Wednesday 6 February 2013

Malice: Conspiracy 365

Malice: Conspiracy 365 by Gabrielle Lord (Scholastic Australia)
PB RRP $14.99
ISBN 978-1-74283– 382-8
Reviewed by Jenny Heslop

Winter Frey receives a note which reads: ‘The Drowner, 30 days’. Winter is sure she is being watched but has no idea why. Cal is about to go to flight school and neither of them knows whether the present danger is connected to their past experiences or if it is a completely new threat. Winter, Cal, Boges and Ryan quickly realise they are about to be pulled back into a whirlwind adventure full of secrets and danger once again.

I enjoyed this story. The style lies somewhere in between the television program, 24 - with chapter headings stating the day and countdown – ‘Day 13, 18 Days to go...’ and the pages numbered in reverse - and a grown-up Famous Five minus the lavish picnics. The friends discover and camp in a rundown old mansion, Perdita, they evade unknown enemies, search for sunken ships, buried treasure, secret passages, go spelunking, and are up against cyclones and king tides and ghosts.

I like the characters. They are believable but have room for independent action. They don’t shirk responsibility, they still have school and family to negotiate, but they do seem to have plenty of time, freedom and transport for teenagers. They act with a good balance of intelligence, gut instinct and loyalty.

The action, intrigue and suspense are non-stop. It is a good thing it’s not too big a book because once started, it is hard to put down.

Malice is the 14th book after Revenge (#13) and the original 12 book ‘race-against-time’ Conspiracy 365 series. I have not read any of the others and although some references may have been better understood had I read them, overall I don’t think it made too much of a difference. It could be treated as a standalone, having a separate storyline.

This book would suit both boys and girls from ten years and up. Conspiracy 365: January to December is now an Australian TV series. Fans should also check out the website for a range of fun webisodes, puzzles, dossiers, vlogs, clues and other rewards.


  1. Delicious review -- almost as tasty as those perfectly fluffy pancakes I owe you!

    1. There's more action in the Conspiracy 365 books than you can throw a stack of pancakes at! Great to have you drop by BWB.


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