Saturday, December 17, 2011

Student Saturday: 39 Clues: Vespers rising - Rick Riordan, Peter Lerangis, Gordon Korman, and Jude Watson

Publisher:  Scholastic
Pages:  240
Genre:  Mystery
Reviewer:  Austin

This was the best book I have ever read.  I could not put it down.  As a mystery reader, I was anxious to unlock the Cahill family secrets in this book.  Four different authors wrote sections of the book involving separate characters in each section.  This book gives a history of the Cahills and Vespers, which ties together the 11 book series about the Cahill family and upcoming series about the Vesters.

Set in 1507, the first  section by Rick Riordan is a historic tale about the family of the very intelligent alchemist Gideon Cahill, his children (Luke, Tomas, Jane and Katherine), and their enemy Damien Vesper.  The story begins in the Cahill mansion in a remote location on the coast of the Irish mainland.  Damien Vesper has been trying to escape the plague (Black Death) which has taken over most of his kingdom in Ireland and had Gideon Cahill work on a formula to cure it.  Gideon Cahill gave each of his children a vial of serum he invented that when put together would keep them safe from the plague vial of serum he invented that when put together would keep them safe from  his father that holds all of the family secrets, which gets passed on to his family about his death.

The second section, written by Peter Lerangis, is about Gideon's very determined and intelligent daughter, Madeleine Cahill, and Happens in 1526.  It starts out in her alchemy classroom in Ireland where she is learning the science hoping to be like her father..  She takes a job as a governess at the castle of King Henry the VIII.  Madeleine's mission is to protect the ring she got from her family, which she hides to keep it safe from the wrong hands.  She also must reunite the Cahill family, and stay hidden from the Vespers at all costs.

Gordon Korman wrote the third section about 13-year old Grace Cahill, a fearless but kind descendant of Gideon Cahill.  This section starts out in her home in Monte Carlo where she finds a coded message with a clue on where she can find the ring hidden by Madeline.  She travels to Casablanca in Africa during the World War II in 1942.  There she first saw George S. Patton who turns out to be a Vesper who steals the ring from Grace.  Once she discovers what happened to the ring, she recovered it.

Jude Watson wrote the final section about Dan and Amy Cahill who are the orphaned grandchildren of Grace, which is set in present times.  Dan and Amy are accompanied by their Uncle Fiske when they go to Grace's Chalet in the Himalayan mountain range.  They are on a mission to find Gideon's ring.  When they find the ring they barely escape a Vesper named Casper Wyoming.  Amy finds a way to make the ring a part of her watch to hide it from the Vespers.  The Chills have won for now.

I really enjoyed this book.  Most of all I liked the hidden secrets and solving the mystery along with the characters.  Like other mysteries I have read, this book took me to may places I have never traveled.  I highly recommend it to anyone my age who likes a good mystery.

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