Review: January (Conspiracy 365)

by Gabrielle Lord

Cal Ormund is still recovering from his father’s mysterious death when a crazy man approaches Cal on the street yelling that someone killed Cal’s father and that they are going to kill Cal as well.  The man tells Cal he must lay low and try stay alive until December 31 of the next year, which is when something called the Ormund Singularity runs out.  Cal doesn’t know what to make of this warning.  The man is clearly out of his mind and Cal has never heard of the Ormund Singularity but Cal has always thought there was something suspicious about his father’s death and Cal can’t shake the feeling there was something important his father wanted to tell Cal but was unable to before he died.  Cal sets aside the man’s warning until January 1 when Cal and his uncle are in a horrible boat accident that turns out to be more than an accident but a possible sabotage.  The boat accident is just the beginning of a string of bad luck that begins plaguing Cal and his family.  It’s not long before trouble completely catches up to Cal and he  finds himself on the run from both creepy bad guys and the law.  Cal’s now desperate to solve the mystery locked in the minimal clues his father left behind and find out about the Ormund Singularity.  This is just the beginning of Cal’s long journey and struggle to stay alive.

Reaction: Fun, action-packed adventure but not without flaws.  First, though not necessarily a bad thing, the main character is 15 but the reading and interest level will be for a much younger audience.  The format, written in short snippets of time, plus the reading level will make this one a great pick for reluctant readers.  I was drawn into the intriguing plot from the start.  I want to know:  What really happened to Cal’s dad?  What do the pictures his father left mean?  What is the Ormund Singularity?  Who’s after Cal and why?  And what is up with Cal’s creepy uncle?  Is he friend or foe?  Despite my intrigue, a few things jarred me out of the story.  I found a few plot holes.  The most memorable one, for me at least, was when it was found that, before he died, Cal’s father had drained the bank account from which the mortgage was automatically withdrawn and now they had no money to pay for the house.  I found this odd because by the time they found this out Cal’s dad had been dead for six months and sick for awhile before that so how have they been paying for the mortgage during that time?  Though, I have to say, I’m sure tweens won’t pick up on this tidbit the way I did since they aren’t responsible for paying for a mortgage. :)  I do also wish that there had been more development in the last quarter of the novel, during the beginning of Cal’s time on the run.  All that being said, the ending is the ultimate cliffhanger and the mysteries are in no way wrapped up so I’m interested to see what is going to happen next.

January is just the first of 12 books to be released in the Conspiracy 365 series, one for each month.  This is a new and interesting concept, though I hope the author can keep up the quality with so many books in the series.

Review copy provided by publisher.

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About Casey

I am a librarian who loves all things reading, especially teen literature.
This entry was posted in Reviews, Reviews - Middle Grade, Reviews - Teen and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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