meet up again, they must risk facing prison and even sacrificing their own lives by stealing the Great Mogul Diamond in return for Sadie's life.

The Great Mogul Diamond is non-stop action from the very start. Having not read the first two books, my children and I were a little confused at first and had to backtrack a few times. About halfway through, we became quite familiar with the story and the characters and were able to enjoy the book more.

My children and I enjoyed the variety of illustrations throughout this very attractive hardback novel. I thought the black and white drawings and black and white photo-like illustrations added to the dark mood of the book. Some of the pages in the book were even black with white text--very cool! Though we really aren't huge fans of Manga, the comic strips mingled throughout did add visual interest. Because of this feature, I wouldn't recommend this as a read-aloud. I think it would definitely appeal to middle-grade readers, especially boys, and would be a perfect pleasure-reading book.

I liked the subtlety of the Christ figure character interwoven throughout the pages and the importance of his role in the lives of Erik and the twins. Though this Christ figure and "his angel" are given different names in the book, I think readers will be able to detect the symbolism and apply the implied truths to their own lives. That's the beauty of fiction!

If you have reluctant readers or children who like graphic novels, this is definitely the perfect book! Be sure to check out the website for details about the first two books and to watch an exciting trailer featuring all three.

Product review by Brandi Tesreau, The Old Schoolhouse® Magazine, LLC, August 2011