I am excited to share my next review of the third book in Mysterious Benedict Society series: The Mysterious Benedict Society and the Prisoner’s Dilemma by Trenton Lee Stewart. After discovering this series over the summer, I have devoured every book and loved the clever ride I always go on. I would call myself a bit of a Mysterious Benedict Society fanatic.
Now with The Mysterious Benedict Society and the Riddle of Ages release date less than ONE WEEK AWAY, I decided to return to the earlier books and share my thoughts. Lucky for me, I only finished this book last month so I haven’t had too long to wait for the final installment.
Fun fact: I tweeted Trenton Lee Stewart about preordering book 4 (which I absolutely had to do even though I own the rest of the series in paperback). And he liked my tweet!!! Which I feel like is a big deal as his Twitter says he doesn’t tweet. Book nerd celebrity moment right there.
- I liked that this book started soon after the events in book 2. That makes these two novels read more like one story because all the excitement of book 2 is still fresh. I recommend reading them close together to feel like you’re still in the story.
- My copy of the prequel about Nicholas Benedict as a child (SO FUN!) had a bonus first chapter of book 4 and after reading that, I am so excited about getting back to the society for one last hurrah!
- The title of this book!!! I love the cleverness and the thought provoking-ness (made up that word just now). Look up the prisoner’s dilemma thought problem. It’s fascinating. Reminds me of something that would be on The Good Place (which y’all should watch!)
According to Goodreads, “Join the Mysterious Benedict Society as Reynie, Kate, Sticky, and Constance embark on a daring new adventure that threatens to force them apart from their families, friends, and even each other. When an unexplained blackout engulfs Stonetown, the foursome must unravel clues relating to a nefarious new plot, while their search for answers brings them closer to danger than ever before.
Filled with page-turning action and mind-bending brain teasers, this wildly inventive journey is sure to delight.”
This is the first time we really get to know Constance and I love the vulnerability and complexities! All the background on Constance and her few years before the MBS is surprising and compelling. I was most surprised by her early connections to Mr Curtain’s schemes. My favorite part about Constance continues to be her love for Mr Benedict. For a girl who is usually standoffish and rude, her tender love for the only father figure she’s ever known is really lovely. I also loved learning more about how her powers work and the limitations and extents of them. She is such a fascinating character. It was great to piece together more of her background and see her flourish and fight for what she believes in.
I thought Stewart would run out of clever plot twists, but this book is as surprising and clever as the first two. How does he do it? I don’t know but I’m sure glad he can create new and exciting plots each book. A pet peeve of mine in series is reading books that feel like the same story just rehashed each novel. These books do not feel like the same thing at all. Perhaps because there is a lot of focus on different members of the society and how they are changing and growing up. Perhaps because the clever riddles seem to be endless in these books. Regardless, I love the twists and turns! SPOILER: The way Mr Curtain takes back the Whisperer and captures the Mysterious Benedict Society is so clever and surprising! Then Mr Benedict’s rescue is equally exciting!
One of my favorite aspects of these books is how clever the riddles and plots are and this one is fantastic! Instead of coming from Mr Benedict, the primarily come from Mr Curtain at first which is a fun twist. Sometimes, I wish I was in the Mysterious Benedict Society so I could solve them (or at least cheer on the others as they solved riddles). Not only do we get riddles from the villain rather than our favorite green plaid wearing man, we also get several from the Mysterious Benedict Society themselves. And that is such a fun adventure! The clever ways the foursome manages to figure out their captive location and tell Mr. Benedict their whereabouts is amazing. I’ve not read anything quite as clever as these books,
If you’re on the fence about getting into another series, let me encourage you to do it now! These are different than other middle grade series that I’ve read lately. No magic, no post apocalyptic settings, no love triangles. Just really smart kids solving problems and saving the world. I love it!
Can’t recommend these books highly enough! And can’t wait for book 4!
Have you read The Mysterious Benedict Society yet?
What do you think will happen in book 4?