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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Flamingnet.com Top Choice Book-a best seller series in the making
On December 31st, fifteen year old Callum Ormond heard his
name being called by a stranger he didn't even know.
Before he could run away he shouts out to him "They
killed your father. They're killing me! You must go into
hiding until December 31st next year." After hearing
those devastating words, he must uncover the mysterious
history of...
Published on February 25, 2010 by Flamingnet Teen Book Reviews

versus
7 of 9 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Get in On The Conspiracy
A very quick and short read, the concept of the Conspiracy series has great appeal to me and excellent potential. It's very 24-esque -- meaning there will be twelve books over the course of the year each covering one month in the life of Callum as he attempts to solve the mystery of the Ormond Singularity.

As is the case with most mystery stories there is a...
Published on January 26, 2010 by Galleysmith


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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Flamingnet.com Top Choice Book-a best seller series in the making, February 25, 2010
This review is from: January (Conspiracy 365) (Hardcover)
On December 31st, fifteen year old Callum Ormond heard his
name being called by a stranger he didn't even know.
Before he could run away he shouts out to him "They
killed your father. They're killing me! You must go into
hiding until December 31st next year." After hearing
those devastating words, he must uncover the mysterious
history of his family and do so by using the few clues his
father left behind. Now being framed for a crime he didn't
commit, Callum is the most wanted fugitive and not just by
the authorities. While Callum races against time to
uncover the secret, he must also be aware of the people
who are willing to get to him by any means necessary. Will
Callum uncover the dark secret which his father died over?
Will he even survive the next 365 days?

Wow.. that's all I pretty much have to say about this book!
It got directly to the point at the beginning, and it started picking up
pace immediately. It sort of reminded me of a Bourne
Identity, but the story is totally different. It was
definitely a quick read because it only took me a couple
of hours to read, but it sure keeps you on the edge of
your seat. I definitely think this book is a best seller
series in the making, and anyone who likes books with tons
of action and a mysterious twist to it will really enjoy
Conspiracy 365. I would recommend this for ages 12 and
up.

Reviewed by a young adult student reviewer
Flamingnet Book Reviews
Teen books reviewed by teen reviewers
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11 of 13 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Serial novel for teens, January 15, 2010
This review is from: January (Conspiracy 365) (Hardcover)
Kiwi Magazine Review:
Although Kane/Miller Publishers are very familiar to me for some of the wonderful and unique picture books they have imported from around the globe, I was completely surprised by the content and concept of this new series. So many books leave you begging for more, but the publishers haven't so cleverly set up a monthly release date for a 12-book series as Kane/Miller has. A teen's "24' (television show), I love the idea of a serial book or novel, which is actually not a `novel' idea. According to Wikipedia, many of Charles Dickens' novels were published as serial installments in a magazine.

Although some of the drama was a bit too far-fetched to be believed, this book was hard to put down. You also have to be a diligent reader because, being a serial in nature, there will not be any tidy ending until the last installment in December 2010. But, I look forward to seeing if this series can sustain the momentum.

And, as with all of the latest chapter books, it has its own website. Unfortunately, all contests are for Australia and New Zealand residents only, but the site content is available for everyone.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Twisted and Driven, March 18, 2010
By 
This review is from: January (Conspiracy 365) (Hardcover)
Author Gabrielle Lord has set quite a task for herself: she has to write 12 fantastic action novels for teens during 2010. That's one a month, and they're all part of a huge conspiracy novel that has multiple parts, secrets, betrayals, treachery, and one mystery after another. The series is being billed as a 24 for teens.

The first novel, Conspiracy 365 January, starts out with a bang. Fifteen year old Callum Ormond `s life is in constant jeopardy, first from a storm, then a life jacket that doesn't function right, and finally by sharks that circle him and attack.

And that's just the opening chapter, folks. After that, things turn wicked. Callum's father is dead, passing away after a lingering illness that mentally drained him. At the end of his days, Callum's father was tied to a bed, watched over constantly, and spent his lucid moments drawing sketches that no one understands and everyone seems to want. Man, I was totally sucked in by everything Callum's facing, and I know he's not going to catch a decent break the rest of the year. Just like Jack Bauer has those incredibly long days.

Callum finds out about the sketches, but before he can get his hands on them, his Uncle Rafe manages to get away with them. Since it was Uncle Rafe that got their boat into trouble in the storm, I didn't like the guy from the get-go, but things get worse the more Callum explores. Even though Uncle Rafe is his father's twin, the two of them couldn't be more different.

After figuring out that his uncle knows more about the "Ormond Singularity" (whatever that is) than Callum does, our hero tries to outwit his uncle. Unfortunately, his dastardly uncle isn't the only one searching for the secrets Callum's father left behind.

Once Rafe ended up getting shot with his own gun and Callum's little sister ends up in a coma, I knew things were about to turn worse. In no time at all, Callum is the most wanted young fugitive around - and wanted by just the police. His mysterious enemies are closing in as well.

Through it all, though, Callum's good friend and electronic wizard Boges hangs with him. I like the friendship the two have, but the pacing is just too tightly constructed to show much of it. Still, there are eleven books to go.

The books are very stylistic as well. Chapters cover the days, sometimes only a page long, and sometimes they mark the passage of a few days. The individual chapters are also broken down by time stamps that keep the clock ticking for the reader. Another interesting twist on the book is that the pages are numbered backward, so you're always reading down to page 1. The device has been done before, but I doubt today's young readers have seen it, or that they will be any less intrigued by it than I was the first time I saw it done.

The book is incredibly fast-paced, so even reluctant readers and boys who'd generally rather play video games will probably get sucked up into the story. Plus, with one coming out every month, they won't have long to wait before another novel shows up.

If Callum survives. The last time I saw him, he was trapped in a barrel that was filling up with oil!
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7 of 9 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Get in On The Conspiracy, January 26, 2010
This review is from: January (Conspiracy 365) (Hardcover)
A very quick and short read, the concept of the Conspiracy series has great appeal to me and excellent potential. It's very 24-esque -- meaning there will be twelve books over the course of the year each covering one month in the life of Callum as he attempts to solve the mystery of the Ormond Singularity.

As is the case with most mystery stories there is a bit of violence. There are mobsters and any number of nefarious individuals all chasing after Callum and inevitably friends and family get in the way. The level of violence and criminal activity in the story are befitting the plot it is not overwhelmingly excessive or needless.

One of the downfalls of this story is that it was extremely predictable. What I can't decide is if that predictability is included in the plot as a way to deflect the reader from what is really going on. Will we find out in hours two or three that what we were told or thought in hour one is completely false? There are still eleven books worth of story to tell so it can't be that everything is going to be laid out before us in book one. At least not if the author doesn't want us to get bored and abandon the series, that is.

At this point, it's certainly, intriguing enough to want to stick with it to find out.

Where did the book excel? The author did a great job of creating a cliffhanger ending that has readers on the edge and wanting answers that may be provided in book two. Having said that, I think it's safe to make some assumptions on at least one of those answers. The story would be considerably altered if the immediate resolution didn't go a certain way and the reader will know that as they put book one away and wait for book two.

One of the other elements I enjoy (and the one I liked most frankly) about this story are the relationships Lord built between Callum and his best friend Boges as well as his relationship with his mother and sister. Callum has such love for them that he's willing to sacrifice himself for the greater good of seeking out answers. And Boges has personality galore. He could turn out to be my favorite character in the series. I'm just hoping he is who he says he is!

While this isn't the most suspenseful book I've read I believe that it's compelling enough to continue the series. I do want to know how it progresses and where all the loose ends get tied up. I also believe that it's target audience (older pre-teens and teens) will likely enjoy the fast paced atmosphere and action based plot.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Awesome serial novel!!, January 21, 2010
This review is from: January (Conspiracy 365) (Hardcover)
What an awesome serial! My kids' librarian said, "I hope she (Gabrielle Lord, the author) can keep it up in future books." ... and she HAS!! The rest of the serial is turning out to be just as great as January.

They are quick reads for adults, but not any less pleasurable. Around 180 pp. per "installment," your 4th through 10th graders will love it and find it easy to read.

Quick note... neither amazon nor your local bookstore will be able to get this set of books in the U.S. It's only available through Usborne Books & More. So contact your local UBAM rep, or visit my website to get your (child's) hands on this great new set of books. :)
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Gimmicks aside, this is a killer story, February 25, 2010
This review is from: January (Conspiracy 365) (Hardcover)
The Conspiracy 365 series has promised to pack a punch, and so far it has delivered. The concept is simple: 12 books, 12 months. Fifteen-year-old Callum Ormond is thrown into a 365-day countdown after he's chased down the street by a wild man with a deadly warning. 'They killed you father . . . They'll kill you too . . . You must survive the next 365 days.' He has 365 days to solve a massive mystery - the Ormond Singularity - while he's on the run and being hunted by a number of criminal gangs.

The action kicks off on the very first page, and instantly creates intense intrigue and urgency. The books are split into months, the chapters into days, and the story is timecoded into hours and minutes. Even the page numbers count down, backwards, so there's no escaping that anxious, race-against-time feeling!

The line between fiction and reality often blurs. I did a search on Twitter and even found that the main characters have their own pages. There's not a lot going on there now, but a little bit of the back-story is revealed in the months prior to the start of the countdown, like when Cal's dad dies, six months before the story even begins.

Like the concept, the covers are cleverly designed, resembling attention-grabbing Hollywood film posters, but it was a real pleasure to find that the hype has been backed up by a great story, rich characters and strong writing. There isn't any dumbing-down or sugar-coating, which makes the story more convincing, in spite of the extreme situations. I've found that lots of kids who aren't that big on reading are already hooked - both boys and girls. There seems to be a real sense of achievement from them too, proving that a commitment to such a big series promotes not only reading stamina, but reading satisfaction.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great Book...., January 5, 2010
This review is from: January (Conspiracy 365) (Hardcover)
On December 31st, fifteen year old Callum Ormond heard his name being called by a stranger he didn't even know. Before he could run away he shouts out to him "They killed your father. They're killing me! You must go into hiding until December 31st next year." After hearing those devastating words, he must uncover the mysterious history of his family and do so by using the few clues his father left behind. Now being framed for a crime he didn't commit, Callum is the most wanted fugitive and not just by the authorities. While Callum races against time to uncover the secret, he must also be aware of the people who are willing to get to him by any means necessary. Will Callum uncover the dark secret which his father died over? Will he even survive the next 365 days??

Wow.. that's all I pretty much have to say about this book! It got directly to the point at the beginning, and it started picking up pace immediately. It sort of reminded me of a Bourne Identity, but the story is totally different. It was definitely a quick read because it only took me a couple of hours to read, but it sure keeps you on the edge of your seat. I definitely think this book is a best seller series in the making, and anyone who likes books with tons of action and a mysterious twist to it will really enjoy Conspiracy 365. I would recommend this for ages 12 and up.

Guest reviewer on [...]
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Holds a fledgling reader's interest, January 13, 2013
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This review is from: January (Conspiracy 365) (Hardcover)
It's tough to find books that kids will stick with long enough to actually improve their reading skills. The best way I've found to do this is with a series. My grandsons started this one with the May volume, so they were dying to read the first novel in the series. I read everything before giving it to them, and I found it engaging, humorous, thrilling and suspenseful. All the ingredients needed to keep a "tween" reading all the way to the end of the series. The best part is, they don't even know they're practicing!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Awesomeness, July 9, 2011
This review is from: January (Conspiracy 365) (Hardcover)
This new series from Scholastic, Conspiracy 365, is another unique approach to books that will draw readers in and keep them addicted. Much like the 39 Clues or Skeleton Creek books, it approaches story telling in a new and different way that with draw an addicted following of readers. The story is about the life of Calllum (Cal) Ormond. Almost like a year-long version of the TV series 24. The story will be told over 12 books, one released each month.

Cal gets a cryptic warning on New Year's Eve that his life is in danger and that his father was actually murdered. Soon he finds himself at odds with his uncle and life is getting stranger and stranger. Before the month of January is out, he is living on the lam, hiding out from family, the police, and even a couple of crime families - not exactly what the 15-year-old expected to be doing with his life. Soon he is trying to solve the cipher of his father's last 5 drawings, figure out what the Ormond Riddle is, or what the Ormond Singularity is, and what they have to do with him other than having his last name.

These are the stories of an ordinary guy, a young man thrown into an extra- ordinary situation. He is not a genius, not a computer geek and he has no magic. He just has his wits and a good friend helping him out. He must figure out who killed his father, who tried to kill him, and if the warning he received is correct, he has only a year to figure it out or it will be too late.

These books have a few cool features. In each book, the page numbers start at the highest and count down. The chapter headings are Dates and Time. I had intended to read these books as they came out, but got behind. Part of me is glad because I do not have to wait for the next volume but part of me regrets not reading them as they were released. It was a great first book and I know I will have to read all 12 books; the story is so good I cannot put it down. Give them a try you will not be disappointed.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Needed more depth, January 8, 2013
By 
This review is from: January (Conspiracy 365) (Hardcover)
I was intrigued to read Conspiracy 365. The series was recommended to me by my friend who is a huge fan. Being me, I took up the recommendation and tried it out.

This didn't necessarily disappoint me. It more like made me feel empty, this book's most horrid flaw was its depth. Yeah okay it was full of mystery, suspense and thriller but it didn't make me feel moved or intrigued at all. I felt like I was reading a diary entry, something that just debriefs the day's happenings and situations. It had scarce descriptions of the settings and it may have just moved to fast in pacing. I think Gabrielle Lord should try to slow the writing down to a reasonable pace that gives more depth and shows more personality to each of the characters. I was seriously confused at points and felt like this book was just a little prequel to some proper, lengthy book. Torment By Lauren Kate is a good example of how long a book can be for just a short period of time. In Torment, it probably only lasts for 18 days but it is almost 400 pages long. Surely my expectation is reasonable enough.

Cal has been told by a crazy man that he has to go in hiding for 365 days. I'd be giving this man weird looks and walk off by now. But curious Cal decides to put up with this potentially crazy man to find answers. Maybe that's just me but Cal seemed to eager at the start. It's just not realistic enough for me to digest, and those fake piercings and tattoos? Get real here, I don't think an average teenage boy is going to do something ludicrous, no matter what situation it is. Another thing that didn't seem realistic enough for me was the getaways from each time Cal was captured. He isn't a paranormal creature so it should be making more sense when he is planning how to escape.

Overall, I found this book an entertaining short read that while kept on making me want to turn the pages but really lacked depth and realism. Hopefully February has some of these things more defined. Middle grade/ YA lovers that love fast and mysterious themed books can try it out.
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January (Conspiracy 365)
January (Conspiracy 365) by Gabrielle Lord (Hardcover - Jan. 2010)
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