Tuesday 26 March 2024

Payback - Gordon Korman - Masterminds Book 3

Masterminds 3
Gordon Korman
Balzer & Bray
ISBN 9780062300065
eISBN 9781443428811

Payback - Gordon Korman - Masterminds 3

A few years ago mid-summer, Korman published his 100th book. Yes, you read that correctly, his hundredth book. My introduction to Korman’s works was the 39 Clues back in 2009. Since then, I have read over 40 of his books. With each one I read I am entertained and often challenged. My son often reads these books to me or with me. I picked up this to read on summer break. The first book in this series really got me thinking after reading it I asked my youngest two children and a couple of their friends what there would do if they found out what the kids in this story did. They all reacted differently, and they all want to read the book. The second book takes it to a whole new level. This finale was even more surprising.

My son and I started reading Gordon Korman books together a few years ago, when he was given one as an end of year gift by his teacher. She gave the whole class the same Scholastic edition and wrote a note to each student in their copy of the book. Prior to that I had a read a few of his contributions to the 39 Clues series and had enjoyed them. My son and I have mostly been reading his more recent titles. I do not read what Korman’s books are about anymore. Now I am alternating between his oldest I have not read and the current releases. I have read about 30 over the last year. Even though I knew a lot from the first volume in this series this one still took me completely by surprise. The series consists of:

Masterminds Payback

In Canada the first was published by Scholastic, in the US from Harper Collins and is now in reprint under the Balzer + Bray imprint.

The description of this volume states:

“The clones of Project Osiris are on the run again. Now separated into pairs, Eli and Tori and Amber and Malik are fighting to survive in the real world.

Amber and Malik track down the one person they think can help them prove the existence of Project Osiris, notorious mob boss Gus Alabaster, also known as Malik’s DNA donor. But as Malik gets pulled into the criminal world—tantalized by hints of a real family—his actions put him and Amber into greater danger.

Eli and Tori get sucked into even bigger conspiracies as they hunt down Project Osiris’s most closely guarded secret—who does Eli’s DNA come from? With a surprising new ally and another cross-country adventure, the four will have to work together to overcome the worst parts of themselves if they are going to end Project Osiris once and for all.”

Like many of Korman’s other books this one is written in a series of first person narratives. Each chapter title is the name of the narrator for that chapter. There are a couple of other authors I read who use this method, and Korman is one of the masters. The narrators are:

Eli Frieden - 8
Amber Laska - 6
Malik Bruder - 7
Hector Amani - 1
Tori Pritel - 5

The number beside their name is the number of chapters they narrated. Eli’s father was the lead scientist behind the experiment so he continues to dominate the narrative. But some of them are much closer in count in this volume compared to the first. Hector plays a much smaller role in this one because the other 4 have been separated from him for a while, and there is still a lot of animosity on that front.

This book another fascinating read! The subject tackled and how Korman goes about it is wonderfully executed. The characters are wonderfully written. The story is very intriguing. I could literally not put this book down. I finished it in 2 sessions over one day. This time there were plot twists that I just did not see coming. I greatly enjoyed watching the children try to figure out a plan rescue the other clones and find a way to thrive in a world they were never prepared for.   

This story is darker than many of Korman’s offerings, including one death. The pace is excellent. The characters are masterfully written. This is a story young readers will latch onto and be desperate to know what happens next! Every child from 9-15 that I have asked what they would do if they found out what the kids in this series did have wanted to read the story. It is such an intriguing premise and Korman continued to execute it in a most excellent manner!  

My only regret is this is the end of the story. I would love to have a book set 5-10 years in the future and where things went from her. Another great read from Korman’s masterful pen.  

Books by Gordon Korman:
MacDonald Hall Series:
The Wizzle War (1982)
         (formerly The War With Mr. Wizzle)
The Zucchini Warriors (1988)
Light’s Camera, Disaster (1991)
          (aka Macdonald Hall Goes Hollywood)
The Jokes on Us (1995)
          (formerly Something Fishy at Macdonald Hall)

Bugs Potter Series:

Jeremy Bloom Series:
The D−Poems of Jeremy Bloom (1992)
The Last-Place Sports Poems of Jeremy Bloom (1996)

Monday Night Football Series:
The Quarterback Exchange (1997)
Running Back Conversion (1997)
Super Bowl Switch (1997)
Heavy Artillery (1997)
Ultimate Scoring Machine (1998)
NFL Rules! Bloopers, Pranks, Upsets, and Touchdowns (1998)

Masterminds Series:
Masterminds (2015)

Slapshots Series:
The Stars From Mars (1999)
All-Mars All-Stars/The Dream Team (1999)
The Face-off Phony (2000)
Cup Crazy (2000)
Ouch I got slapped (2023)
4-in-1 Slapshots: The Complete Collection (2008)

Nose Pickers Series:
Nose Pickers from Outer Space! (1999)
Planet of the Nose Pickers (2000)
Your Mummy Is a Nose Picker (2000)
Invasion of the Nose Pickers (2001)
4-in-1 The Ultimate Nose-Picker Collection (2006)

Island Series:
Shipwreck (2001)
Survival (2001)
Escape (2001)
3-in-1 Island Trilogy Collection (2006)

Son of the Mob 2: Hollywood Hustle (2004)

Everest Series:
The Contest (2002)
The Climb (2002)
The Summit (2002)
Everest Trilogy Box Set (2002)

Dive Series:
The Discovery (2003)
The Deep (2003)
The Danger (2003)

On the Run Series:
Now You See Them, Now You Don't (2005)
The Stowaway Solution (2005)
Public Enemies (2005)
Hunting the Hunter (2006)

Kidnapped Series:
The Search (2006)
The Rescue (2006)

Swindle Series:
Swindle (2008)
Zoobreak (2009)
Framed (2010)
Showoff (2012)
Hideout (2013)
Jackpot (2014)
Unleashed (2015)
Jingle (2016)

Titanic Series:
Unsinkable (2011)
Collision Course (2011)
S.O.S (2011)

The 39 Clues Series:
Vespers Rising (2011)
The Medusa Plot (2011)
Flashpoint (2014)

Hypnotists Series:
The Hypnotists (2013)
Memory Maze (2014)
The Dragonfly Effect (2015)

Ungifted Series:
Ungifted (2012)
Supergifted (2018)

Slacker Series:
Slacker (2016)
Level 13 (2019)

Non Series Books:
Losing Joe's Place (1990)
The Twinkie Squad (1992)
The Toilet Paper Tigers (1993)
Why Did the Underwear Cross the Road (1994)
The Chicken Doesn't Skate (1996)
No More Dead Dogs (2000)
Maxx Comedy: The Funniest Kid in America (2003)
Jake, Reinvented (2003)
Born To Rock (2006)
Schooled (2007)
Pop (2009)
Restart (2017)
Notorious (2019)
War Stories (2020)
Game On (contains The Chicken Doesn’t Skate and The Toilet Paper Tigers (2021)
Unplugged (2021)
Linked (2021)
The Fort (2022)

No comments: