Title: Vespers Rising
Series: 39 Clues, Book 11
Authors: Rick Riordan, Peter Lerangis, Gordon Korman, and Jude Watson
ISBN: 9780545290593
Pages: 238 pages
Publisher/Date: Scholastic, Inc. c2011.
Publication Date: April 5, 2011

“Children, I need your help. We are in great danger. As you well know, I’ve worked many years attempting to find a cure for the plague. At first, I sought a way to kill the contagion. Then it occurred to me that perhaps the answer was instead to strengthen the body. If a man could be made more resilient, healthier, stronger in mind, body, and spirit, then perhaps the Black Death could not touch him. My approach had . . . unexpected consequences.” (26-27)

Part prequel to the upcoming series and part epilogue to the 39 Clues series, Vespers Rising bridges that gap. For newcomers, it serves as a summary of sorts of what brought about the 39 clues. For die-hard fans, it provides answers to questions such as “Who started the fire at Gideon’s lab?”. The book also sparks new intrigue, as you learn that another super secret organization is after not only the 39 Clues but another artifact from the original Cahills.

I was slightly surprised at how much I enjoyed this book. Each author takes a generation, with Riordan’s story featuring Gideon Cahill, Peter Lerangis following Madeleine Cahill, Gordon Korman giving a readers a glimpse at the life of Grace Cahill as a child, and Jude Watson building on the existing 39 Clues saga and follows Amy and Dan Cahill. Each story has their own action and adventure, and while it’s broken into these four distinct stories, there is no further subdivision. People who are reading it aloud or reading it before bed will have to determine what a good stopping point is on their own. Or maybe that was intentional, because once you start it’s difficult to stop yourself from finding out what happens next. Don’t miss more mystery with the page numbers, starting with page 39.

The new series, apparently titled Cahills vs. Vespers, starts with a book by Gordon Korman titled The Medusa Plot with a release date of August 31, 2011. Want a sneak peek of the book? Scholastic’s got it here.

On a personal note, THANK YOU SCHOLASTIC for not making it a summer release, for those libraries whose budgets end in June. It makes it so difficult to purchase something during that time period.