Customer Reviews: Vespers Rising (The 39 Clues, Book 11)
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VINE VOICEon April 7, 2011
To all Cahills:

Warning! This review is for your eyes only. If you fear Vespers are tracking you, immediately shut off your laptop, mobile, or other wireless device. Once you've gone a safe distance be sure to delete your browsing history. The Vespers are everywhere, and they're now beginning to make their final moves. And I don't think I need to warn you just what is at stake if the Vesper family gets their hands on all 39 Clues and Gideon Cahill's mysterious ring. The world is in your hands, Cahill agent.

Rick Riordan, Peter Lerangis, Gordon Korman, and Jude Watson team up to bring the latest installment in THE 39 CLUES saga with book 11: VESPERS RISING. Meant to be a transition between the first 10 books and the upcoming series, CAHILLS VS. VESPERS, this volume offers four stories by the authors. There are no chapters exactly, but instead long "short stories" about four different Cahill family members. Newcomers to the series should really go back to book one, THE MAZE OF BONES, instead of trying to tackle the subtle references and mysteries that would not make much sense otherwise.

Riordan starts things off with the story of the night Gideon Cahill died. Riordan takes us back to 1507 and the Madrigal family base off the coast of Ireland, and we finally get our first glimpse of the evil Damien Vesper -- who wants the clues badly. Vesper can see just how powerful he will become if he assembles them all, and he wants it. The story works well, and Riordan is at his usual top form giving us adventure and mystery along with revealing a few interesting key points in the Cahill story.

The second part picks up with Madeleine Cahill, grown up and attempting to infiltrate the court of King Henry VIII. Lerangis writes this story, and does a fairly decent job showing us two of the Cahill siblings and their journeys. This story, set in 1526 is exciting enough, with jousting and dungeon escapes, and a few twists. It's interesting to read these sorts of backstory with ten books already in print and providing a lot of information on how the different branches of the Cahill family interact. Keeping everything together while still bringing in the threat of the Vespers must have been quite a bit of work, but Lerangis manages to keep things flowing nicely.

Gordon Korman, who wrote books two and eight, ONE FALSE NOTE and THE EMPEROR'S CODE, really surprised me here. Book two was one of the weakest of the series, but his short story about Grace Cahill and her adventures in 1942 during the World War was absolutely amazing. Grace is thirteen and wondering if her mysterious father James will ever come home from his trips abroad. And suddenly, before she even realizes it, Grace is thrust into an insane adventure tracking clues and coming up against powerful Vesper enemies. This part was so fun to read with great side characters and puzzles that it made me want an entire book just about Grace.

The final story brings us back to the present with Amy and Dan. I was excited to see Watson taking part in VESPERS RISING. Her two books from the series, BEYOND THE GRAVE and IN TOO DEEP, were two of my favorites. She leads Amy and Dan on a crazy adventure through school, Boston, and then the Swiss Alps. It was interesting to see how Amy and Dan are returning to "normal" life after their globe-trotting, and seeing them interact with Fiske Cahill was great. My only complaint here is the virtual absence of Nellie Gomez, but the typical 39 CLUES action still made me excited for the upcoming first book in the new series.

Six cards in THE 39 CLUES game are included in the front cover, and there is also a secret message to be decoded as usual. The light smattering of illustrations of key events and clues help make this volume just as great as any previous installment.

Scholastic has done something really brilliant: bringing together so many different authors on a project with good characters, plotting, and well-written action scenes. And now with the new enemy of the Vespers, things are about to get much more dangerous for the Cahills.

Protect your clues, and watch your back. And read this newest report on the Cahill family. The Vespers are rising.

Best of luck,
--A Fellow Clue-Hunter
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on June 5, 2011
I ordered the first few books for my students to participate in the live webcast. Since then, my class has encouraged other students and teachers to read the books. I now have the entire series and everyone, even the teachers absolutely enjoy finding out what happens to Dan and Amy! The books are so awesome, even the teachers are excited to read to find out what comes next.

Educators, if you are ordering, these books provide a lot of insight on writing using word choice and voice. These books are great to encourage writing with students.
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on May 23, 2011
Wow! OMG! There it is!
The eleventh book in the 39 clues! I thought #10 "Into The Gauntlet" was the last in the series. Guess I was wrong.

This book has four main sections, done by four different authors. The first story is about Gideon Cahil 1507. It is the time of the plague and Gideon had suceeded in developing the cure with side effects. Now, in comes Vesper. Damien Vesper is a wealthy land lord hungry for power. He has been supporting Gideon and his works, for that, he knew Gideon is a smart man, and he could let him restore all the loots back by selling the cures. Recently, a spy reported that Gideon made something and when he took it, it made him healthy. Doubtfully, he calls upon Gideon and he, too, agrees something was going on, and Gideon wasn't telling him. That night he engaged on Gideon's laboratory, but had no success for that because Gideon had destroyed it. Soon after the destruction, the four kids split apart for their own future, leaving Olivia alone with her fifth child, Madeleine Cahill.

The second story is About Madeleine. She was caught up by Vespers and she knows that she should protect the ring at all costs, unite the family, and stay hidden. The promises, however, ended soon.

The 3rd story is mainly about young, 13 years old-Grace traveling, all the way to Casablanca, Africa in a middle of a war, to allert GSP-George S. Patton the message about some ring and a bull's eye. Through talking, she learned that GSP was a Vesper and he stole the ring. After re-stealing the ring from him, Grace heads back home, and hids the ring which in story 4, Amy and Dan recover.

In the story 4, Fisk and kids, enjoying their normal(?)-(for now) lives, a task goes up, and they (Fisk and the siblings) head to Switzerland, to get the ring out of the valts of the bank. What they retrieved, was not the ring, but the clues leading up to the ring. Furthermore, when they were still in the bank, a fake alarm went up and were the doing of the Vespers. Knowing they have short time, Amy and Dan solve the clues in a flash, and receives the ring, only finding Casper Wyoming(Vesper) upstairs waiting to steal the ring. They escaped barely, and thought it best to hid the ring in plain sight.

This book, is totally amazing, not to mention the hidden secrets, but the harmony of the four authors. The story is just like the other 39 clues books, but more exciting and thrilling. I think the series are just getting better and better.
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VINE VOICEon September 4, 2011
I wasn't sure what to expect from this book. Amy and Dan has so many adventures in the first ten books of the series that I thought that they deserved a break. So I let this book sit on my TBR stack for a couple of months before I picked it up. The Medusa Plot which is book one of the Cahills vs Vespers series came out yesterday.

This book is divided into four parts (one for each of the authors). Rick Riordan tells us about the beginning of the rivalry between the Cahills and the Vespers and also talks about the events the split the four children of Gideon Cahill and his wife apart. It also talks about a very special ring that Gideon Cahill is determined to keep away from Damien Vesper.

Peter Lerangis' section tells us about Madeleine Cahill who was the fifth child born after Gideon's death. It tells about her life with her mother in hiding from Vesper. It also details an attempt to get to know her brother Luke and how badly it goes. This cements her desire to keep her line secret from the rest of the Cahills and to guard and protect the ring left to her by her mother.

Gordon Korman's part takes us to World War 2 and stars Grace Cahill as a very brave and intrepid thirteen-year old. She needs to travel from Monaco to Casablanca to recover the ring. Along the way she has to match wits with General George S Patton.

The final section by Jude Watson brings us to Amy and Dan who are settling in to normal life and finding it a little boring. But the boredom dissipates quickly when they have to go to a very secure bank in Switzerland to get a clue which will lead them to the current location of the ring. They need to battle a variety of Vespers agents along the way.

While I thought the first two parts were interesting and contained a lot of background information, I don't know that they will grab the attention of the middle grade audience for these books. Kids who stick it out will find plenty of action and adventure in parts 3 and 4 though.

I liked the story and will be adding it to my middle grade media center because I have an audience who enjoyed the first ten books in the series.
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on May 4, 2011
Very good book. Infact, this entire series has been excellent. Non stop action through every book. This book goes on to explain a lot of questions people may have. Gideon Cahill and his family are covered. The begining of the Madrigals are explained. The part that I like the best is Grace Cahills childhood. Can't wait for Medusa's Plot.
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VINE VOICEon August 3, 2011
This is one of my all time favorite series for kids and young adults. Originally the series was set to end with book ten Into the Gauntlet by Margaret Peterson Haddix. I was very pleased when I learned that the series would continue, if in a slightly different direction. This series is an excellent way to introduce younger readers to figures from history. Last spring I used one of the original 10 books with a lesson comparing/contrasting historical fiction with historical fact.

What I liked about this book: In this book the reader learns more of the backstory about the 39 Clues. We learn how it all started. We also get to learn a little more about Grace Cahill. In fact, I would like to read a lot more about her.

What I didn't like about the book: I liked it all.

This is an all around great read. It's a good series for readers who like mysteries and fiction. The books are just the right length to hold a reluctant reader's attention and to keep a bookworm wanting more.

Recommended for 3rd grade and up.

Mrs. Archer's rating: 5 of 5
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on August 14, 2013
I only read and enjoyed part of this book since it was a gift for my grandson who read it in two days. I had purchased another one of these books in the "39 Clues" series at McKay's Used Book store and paid more for it than I paid at Amazon's price which included the shipping! No more books for me at McKays. I am getting my books at Amazon.
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on November 4, 2015
This book was a very interesting add to series. I like how there were four different authors writing their own chapter. This book really helped explain the origins of the Cahill family. It was interesting to know about each of the branches of the Cahills': - Lucian, Ekaterina, Tomas, Janus, and Madrigal.
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on February 12, 2016
In this final book of the original 39 Clues series, many of the authors come back to write one final volume which is basically a teaser for the next series.


The beginning few sections are good for background, but not so much on motivating readers. The first tells the story of Gideon Cahill, developer of the Cahill serum, and his deadly conflict with Damien Vesper. Then we continue the conflict, with Madeleine Cahill in hiding from Damien, until they come to a dramatic showdown. Next is Grace's first adventure as a Cahill. Then we jump forward to Dan, Amy, Nellie, and Fiske, as they take on another duty from Grace, which brings them into direct conflict with the modern Vesper organization. While they come out alive, Amy realizes that the Vespers are at a different level than their previous foes, and if they want to be ready, they are going to need training.

It's really just a series of short stories, put together in the logical order. I could have seen these being released online to hype the next series, but, at this point, if you've followed the 39 Clues series this long, you were probably going to buy this, anyways.

It's got me looking forward to continuing, surely. Hopefully the promises this book makes are kept!
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on October 26, 2013
I wanted to complete my collection of 39 clues. I have not yet read beyond book 8. I read the first book to my elementary class and they were intrigued. I sure that this one will be just as good as the others!
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