The Great Mogul Diamond (The Dopple Ganger Chronicles) by G.P. Taylor

When I first heard about The Dopple Ganger Chronicles by G.P. Taylor I was intrigued. Part graphic novel part young adult action story? Interesting, no?  So when Tyndale publishers offered a review copy of the third book in the series, The Great Mogul Diamond, I jumped at it.

Here is the publisher’s blurb:

Everything was going so well for a change. Sadie and Saskia Dopple, those troublesome twins, had been adopted by the wealthy writer and recluse Muzz Elliott. And their friend Erik Morrissey Ganger was finally on his way to becoming a full-fledged private detective. But when an anonymous note threatens someone they love, the twins are off on an express train to danger. Suddenly they find themselves awhirl in a series of crimes—stolen right off the pages of Muzz Elliott’s own mystery novels. The twins need to figure out who’s behind this twisted plot soon, or Muzz Elliott will be framed for her own greatest literary invention . . . the theft of the Great Mogul Diamond. Meanwhile, Erik speeds through the countryside in an unbelievably cool car with private eye Dorcas Potts, racing the clock and attempting to outwit a gang of robbers. At the end of the road (if he ever gets there), he and the twins will have to get their hands on the diamond first in order to save Muzz Elliott. But not even this car is fast enough to escape the nagging doubts in Erik’s mind . . . What do you do when you aren’t sure what’s right? Sadie, Saskia, and Erik face this question head-on in the third installment of The Dopple Ganger Chronicles, by New York Times bestselling author G. P. Taylor.

It turned out to be a quick, unique  and entertaining read. The graphics made it visually interesting and the story was well paced and had enough suspense and twists and turns to keep the reader plugged in.

First off, this story is obviously part of a series but it stands on its own to some degree.  I didn’t read the previous books in the series and I was able to pick up the story right away without confusion. I do think, however, that  reading the previous stories would give you a fuller understanding of the back-story and characters.

The story isn’t too complex but there is a nice blend of action and suspense and a couple of twists and turns along the way. There is also a mostly subtle spiritual aspect.

I am not a reader of graphic novels but I do enjoy young adult literature and this turned out to be an interesting mix. Besides the cartoon-like pages the book also contains a variety of illustrations and photographic elements that give it a texture and depth that is very unique.

It takes a little getting used to as you switch from text to cartoon boxes to illustrations with text back to text, etc. But once you find your rhythm it works nicely and the story moves at a good pace. The story and the art work really work together to keep the reader interested and to tell the story visually/graphically and textually. I was surprised how well it worked.

For young readers who might have trouble with a text heavy work this is a great read.  And obviously anyone with an interest in graphic novels or illustrated stories would enjoy this book. This is storytelling with an artistic twist.

Kevin Holtsberry
I work in communications and public affairs. I try to squeeze in as much reading as I can while still spending time with my wife and two kids (and cheering on the Pittsburgh Steelers and Michigan Wolverines during football season - oh, and watching golf too).

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