I have a habit of collecting books on my shelf and reading them a very, very, very long time later. Does anyone else have this habit? Am I alone in this world with a shelf full of of books “TO READ” that takes me forever to get through? 😉
Well, such is the case with this book, January, from the series Conspiracy 365. I heard about it from my uncle a long time ago- maybe a year or two. I bought a used copy off Amazon at least ten months ago. And what has the book done? Sat on my shelf, unread. I got caught up in many other books along the way, and this got stuck on my “To Read” shelf. And I finally picked it up yesterday. And read it within maybe an hour and a half.
I read a lot of books fast. That can be a good thing, an okay thing or a bad thing. Best case scenario- I love it and I am obsessed so I consume the whole thing really really fast. Such was the case with the Harry Potter books, which I read in five weeks. Worst case scenario- I hate it and want to get it over with so I read it as fast as possible to get it out of the way. I hate leaving books in the middle, so I read fast to try to finish it and move on to something else. One example of this is Laura Preble’s The Queen Geek Social Club.
And lastly, the “Just Okay” scenario- it lies somewhere in between. That was this book. Gabrielle Lord’s action/thriller/conspiracy book was just okay. I read it fast because the thing is short. My copy is 185 pages (which was really hard to count since the pages are numbered backwards. Weird.).
Action/thriller books are normally not my thing, though they were for a while. Case in point- I read The Mortal Instruments series by Cassandra Clare, the Percy Jackson series by Rick Riordan, and the Twilight books by Stephanie Meyer all about the same time. But as I’ve matured as a reader, I don’t really like those type of books any more. I’m not saying that they’re not good books. I’m just trying to say that what Gabrielle Lord did, and what many other authors do, by packing lots of action into a short book didn’t wow me.
The premise of the book is this: Fifteen-year-old kid Callum Ormond lives with his mom and sister Gabbi, presumably in Australia. (The presumption about Australia is based on the fact that he calls his mother Mum, the fact that it is hot in January, and that it says something at one point about ‘other Irish families with Australian heritage’ or something like that.) His dad died several months ago of a “mysterious viral infection,” so Cal is left as the man of the family, except for his suspicious uncle Rafe. After a strange warning from a seemingly deranged man on New Year’s Eve, a string of strange things start happening to Cal and his family- with Cal as the main suspect. As well, secrets are starting to be revealed- secrets that two different groups of people want to find out and that Cal himself wants to know- about his family and family history, which his father was investigating in Ireland when he got “sick.” Now Cal has to try to figure out the mystery and survive the next 365 days, as per the warning of the strange man, while all of these horrible crimes and crazy things happen around him.
The book was decent. Lord made the mistake (I think) of having the book pretty much entirely driven on plot and not so much on characters. As well, it just put things right up next to each other; as in, one thing happens and then BAM another right away. If it’s a twelve-book series, why can’t you space things out? I disliked how rushed it felt.
My favorite character was probably Boges. There was more information on him than any other character in the book, I think, and his predicament was the most interesting. Best friend of an accused criminal- that’s deeper stuff than a lot of the book. It reminds me, in a way, of S.E. Hinton’s The Outsiders. However, besides that, the books have no relation 🙂
Overall, the book was just plain okay. I give it three of five stars, and am not encouraged to read the other books unless I fall into a very deep reading lull. Which, with all the books out there and even just those resting on my shelf right now, is not bound to happen any time soon.