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Medusa Plot

By: Gordon Korman

Cahills vs Vespers Series bk 1

Dan and Amy Cahill thought, hoped, things could go back to normal now the hunt for the 39 clues is over. They’ve heard about an old rivalry with the Vespers though, so Amy prepares against the possibility that things aren’t really over. One day distress calls start coming in from all over the world as Cahills from all the family branches go missing. They have been kidnapped by the Vespers. Now Amy and Dan have only days to fulfill a strange quest or the hostages will be killed. No-one knows what the Vespers goal is, only that they have made it abundantly clear they are playing to win. It is going to take all of Amy and Dan’s skills to get to the bottom of what’s going on, the question is what will it cost them to do so?

The first of the Cahills vs Vespers series and in some ways it is as if you never left the clue hunt. In other ways it is quite different. The alliances between the different branches formed by the younger generation during the hunt are still newly formed and shaky, though the kidnappings have given them reason to hold on.

The pace is fast, the family tension still there despite the need to work together. It’s interesting watching the characters develop as the game around them has changed.

Amy and Dan prove they still work well together but the previous hunt has taken a toll on both of them. So much responsibility has been thrust on them so young and Korman has started to show how this may shake out. They are a little older and a lot harder than they were and this is obvious in some of the choices the young Cahills make. You know why they do these things and at the same time hope they don’t make decisions that mean they have no lives outside the family. The introduction of a boyfriend for Amy and a friend for Dan give the story depth. Korman has done a great job of setting things up for this series.

This book is easy and fun to read, and the action never really lets up. If this is any indication I think we can safely assume this series is going to be as awesome as the last.

Can’t wait for the next one.

Publisher: Scholastic

Published: 01 September 2011

Format: Paperback 256 pages

Categories: Adventure, Family, Siblings

ISBN 13: 9780545298391

Purchase: here or use Booktopia logo link on side of page

Vespers Rising

By: Rick Riordan, Peter Lerangis, Gordon Korman and Jude Watson

Gideon Cahill finds a formula while researching a cure for the Black Plague. Damien Vesper once friend, now foe, wants to know what secret his old friend has stumbled upon, if it can give him power he will take it. Gideon must try to save his family and stop Vesper. Then there is his family ring, that holds a terrible secret and must also be kept out of Vesper’s hands.

Madeleine Cahill never knew her father, she grew up hiding behind the personality of Maddy Babbitt. Her mother drilled into her training, survival, a need to stay well away from the Vesper’s and to always remember three rules – 1) Keep the ring safe, 2) Never let anyone abuse the power of the 39 clues, 3) Unite the Cahill’s when the time is right. When her mother dies she has to run from Damien Vesper and tries to find one of her siblings, but Luke isn’t what she was expecting to find. This brings home to Madeleine what the task in front of her entails, Maddie Babbitt becomes Madeleine Cahill and the Madrigals are born.

Grace Cahill is thirteen, her father has abandoned his children, her sister doesn’t want anything to do with their baby brother Fisk. Then one night Grace  translates a morse code message intended for her father. She goes to her sister who tells her that though their parents had been training her for the family business she wants nothing to do with it. Grace finds she can’t let it go so she sets out to deliver the message to General Patton, who is invading Casablanca. Once done she finds she can’t leave it alone as more of the message becomes clear to her. On her first Cahill mission, young Grace enters and leaves a war zone and is successful in more than just that.

Amy and Dan Cahill are trying to settle back into normal life. It’s not as easy as they thought it would be. Then the message comes that the Vespers are making a move against the ring, a ring they knew nothing about, until now. Dan and Amy learn about the power hungry Vespers as they race against time to save that most vital of items. In doing so they go to Switzerland, almost crash to their deaths in a cable car, go skiing and learn more about their grandmother Grace. It becomes clear to them that there is still so much they need to do. They must be ever vigilant.

Four incredible authors have come together to give us four pivotal stories about the Cahill’s and the Vespers. This is a fascinating look into Cahill history and how it ties with the present day. Things are put into context, the past is filled out and things are put into place for a future story line. This is an action packed bridging book that leaves you wanting more.

Publisher: Scholastic US

Published: 07 April 2011

Format: Hardback 256 pages

Categories: Adventure Crime Family Family Issues Siblings

ISBN 13: 9780545290593

Purchase: here

One False Note

By: Gordon Korman

The 39 Clues Bk 2


The first clue has been found by the team least expected to find it, Amy and Dan Cahill. Amy and Dan as just as surprised as everyone else. With their Grandmother’s final message too them echoing in the back of their minds, ‘to trust no-one’, they head of to Vienna with their au-pair Nellie and the cat Saladin. They follow the coded piece of Mozart’s sheet music believing what they hold is the key to the next clue. Closely on their trail though are their power-hungry relatives. It is difficult to know if the direction they are heading in is one that will lead to victory or a trap but they are determined to keep going.

This is another fun adventure with our favoured underdogs and their scheming, dysfunctional family. An engaging story woven thorough with interesting bits of historical information. Can you follow the clues like Dan and Amy? Further information is revealed on-line when you enter the new book codes, allowing continued intrigue and fun even once you’ve finished the book.


Publisher: Scholastic

Published: 02 December 2008

Format: Paperback 174 pages

Categories: Adventure, Historical

ISBN 13: 9780545060424

Purchase: here

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