The Medusa Plot (The 39 Clues: Cahills vs. Vespers Series #1)

The Medusa Plot (The 39 Clues: Cahills vs. Vespers Series #1)

by Gordon Korman


$12.04 $12.99 Save 7% Current price is $12.04, Original price is $12.99. You Save 7%.
View All Available Formats & Editions
Eligible for FREE SHIPPING
  • Want it by Monday, October 22  Order now and choose Expedited Shipping during checkout.


The Medusa Plot (The 39 Clues: Cahills vs. Vespers Series #1) by Gordon Korman

Are you ready to save the world? The bestselling series returns with an adventure spanning 6 explosive books, 2 secret-filled card packs, and a website that places readers right in the action.

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.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780545298391
Publisher: Scholastic, Inc.
Publication date: 08/30/2011
Series: 39 Clues: Cahills vs. Vespers Series , #1
Pages: 224
Sales rank: 98,812
Product dimensions: 5.20(w) x 7.50(h) x 0.70(d)
Lexile: 730L (what's this?)
Age Range: 9 - 12 Years

About the Author

Gordon Korman is the author of The 39 Clues Book 2: One False Note, which debuted at #1 on the New York Times bestseller list, and The 39 Clues Book #8: The Emperor's Code. Gordon has written more than sixty books for kids and young adults, including Zoobreak, Swindle, and Son of the Mob, as well as the On the Run series and the Island, Everest, Dive, and Kidnapped trilogies. A native of Ontario, Canada, Korman now lives with his family in Long Island, New York.

Read an Excerpt


Napa Valley, California, 5:42 a.m., Pacific Time Zone

Fiske Cahill loved the early morning — the glorious moment when the sun's rays broke over the mountaintops. He would always be an easterner, but there was no place quite like California.

He eased himself into the mineral bath, feeling the bracing sting of water heated by magma trapped deep within the earth. The ache and stiffness of his sixtynine- year-old body seemed to melt away, and he knew complete relaxation and contentment. Nothing could spoil the perfection of this moment.

He closed his eyes. That was his first mistake.

There was a tiny splash as the snake hit the water. It was a water moccasin, a baby — the venom is strongest in the very young.

Fiske never saw it. He was aware of a sudden stab, followed by blinding pain and then blackness.

Two men in coveralls lifted him out of the tub and administered a tiny injection of antivenom to his abdomen. Then they wrapped him up in a vinyl pool cover, carried him to a panel truck, and loaded him inside.

As an afterthought, one of the men fished the snake out of the water and tossed it into some tall grass. If it survived and happened to bite another resort guest, it was no concern of theirs.

Ponce, Puerto Rico, 9:42 a.m., Atlantic Time Zone

Long, powerful strokes propelled Reagan Holt through the sparkling Caribbean. At thirteen, she had already completed seven Ironman triathlons, but now she was training for the world championships. Puerto Rico's lesser-known southern coast was the ideal place for it — great weather, uncrowded roads for running and cycling, and warm, crystal-clear water for swimming. There was even entertainment for these grueling ocean marathons. Through her goggles, she enjoyed the floor show: hundreds of fish species, colorful coral, and . . .

A jolt of surprise threw off her rhythm, and she struggled to maintain her textbook form. At first she thought it was an undersea mirage, but no. Twenty yards away, a few feet below the surface, floated a scuba diver in an antishark cage!

What's going on?

That was when she saw the hammerhead.

It was big—an eighteen footer at least. It moved in a serpentine pattern, its oddly placed eyes sweeping the reef. When its attention locked on Reagan, she knew instantly. The long body became a guided missile hurtling toward her. Panic was immediate and total. Not even the fastest human could outswim a shark.

The cage. It was her only option. She made for it, expecting at any moment to feel the devastating bite of jagged teeth. The diver read her mind and opened the cage door. She flung herself inside, slamming the gate shut behind her just as the hammer-shaped snout smashed into the titanium bars. The very sea itself seemed to shake. Reagan was thrown back against the frame, but the structure held.

The diver pulled on a signal rope, and a mechanical winch began to lift the cage out of the water. As they broke the surface, she spied the boat. Relief flooded over her. The cost of this training session would not be her life.

Crew members swung them in over the gunwale and set them down on the deck.

It was all Reagan could do to maintain her footing as she stepped onto the wood planking. "Thanks, you guys! That was so close —"

And then she noticed that one of the sailors was pointing a gun at her.

London, UK, 1:42 p.m., Greenwich Mean Time Zone

When anyone advised Natalie Kabra to "find a happy place," that place was always Harrods.

That was the reason for this mental health day away from her boarding school. When the going gets tough, the tough go shopping. And where better than the most famous department store in the world, located in the heart of London's Knightsbridge?

A glance at a bus-stand billboard took the wind out of her sails. It was an advertisement for AidWorksWonders, a nonprofit organization dedicated to global disaster relief. Peering compassionately out was the organization's founder, radiating charity, goodwill, and kindness.

Natalie didn't believe it for a second, and she was in a position to know. That woman, Isabel Kabra, was Natalie's mother — a hard-hearted, cold-blooded conspirator, arsonist, murderer, and terrorist. The only reason she had formed an organization that did good in the world was that it had been her ticket out of jail, to parole and community service. Natalie pitied the poor community Isabel was assigned to serve.

Just the sight of her mother almost made her turn around and go back to school. It had been Mum who had first introduced her to Harrods. But one couldn't blame Harrods for that, Natalie concluded, stepping in through the brass-plated revolving door.

Muscle memory took her directly to the Girls' department — designer only, of course. Without once consulting a price tag, she collected an armload of outfits and headed for the fitting room. She stepped inside, wondering at the second click that came a moment after she shut the door. She tried the handle. Locked.

And then her world tilted, dropping her against the mirror. The entire cubicle lifted suddenly and began to move forward.

In the Girls' department, the shoppers paid little attention to the large box being carried out of the department by two employees in Harrods uniforms. No one heard the screams that could not penetrate the soundproof enclosure.

Paris, France, 2:42 p.m., Central European Time Zone

To Nellie Gomez, Les Fraises was the best sidewalk café in Paris, and she had tried most of them.

Nellie adored Paris. As much as she missed home, this monthlong class in French cuisine was a dream come true. She loved living in a place where nose rings and punk-rock hair and makeup were considered completely normal. She loved the sights of the city, from the ancient Roman ruins to the ultramodern glass pyramid entrance to the Louvre.

But mostly, she loved the food. Her seminar on sauces had run through lunch, which gave her the perfect excuse to visit Les Fraises in the state she was usually in — hungry.

The chocolate-strawberry croissant looked a little different as the waitress placed the plate on the table next to her espresso. Was that confectioner's sugar on top? Was the chef trying to improve upon perfection? She was anxious to find out.

Nellie raised the pastry to her lips.


A cloud of powder burst from the croissant, enveloping her face. It was gone in a few seconds. But by then, Nellie was slumped in her seat, unconscious.

An ambulance pulled up to the café. Two whitecoated attendants emerged. They lifted Nellie out from behind the table, loaded her into the back, and drove away.

Tel Aviv, Israel, 3:42 p.m., Israel Standard Time Zone

"This way, children." Alistair Oh held out his arm and guided Ned and Ted Starling into the elevator of the medical office building. How tragic it was that Alistair, at sixty-six, would be offering his assistance to two teenagers in the very prime of youth and strength. It should have been the other way around.

Alas, such was the legacy of the search for the 39 Clues. The boys had been victims of a cowardly act of sabotage at the Franklin Institute in Philadelphia. Ned now suffered headaches of such intensity that he could not concentrate for more than a few minutes at a time. He was the lucky one. His brother was legally blind.

Alistair sighed. Perhaps Dr. Shallit could help. That was the purpose of their trip to Israel — to see the foremost neurologist in the world. He had achieved miraculous results for patients with similar injuries.

Alistair pressed the button, and the elevator began to ascend. At the eighteenth floor, the car slowed and stopped.

The door did not open.

The next thing he knew, they were dropping, freefalling down the elevator shaft, picking up speed.

"Children —" The word died on his lips. There was nothing reassuring to say about plummeting two hundred feet to a violent death.

He tightened his grip on the boys' forearms. What an odd place for their lives to end. Yet it was somehow fitting that members of the same family branch should perish together.

In the space of a few vertical feet, the elevator went from terminal velocity to a dead stop. The sudden deceleration flattened all three of them to the floor. Ned bumped his head and cried out in pain and fear. The door opened. Three large men blocked the entrance to the underground parking garage, their faces obscured by desert head scarves. The leader reached down to grab Alistair. He underestimated the older man's determination. Alistair's diamondhandled cane came up and fractured the man's wrist.

The attacker cursed and withdrew in pain.

Alistair boosted the boys to their feet. "Run!" he ordered.

Ned took his blind brother's arm, ducked beneath the hands that were reaching for them, and took off down a long row of cars. One of the assailants followed in hot pursuit.

They were almost at the exit when Ted stubbed his foot against a cement parking curbstone. He never hit the floor. Their pursuer grabbed him in a powerful bear hug.

Ned hesitated as the onslaught of another headache shattered everything in his mind except pain.

No. Not now

With almost superhuman effort, he turned back to his brother. Ted was caught, and Alistair was subdued back at the elevator. Only he was free.

Alistair's voice echoed in the concrete space. "Go! Call William McIntyre!"

With a heavy heart, Ned Starling fled.

Tokyo, Japan, 10:42 p.m., Japan Standard Time Zone

Phoenix Wizard was searching for the hip-hop vibe.

That's what his cousin Jonah had told him to look for. It should have been easy to find in a crowd of screaming fans, all jumping, stomping, and shouting along with Jonah Wizard, the number one recording artist on the planet.

The teenage rapper was spectacular. From the upper decks of the enormous stadium he must have appeared insect-size on the stage far below. And yet every move, every beat, every "wassup, yo" sent ripples through the audience. Jonah was a hip-hop hypnotist, and all sixty-five thousand people in the arena were obeying his commands — to get wild, get loud, get down.

Except one.

Phoenix worshipped his A-list cousin. What twelveyear- old boy wouldn't idolize a celebrity? And Jonah wasn't just famous in the music world. He had starred in several movies, including Gangsta Kronikles, his first blockbuster; he had his own reality TV show. His face was immortalized on PEZ dispensers and motorized lollipop holders. Paparazzi followed him everywhere.

Yet the music — that was the part that left Phoenix flat. He would have cut his tongue out before saying it aloud, but he thought it was truly awful. Just talking, really. Bragging in time to a simple repeating beat.

Why can't I see what all these people see? Jonah began to whip up the crowd to even greater heights. "I love Tokyo — it's the only place where ‘yo' is part of the name of the town! Get up and show me some moves!"

The response was seismic. Those fans who weren't already standing rose to their feet in a wave of tens of thousands of bodies. Phoenix was up with them, hoping that their enthusiasm was contagious.

He felt nothing. What could be more pathetic than a Wizard with no rhythm? All around him, people were gyrating as if their very lives depended on it. He watched, amazed, as bodies were lifted up and rolled across the top of the crowd, passing from hand to hand.

A teen girl floated over him, her expression sheer bliss. he had found the hip-hop vibe.

Determined to share the experience, he climbed onto the armrest of his seat, literally hoisting himself onto the "roof" of the audience. He felt a thrill when he started to move, twirling as he skimmed above the concertgoers' heads. For some reason, there was no fear. The thousands of hands created a seamless surface. It was almost like swimming — riding ocean currents around the stadium. This was awesome! He couldn't wait to tell Jonah about it after the concert.

And the ride was getting better! He seemed to be picking up speed. But why was he heading away from the stage toward one of the exit tunnels? That wasn't where the action was!

Then he was down out of the throng, in the darkness of the concrete passage, flanked by two men in mirrored sunglasses.

"What —?"

A foul-smelling wet cloth covered his face. He attempted to struggle, but one whiff of the chloroform brought oblivion.

Although they took place in different time zones throughout the world, the kidnappings were executed at exactly the same moment. The victims had only one thing in common: All seven were members of the Cahill clan, the most powerful family in human history.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

See All Customer Reviews

Medusa Plot 4.5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 292 reviews.
NEWR More than 1 year ago
This is a great series. I have read all the books in it. BUT WAIT! DO NOT BUY THIS BOOK YET!!! Before you buy this book you should read the Maze of Bones {in the original series the 39 clues}. Trust me, you should read book 1-11 before you read this book. If you have not read the first series, stop reading this now and go buy the first series. But if you don’t listen to me, oh well you will ABSOLUTELY not understand one bit of this book, or the ones following it. This book will leave you not wanting to stop and keep reading at the end of every chapter. Dan and Amy {two of the main characters in this series} are trying to steal different valuable items or Vesper #1 {Vesper #1 is also a main character in this series} will hurt or even kill one of the many kidnapped Cahill’s. Vesper #1 will do anything to get these valuables and to over take the Cahill’s huge powerful family. The Vespers and the Cahill’s have been rivals since Gideon Cahill started the Cahill family way, way back then. This is a great series and I am positive you will like it if you read series 1, 39 clues. I can not wait to read the next book or the one after. I like how one author writes one book then someone else writes the next and so on. Keep reading this series!!! Happy reading!!!
Katherine Siddall More than 1 year ago
Great book! Lots of action in this book! A must read series!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I seriously recommend this book my second fav. serious after Percy Jackson.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
If your kid likes action, adventure, codes or knowing that they are related to the most powerful people in history? This is the book for them. The new enemy The Vespers hold even more mystery and excitement than ever.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Exciting and suspensefull,leaves you hanging at the end of every chapter a must read book!
lrjohnson13 More than 1 year ago
I would highly recommend reading the first series for these books because I didn’t and all of the different characters were completely confusing. Not to mention that a lot of the past adventures they had were mentioned in this book. Go back and read the first series first or this book might not be as enjoyable as its potential indicates. I have always been intrigued by mysteries, especially those involving historical concepts and artifacts. These books seem to be winners, intertwining history with suspense and mysteries with clues. This was a fast paced, enjoyable read. Besides not already have familiarity with the characters I found them to be multidimensional and nice to read about. Being an adult reading the series of course there are going to be some missteps in logic to make the story entertaining and clues flow nicely into one another. Ignoring logic is pretty much a must. These books are entertaining nonetheless.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book is amazing! If you liked the first series, you' ll love this!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This is one of a book that is awesome
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Please read this book! I recommend this to all. It has suspense, a bit of mystery, friendships, a bit of education, and history. It surprises you a lot and in a good way. All the characters are likable in this book except the guy making them do everything. Please read and enjoy this review! :)
Ray Larsen More than 1 year ago
This book was the best of the 39 clues series. Its a great book because there is mystery and all of the people are working together
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I have read the first series 1-11 and it is FANTASTIC!!!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This is very awsome. All the books are great,but please read tgem in order or you won't get it at all. GREAT BOOK MUST READ!
Collinharcourt More than 1 year ago
This is about these kids who have a crazy family history. some of their family members are kidnapped and trapped. they must go on a dangerous mission to get their family back. i like this book cause its funn to read and its so good. i recommend this book cause you will feel like your in it read it its awesome........
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
It tickled me pink it was so good
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
"Bye-bye Medusa!"
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
OMG!!!I love Gordon Kormans book!!!I think ive read every single one!!! Cant wait for Cahills vs. Vespers to cme out!!!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
How can someone not like this was awsome !:)
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I think it should be Amy and Ian because theyre such a cute couple and theyre perfect for each other! DUUMP EVAN AMY! U WERE NEVER MEANT FOR EACH OTHER!!!!!!!!!!!!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I CANNOT wait for #3!!!!!!!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
this book is awesome!!!!! Totally recommend! Read the first book the maze of bones first if not u will be confused. I support Janus!!! Go Janus!!!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Im glad they made another series!!! :)
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
It is asome
Anonymous 7 months ago
So addicting!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!#!!!#!!!!!!!!!!!!# awsome
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I loved it. It feels like you are in the book, but it is way less dangerous. I will record the to all of my friends.