Against my better judgement, I've been trapped in a pattern of reading series books for practically this entire year. About a month ago, I was desperate for the second book in The Invisible Order series by Paul Crilley, but when I went to the store, they didn't have it. I ordered it, and have since started reading it, but while I was there I bought the second book in The Mysterious Benedict Society to tide me over. As you've probably gathered, I'm also in a Middle Grade kick as well. I feel that's where my imagination resides these days, I'm all too willing to feed it.
The Mysterious Benedict Society and the Perilous Journey
by Trenton Lee Stewart
The second book picks up a year after Reynie, Sticky, Kate, and Constance foiled Mr. Curtain's plan to brainwash the world. After spending the time apart, starting their new lives with new families, the kids are finally getting together for a reunion. Little do they know, their adventure is about to take a dangerous turn.
Upon arriving at Mr. Benedict's house, the kids discover that their kindly mentor has been kidnapped, along with No. 2. There's no doubt that Mr. Curtain is behind this dastardly plan, with the help of his dreaded Ten Men. Now it's up to the kids to save them using their unique skills, and the cryptic clues left behind by Mr. Benedict.
This book moves at a much faster pace than the first, though it's still a whopper, clocking in at 440 pages. The first book spent so much time setting up the story that it dragged a bit in the beginning. This one has the luxury of not having to introduce the characters, allowing the action to begin quicker, making it a much faster read.
The scope of the adventure is much bigger in this story, and the pace is helped by having the children follow a trail of clues across the globe, rather than staying stagnant as in the first story. At times it did feel as though it moved a little too fast, and sometimes things were a little too convenient for the kids, but overall I found it quite enjoyable.
One thing I did really like about this book was how it delved deeper into Kate and Constance's characters. The first book was definitely Reynie's tale, and though this one is primarily his as well, the two girls are given their own trials and tribulations. I wish Sticky had been given a bigger role. He's probably my favorite character, and he seemed absent a lot in this book. But these are all minor things that didn't affect my reading pleasure. I'm looking forward to continuing on their adventures in the other books.