Masterminds (Masterminds Series #1)

Masterminds (Masterminds Series #1)

by Gordon Korman


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The first book in the action-packed trilogy from New York Times bestselling author Gordon Korman is perfect for fans of Stranger Things and James Patterson. 

Eli Frieden has never left Serenity, New Mexico...why would he ever want to? Then one day, he bikes to the edge of the city limits and something so crazy and unexpected happens, it changes everything.

Eli convinces his friends to help him investigate further, and soon it becomes clear that nothing is as it seems in Serenity. The clues mount to reveal a shocking discovery, connecting their ideal crime-free community to some of the greatest criminal masterminds ever known.

The kids realize they can trust no one—least of all their own parents.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780062299994
Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
Publication date: 02/02/2016
Series: Masterminds Series , #1
Edition description: Reprint
Pages: 352
Sales rank: 32,313
Product dimensions: 5.12(w) x 7.62(h) x 0.70(d)
Age Range: 8 - 12 Years

About the Author

Gordon Korman published his first book at age fourteen and since then has written more than ninety middle grade and teen novels. Favorites include the New York Times bestselling Ungifted, Supergifted, The Unteachables, Pop, Schooled, and the Masterminds series. Gordon lives with his family on Long Island, New York. You can visit him online at

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Masterminds 4.9 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 19 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book is amazing. The plot is so intense and the characters are almost real. This book has such an interesting way of capturing you from the beginning. It is a completely new take on books in general to rotate between characters the way Gordon Korman does here. I was actually really scared for Eli and Tori and even Malik. It was extremely well discribed in a way so you could see it happening in your head but barely took any time at all to describe. This is overall a great book and I cannot wait for the next adventure. Check out the Unwanteds series by Lisa McMann
NathanL More than 1 year ago
SPOILER ALERT!!!!! I actually love this book! I’m usually not a fan science fiction but this book is really thrilling. It actually started kind of slow for me, but once I got into it I couldn't wait to see what was going to happen next. It is the story of a group of kids growing up in Serenity, New Mexico, who have been raised to love the town. Nothing bad ever happened there, although their town wasn't as perfect as they thought. This leads to adventure, mystery and a huge plot twist. I liked how the author, Gordan Korman, used his characters to tell the story. Every chapter is in a different character's point of view. The main characters are all 13 years old and have never been outside the town of Serenity. Eli Frieden is the son of the principal and town mayor. Eli's dad constantly tells Eli how lucky he is to be living in Serenity, but Eli has his doubts. Amber Laska is the defender of the town. She is very grateful. She is a math genius and takes piano and ballet lessons. Malik is the biggest kid in town, he is a rebel that makes fun of the town's traditions and rules. He plans to leave town as soon as he is old enough. Hector is the smallest of the group. He is bullied by Malik, but feels Malik might be on to something by wanting to leave town. Tori is an all around nice person. She is also a very tough girl. Randy is Eli's best friend who moved out of town to supposedly live with his grandmother. The adventure begins when Randy left behind clues that lead to a note. The note stated “something screwy is going on in the town.” A thunderstorm was messing up the wifi and then they noticed they were being censored. Eli’s friends finally started to believe him that something wasn't right. They began investigating the town and found a conspiracy was going on so they decided to leave town to find Randy. It turns out there was a scientific experiment involving cloning and criminal masterminds. They wanted to see if the children would grow up good instead of bad in a town without crime and evil. Serenity wasn't even actually a real town and everything they knew was a lie. I recommend this book to people who enjoy science fiction and mystery. It is a good read for a young teen. Even if you don’t like science fiction like me you should still try this book. There is enough adventure, mystery and even some laughs to keep it interesting. It was easy to relate the main characters to other kids I know. I was not disappointed in choosing this book to read, and someday soon I plan on reading the sequel.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Masterminds is really exciting and thrilling page turner. I don't know how I would react to what these teens find out about themselves and their town. This is a must-read novel and really funny!! THIS BOOK IS AWESOME!!!!!!!!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book was amazing! And while the plot may seem a tad unoriginal at first glance, it is a very intriguing and suspenseful story. The mystery and suspense is really well handled, with the characters original and fun. I recommend this to everyone! I would say more for people who like The Giver type stories or sci-fi mystery. A wonderful read!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Its an amazing book filled with mystery and excitment
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
It was a great book and if you read it I hope you like it.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I think it was an amazing book that you can really get in to! I loved it please make more books like this one From, Andrew Bernstein.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Psych. It was great
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Great book. I recommend it. ?HECTOR
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book s a rebecca caudill book and my whole school read it. This is one of the best books ive ever read. I am currently readig the secon book, criminal destiny. Make sure to check out the third book, payback too. Nice writing Gordon!
Jacob_K More than 1 year ago
Hi! All in all, I would give Masterminds, by Gordon Korman a solid 75/100, or 4 stars. In my review, I'll address Plot, Characters, and the Conflicts of the book in depth. Section 1: Plot The plot was interesting, and at times, surprising. Overall, it kept you entertained. It was lighthearted but also addressed some serious topics. Some of these include dealing with a life long friend moving away and never being able to speak to them again, as well as dealing with the death of a friend. Honestly, the book felt a little bit too young for a YA title, and may have been better suited for a younger audience. Disregarding this, the book was still enjoyable. Without giving to much of the story away, prepare to laugh, gasp, and not cry, but be sad for the characters. Section 2: Characters The characters were one of the strongest components of the book. They felt very real, and everyone could relate to at least one of the kids in the book. At parts when the characters were going through strong emotions, you could really feel what they felt. And when something good happened to them, you felt genuinely happy for them, and when unfortunate events occurred, you felt the same amount of distress as the characters themselves. There was very rarely a moment when the characters felt unrealistic, or out of characters. Throughout the book the characters did change. One character, a young girl named Amber was commonly described as “Happy Valley's biggest fan” Yet, by the end of the book, after learning the truth of their small town, Amber was no longer happy with blindly believing what the adults in town told her, and she hated the place. At the beginning she happily listened to what any adult told her, but by the end, she learned that she would have to question authority if she wanted the truth. Section 3: Conflicts There were conflicts in the book, but it took a while for them to even be brought up. The book was very slow to start, and it takes a patient reader to reach the main conflict and action. The main conflict of the book was between the children of Serenity and the adults that run it. The children had been raised to love the town. This worked for 13 years but after the best friend of Eli, the main character, was forced to move out of town supposedly to his grandmother's ranch, things changed. Randy, Eli's best friend, left behind a secret note that stated that something fishy was happening around town. Only Eli took the note seriously, but after a thunderstorm that messed with the WiFi signals, and Eli found that their internet was being censored, his closer friends warmed up to the idea that all might not be well in Serenity. The conflict revolves around this, and has to do with Eli and his friends gathering proof of the town's crimes, their escape from town that ended in a near miss with death, and then their travel to find Randy in the outside world with which they had no experience. The conflict was interesting, and complex if nothing else. Section 4: Overall Review In conclusion, the book was okay. It wasn't the best I've ever read, nor was it the worst. The plot felt a bit to simple for the target audience, yet it was bearable. The characters were very realistic and relatable, and were the strongest suit of the book. The conflict was interesting and complex, but very slow to become a focus of the book, taking a patient reader to fully enjoy it. For all these reasons I give it 4 stars, and a 75/100 rating.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Super good book
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Great book, can't wait for the next one!?
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I absolutly loved this book! So many things hapened that i did NOT expect. Looking forwards to read "crinimal destiny" the sequal to this amazing and entrigiung book :)
This_Kid_Reviews_Books More than 1 year ago
Synopsis- Eli Frieden liked his life at Serenity, New Mexico, a nice little town in the middle of nowhere. It was reported as the #1 Best Town To Live In in the world. But it isn’t until Eli’s best friend Randy suddenly leaves town with no explanation, only leaving a cryptic note, that Eli starts to suspect things. He soon finds out, with the help of other classmates, that Serenity isn’t a charted town. Everything in it is fake. Everything they’ve been told is a lie. Even who they are. As a science experiment over nurture-versus-nature, they took DNA from the world’s captured criminal masterminds, and cloned them. They would then raise the children in an environment devoid of evil to see if they would be nice, respectful citizens, instead of evil geniuses. Did I mention that the idea of cloning was made illegal internationally? It’s funny, that in sheltering people from the truth, when the wall breaks down, they turn into what you hoped they wouldn’t.* What I Thought- This is an interesting book. It’s very original. The concept is cool, but kind of creepy, too. I mean, kids being cloned from modern criminal masterminds to discover the answer to nurture vs. nature, is kind of awesome, but also disturbing. It really made me think about the whole story. Cloning is not something to be tampered with. The creepiness of the plot really sets the stage for the whole story. I couldn’t put this book down or get it out of my head. Mr. Korman has written a well-done story with great characters and a marvelous execution of a plan. Really looking forward to a second book! *NOTE* I got a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
In my class, a few people were assigned to read this book, and they told me it was amazing.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Another now
Anonymous More than 1 year ago