the mysterious benedict society and the perilous journey book cover

I normally don’t care for book series or trilogies. I figure if the first one is good, let’s not ruin it by writing multiples. But the characters in Stewart’s first book, The Mysterious Benedict Society (you can read our review here) were so cute and endearing that I went out and bought the second book the day after I finished the first.

THE MYSTERIOUS BENEDICT SOCIETY AND THE PERILOUS JOURNEY is about the same four, extraordinarily gifted children—Reynie, Sticky, Kate, and Constance—who meet up for the summer because their benefactor, Mr. Benedict, has a trip planned for the four of them. But before they even set sail on their adventure, Mr. Benedict and his trusty sidekick, Number Two, are captured by Benedict’s evil twin brother—Mr. Curtain, who escaped from capture in the last book—and are being held hostage. While the adults and the police try and figure out what to do next, the children sneak out and begin their own search for their friends. And so begins the journey across countries to find Benedict and Number Two and to save the world from the evils of Mr. Curtain.

As the four children search for their namesake, they find clues and riddles left behind from Benedict that they must solve in order to find his whereabouts. The book becomes a journey of its own sort for the reader, as we must also play along to find Mr. Benedict.

Much like the first, Perilous Journey has the same action-driven plotline and doesn’t waste any time getting straight to the point. Stewart also does a good job at creating a quirky, unique world that borders on the mystical but retains enough of the ordinary to seem plausible. Plus, the plot line seems more like what an eleven-year old would come up with, and since that’s the target audience, Stewart nails it.

Though not as good as the first, Perilous Journey is definitely still worth reading. Stewart is like Roald Dahl meets Norton Juster with a hint of Lemony Snicket. Not only will it bring you back to your own childhood, it’s sure to satisfy any cravings for the adventure-seeking reader.

Rating: 4 out of 5 stars | Publisher: Little, Brown Young Readers | Pages: 440 | Source: Purchased | Buy on Amazon

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