April (Conspiracy 365) by Gabrielle Lord
|April (Conspiracy 365) by Gabrielle Lord|
|Reviewer: Jill Murphy|
|Summary: Cal has survived three months of his year on the run. Will the fourth bring him any closer to answers about the Ormond Singularity? And can he trust Winter Frey? Enjoyable fourth book in this fast-paced, cliffhanging conspiracy thriller.|
|Buy? Yes||Borrow? Yes|
|Pages: 192||Date: April 2010|
|External links: Author's website|
It's April and Cal has survived three months of his year on the run. Will the fourth bring him any closer to answers about the Ormond Singularity? And can he trust Winter Frey?
You guys last saw Cal in January, feeling rather shell-shocked after his father's death from a mysterious disease and his brush with a crazed lunatic who told him that his father was murdered and he'd be next unless he could hold out until next New Year's Eve. Within days, Cal found himself on the run, accused of battering his own sister, and in search of something called the Ormond Singularity.
It's now April - sorry about February and March, but we can't cover everything! - and Cal has been abducted twice and survived multiple attempts on his life. He's been taken in by a vagrant who can crack safes and wield a monster martial arts kick. He's been mauled by a lion and almost drowned in flooded sewers. Jack Bauer's life seems tame in comparison.
He has assembled some more clues, and found the original military angel in his father's drawing. But he's no closer to a real understanding of what the Ormond Singularity is, even, let alone to working out how it threatens his family. He's met a strange girl, Winter Frey, but he's not sure he can trust her. And his best friend Boges is as stalwart and trusty as ever.
I rather like this series. It's easy to read and accessible to a wide range of readers - from mid to late primary right up to the reluctant readers halfway through secondary school. It's tense and immediate, appealing to fans of 24 and Fast Forward on TV. And its Australian setting makes a refreshing change from US high schools. Cal is a great reluctant hero, propelled into a nightmare life on the run by things he doesn't understand, but he's tenacious and courageous, even in the worst of moments.
We Bookbaggers usually take against cliffhangers in children's books, but we don't mind them here, where they are the whole point. Each short chapter of Cal's story is reprised at the beginning of the next one, and readers only have a month to wait to see what happens next.
Recommended for those who like to read - as long as it doesn't take too long!
There's lots of rather slick interactivity at Cal on the Run. Have a look!
My thanks to the nice people at Hodder for sending the book.
If they like the episodic nature of Conspiracy 365, they should look no further than Tim Bowler's outstanding Blade series to see just how far and how creatively this kind of thing can be taken. I think they might also like The Starlight Conspiracy by Steve Voake.
You can read more book reviews or buy April (Conspiracy 365) by Gabrielle Lord at Amazon.co.uk.
You can read more book reviews or buy April (Conspiracy 365) by Gabrielle Lord at Amazon.com.
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