by Gabrielle Lord
These books are great quick reads. They are definitely what I'd call candy reading. Certainly they will not change your life or challenge any of your life's foundations.
However, they are wonderful for easy, lazy suspense.
The premise is that Callum Ormond gets a warning from some guy who looks like a homeless lunatic. He must either hide away for one year or expect constant danger and trials.
This warning comes on the afternoon of New Year's Eve and by the time Callum's finished watching the midnight fireworks that night, the troubles have already begun.
The books are named after the months of the year, January, February, etc, with twelve planned. Each is nonstop thrills and danger as Callum, with the help of his best friend tries to unravel the mystery involved in his father's recent sudden death, and thereby stop the danger. Although the books race right along, the characters are developed enough that they are somewhat endearing.
The books are currently in publication with each title released on the first of the month coinciding with its title. So the next one, October, will be released on October 1.
My teen aged son likes them; I think my middle school daughter would like them. I think an advanced elementary aged child would enjoy them. The vocabulary is not too challenging. The stories are clean, so that is a big plus. The suspense is very intense, however, and at times a bit gruesome.
Reading these books reminds me of a kind of funny thing that happened to us after we first had a computer with a DVD player. We were new to the entire watching movies at home thing, having previously not even had TV. Our local library was just starting to invest in DVDs, so the selection was somewhat limited. But Wal-Mart had these great bins of really cheap DVDs of old classics. So we stocked up on a few now and then.
One of the selections we got was an old John Wayne western. We were watching it one night and kept waiting for the movie to get over. But every time we thought it might end, it started another round of adventure. We finally figured out that it was a serial. Each time there was a resolution, it was the end of an episode. We had been watching and watching and had inadvertently watched about six of these things. We were, truth be told, kind of sick of the whole buisiness.
I think I'd feel a bit the same way if I read these books all at once. Lots of excitement, lots of adrenaline; things slow down a bit; is it going to work out? Not on your life, just when a reader thinks a solution might be within reach, there is a tremendous cliffhanger with absolutely no rescue possible and the story ends.
So yes, read them for a fun thrill. But don't read them all at once. Make yourself wait a few weeks in between. Besides, if you read them all right away, you'll end up waiting for the last few to come out.