Amy and Dan Cahill are the protagonists and they are all on their own in the hunt for the 39 Clues started by their grandmother, Grace Cahill. They must depend on their own instincts to beat their wealthy cousins to the final product, the serum including all of the 39 Clues, which makes whoever drinks it the most powerful person in the world. The antagonists are the other Cahill members taking part in the hunt for the 39 Clues.
The setting is all over the world as the clue hunt leads them. The point of view is from all the members of the clue hunt which adds suspense. The theme is that the the people who cheat lose, even though in reality they might win.
Dan and Amy are seperated for the first time ever. The reason they were so active in the clue hunt was that they saw themselves as the good guys and all the other Cahills as the bad guys, but Amy and Dan realize that their parents were Madrigals. Amy believed that because their parents and Grace were Madrigals that they were bad. Dan on the other hand tells Amy to shut up for the first time in his life and runs off and groups up with Jonah Wizard, promising himself that he was done with the hunt for the 39 Clues. They climb Mt. Everest and get a serum that held many of the 39 Clues, but Amy lets it go so that she could save Ian from falling down the mountain