Reviews from Lord Taylor of Glencoe
Conspiracy 365: January: Gabrielle Lord, February 5, 2012
My rating ♦♦♦◊◊
Conspiracy 365 launches the first in a 12-part series with January. The story sees a 15-year-old Callum Ormond warned that he must survive the next 12 months in which various groups will try to kill him.
The concept introduces some fun ideas. The month-by-month serialisation is most likely a novelty, but the countdown after each date (362 days to go, etc.) adds to the air of urgency. The fact the page numbers count down to 1 is fun, and overall a lot of effort has been put into give a feeling of expectation and doom.
The story itself is too early on to judge. Certainly, there are interesting elements. The Ormond Singularity/Riddle/Angel has the potential to be excellent, but if we’re going to wait 12 books for the reveal, Lord really needs to pull something unexpected out of the hat. Daddy Ormond’s pictures need to prove useful and with hidden meaning to make the screen time worthwhile – essentially, all the elements are in place. Cleverly resolved, this is going to be incredible; unresolved or weak and it’s going to fall flat on its face.
The opening instalment saw two kidnaps, a mammoth explosion and non-stop action throughout. It’s everything you’d want from a first run, and easily captures attention. There’s no opportunity to get bored. But with so much thrown into the first 31 days, how can the next 11 months stay dramatic without becoming repetitive? Two kidnaps in the first month is fine; 24 in a year is monotonous.
On a character level, we don’t really know anyone too well yet. The action detracted from genuine character development, which is OK because there’s plenty of time for that. Given the nature of the series, it’s not even hugely necessary as the Ormond Mystery looks set to be predominantly plot driven anyway.
In short, a good (if forgettable) start with a lot promised for the series – but now there’s also a lot of pressure to deliver.