The 39 Clues: Cahills VS Vespers, Book One: The Medusa Plot by Gordon Korman

The 39 Clues series – we all have surely stood beside Amy and Dan Cahill as they embarked on perilous adventures and missions to obtain the thirty nine ingredients (as per their grandmother’s, Grace Cahill, request to prevent the others from completing it for personal gain) that will produce a serum everybody was after – a serum that will make any human who drinks it the most powerful man/woman among the whole humanity. The siblings’ lives were at stake, competition and feuds between the Cahill branches – Tomas, Ekaterina, Lucian, and Janus – were intense. It was only through Dan and Amy, who were surprisingly members of the Madrigal branch, that all Cahill branches were reunited as a whole family, which was the sole purpose of the Madrigals.

All ended well, but this “happily ever after” did not last long as yet another group, the Vespers, emerged, seeking after the complete thirty nine ingredients – the list which was intentionally destroyed by the Cahill family to prevent the possible dangerous consequences it may bring. Because of this, a second series was announced to be made, focusing on the battle between the Cahills and Vespers. And just before the month of August ended, the first book of the second series was released, entitled The Medusa Plot.

Here’s the summary from the back cover of the book:

Thirteen-year-old Dan Cahill and his older sister, Amy, thought they belonged to the world’s most powerful family. They thought the hunt for 39 Clues leading to the source of that power was over. They even thought they’d won. But Amy and Dan were wrong.

One by one, distress calls start coming in from around the globe. Cahills are being kidnapped by a shadowy group known only as the Vespers. Now Amy and Dan have only days to fulfill a bizarre ransom request or their captured friends will start dying. Amy and Dan don’t know what the Vespers want or how to stop them. Only one thing is clear. The Vespers are playing to win, and if they get their hands on the Clues . . . the world will be their next hostage.

After reading The Medusa Plot, I thought that the second series would be as good as the first series. Before, I actually did not pay much attention to this series despite seeing the books displayed on the shelves of several bookstores. The title, The 39 Clues, was not that catchy for me and I was still picky with the books I read. It was only when a saleslady from one of the local bookstores convinced my sister to buy the series that I forced myself to read and ended up liking it more than I expected. It was a fun read and at the same time, educational because the books are filled with information on famous tourist spots from around the world that readers will be immersed into the book as if they’re on the actual place itself. I guess this book promotes tourism in a sense that the market age group catered by this book will want to visit the actual place, yearning to learn more.

One thing I liked about this book is that it never bored me. I couldn’t put the book down easily as I was eager to find out what will happen next. The pacing of the story was satisfying because I felt the flow was not rushed or done leisurely. Readers will also get to invest on the main characters and slowly love their differences in personalities – Dan’s sense of humor and remarkable photographic memory, and Amy’s intelligence. However, you will get to see a more mature side of them in this second series. Dan became more distant from reality due to the cruelty of the Vespers (you will find the reason out once you’ve read the book), and Amy became more athletic, learning martial arts and jujitsu for self-defense. It was also in this second series where most of the Cahill kids joined forces and worked as a team to rescue the hostages the Vespers kidnapped. Moreover, new characters appeared whom I felt will play significant roles in the coming books, especially Evan (Amy’s geeky boyfriend) and Atticus (Dan’s intelligent friend whom he met in an online game). We will also get to find out the true nature of the Vespers.

I truly recommend this book for anyone who’s interested in action-packed and information-filled story that will leave you wanting for more.

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About Rhin

Expression through words. Finding contentment in the simple things in life. Embracing opportunities. Daring to live her dream. View all posts by Rhin

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