Hey there friends,
Today I am excited to share my review of The Mysterious Benedict Society and the Perilous Journey by Trenton Lee Stewart. I am a bit delayed on this review (I finished the book at the beginning of August) because I was a bit indecisive about what to do with the series.
I read books 2, 3, and the prequel in about two weeks total. SO that’s a lot of Mysterious Benedict Society (LOVE IT!) and I wasn’t sure how to review it. I already a review of book 1 so I can’t do a true series review. Plus book 4 isn’t quite out yet **SEPTEMBER 24th!!!** so I didn’t want to wait until after I read that in a day. Basically, I love this series. So I decided each book gets it’s own review. More reviews for me to write. But worth it to convince all y’all to read these books!
- Series can be tricky. Sometimes the sequels don’t quite live up to the hype, read like a rehash of book one, or lack the excitement of the first book. Not so here. The Mysterious Benedict Society and the Perilous Journey is another clever, fast paced ride with our favorite four person society. I loved it!
- I do not for one minute regret impulse buying the rest of the series after I finished book one. These are books I love owning and can’t wait to share with my kids.
According to Goodreads, “The Mysterious Benedict Society is up against a new mission, significantly closer to home. After reuniting for a celebratory scavenger hunt, Reynie, Kate, Sticky, and Constance are forced to go on an unexpected search–a search to find Mr. Benedict. It seems that while he was preparing the kids’ adventure, he stepped right into a trap orchestrated by his evil twin Mr. Curtain.
With only one week to find a captured Mr. Benedict, the gifted foursome faces their greatest challenge of all–a challenge that will reinforce the reasons they were brought together in the first place and will require them to fight for the very namesake that united them.”
The members of the society are just as fantastic as I remember them. My favorite part of this book is the omniscient narrator. I love getting inside everyone’s head so seamlessly. Reynie continues to be a favorite of mine. His inner struggle about people being inherently good or bad is fascinating. I also appreciated Sticky’s struggle with his pride and ego. They are just real people. And I love how much Constance loves Mr Benedict but she’s too stubborn to say anything. Kate’s journey is great in this one too as she discovers she really cares about people and can’t take care of everyone at the same time. I cheer for the Mysterious Benedict Society from the first page and continue loving these four throughout the novel.
The journey to save Mr Benedict is fresh and exciting. It’s not the same story that we had in book one which was much more world conspiracy. This was a smaller plot focused on Mr. Benedict and the society’s quest to save him. I enjoyed the changed pace while also loving the clever plot twists along the way. Like probably all fans of this series, I love Mr Benedict! He is such a fascinating, kind character and I loved getting more of his backstory in the prequel (more on that in its own review). His international scavenger hunt is a clever adventure in itself taking the society to Lisbon, Holland, and an uncharted island. I often feel like I’m just along for the ride as the society deciphers his clues and speeds off to the next stop. I couldn’t put this book down! In fact, I stayed up way too late finishing it because I had to hear what happened next!
One element that surprised me in this novel is the darker characters and the violence. There is more violence than I expected in this one. I’d say it is similar to the shift in the Harry Potter books with book 4 when things get a bit darker. This isn’t the fist fights and school pranks of book one. This is far more intense. Mr Curtain’s allies are getting more and more scary. The ten men are terrifying!! I cannot imagine experiencing the fight scenes on the island. And the fear of those briefcase toting ten men walking towards me to make me talk. Yikes! The one bright spot of all the violence is Milligan who is as clever and talented a spy as there is anywhere. I loved seeing him in action more and applauded his heroic efforts.
The most fascinating debate in this novel is the one between good and evil. It’s much more complex than simply which is correct (I hope most of us would say good). It shows the complexities of the issue. People have parts of both inside us. The question is, which do we act on? Throughout the novel, Reynie struggles with this debate and in finding the good in other people. I admire Mr Benedict’s calm way of answering those questions. One of the most fascinating moments of the book is near the end when Mr Benedict has a surprising exchange with SQ Pedalian (Mr Curtain’s rather dumb yet loyal assistant). It’s so interesting to see how complex the moment becomes and how that affects the characters in the next book as well. Love that these books give readers both a fantastic story and so much to think about.
Another great book following the Mysterious Benedict Society! I loved the action packed ride and all that this book left me thinking about. Looking forward to sharing my thoughts on book 3 soon!
Have you read The Mysterious Benedict Society yet? What did you think?
What books would you recommend for Benedict fans?