The 39 Clues: Cahills vs. Vespers Book 1: The Medusa Plot
by: Gordon Korman
Publisher: Scholastic, Inc.
Publication date: 8/30/2011
Sales rank: 478
Age range: 9 12 Years
Lexile: 730L (whats this?)
Series: 39 Clues: Cahills vs. Vespers Series, #1
By: Gordon Korman
Summary: The clue hunt is over, two years have passed and Dan and Amy are back in school. Their au pair, Nellie is away at school in France (for culinary lessons, of course), Uncle Fiske is off and the teens are basically taking care of themselves in the newly rebuilt version of Graces mansion. Amy even has a boyfriend! Everything seems to be doing fine when all of a sudden Cahills start disappearing. Even the school bus with Dan and Amy on it is attacked. The two manage to whip the attackers into shape, but when they get the message about their family members being kidnapped and they will be killed if the younger family members (all from the clue hunt) do not follow all directions. The only other family that knows about the clues and wants all that power are the Vespers. The person ransoming the Cahills is Vesper 1. With the help of the cousins, Amy and Dan start a new search for whatever Vesper 1 wants in exchange for their loved ones. It leads them into an art heist for The Medusa and a few other wild adventures. The two travel through Italy gathering a different type of clue.
My thoughts: I love this series. I was actually hoping that it would end up being 39 books, but know that would get redundant. I enjoy the adventure of Indiana Jones type searches with the historical information thrown in. This book is no different. I enjoyed the quick pace with bits of history thrown in. The discussion of art and art history was tied directly to art heists and several close calls. This gives me an opportunity to learn while I root for my favorite duo. Also, there is historical information that I havent heard much about. It gives me an excuse to look up what really happened to the person the book references. In any other situation, I would not even think about it. The difference between this book and previous 39 clues books is that its not just Amy and Dan anymore. All of the cousins are working together for a common goal. They get along and each strength shines through. We are now free to love all of the family, instead of being suspicious of all motives. Also, this book is a little darker than previous books. Dan is depressed, the Vespers are completely ruthless, and there are outsiders that are getting into trouble without the Cahill training. I wonder if we know who Vesper 1 is. Ive enjoyed the fact that we dont know yet. That means there are more books to come! Ive really enjoyed these quick reads and cant wait for the next version. (5 stars)