Reviews from Lord Taylor of Glencoe
My rating: ♦♦♦♦◊
May is almost unrecognisable as the successor to the damp squib that was April. As Cal’s ongoing nightmare continues, Lord radically rethinks her approach to the series with excellent results.
The early part picks up with Cal in the psychiatric hospital he was forcibly admitted to. It’s a change of tone and pace, and a big change from the traditional cat-and-mouse formats we’ve found ourselves stuck with lately.
Laterally, the fabled Great Uncle Bartholomew finally makes an appearance and is one of the most colourful, rounded characters to come out of the series so far. He and his demented crow make a fantastic addition to the cast, and he easily shows layers of character that outstrips may of the two-dimensional cut-outs that form his co-stars.
Long-awaited progress is made on the various caveats of the Ormond Riddle/Angel/Jewel/Kitchen Sink. Among the various revelations are our first hints as to why the danger will evaporate after the 365 day period the story is set, and it seems to be nothing of the contrivance I feared. Clues about the drawings and the doppelgänger also seep through.
If April was a filler, May has a real feeling of both plot and character progression. Cal’s outburst and flying are both examples of this. Unlike some of the others, the action in this fifth instalment is well rounded as its own mini-story. On its own, this wouldn’t have been a four-star book, but it’s without a doubt the best Conspiracy 365 instalment yet, and a four-star effort from the series.