The Mysterious Benedict Society and the Perilous Journey

I love the The Mysterious Benedict Society and I've been eagerly waiting for my name to reach the top of the library list for Trenton Lee Stewart's second book in the series, The Mysterious Benedict Society and the Perilous Journey.

After not having seen each other for the better part of a year the group is being reunited for a special treat from Mr. Benedict. But as they meet up at Headquarters they discover something terrible - Mr. Benedict has been captured and is being held hostage by Mr. Curtain! The children, being who they are, take off on a rescue mission and in true Society-fashion do so sans adults. Luckily Mr. Benedict had planned a scavenger hunt to lead them to where he's being held anyway, but can the children find all the clues and figure them out in time?

I love the characters in these books. None of them are exactly the same as they were before. Reynie has lost his belief that all people are good and is inclined to believe that most people are not. Yes, Reynie is jaded and I think it's an expected response to what happened in the first book. I do wish he called Miss Perumal something other than "Miss Perumal" seeing as how she adopted him and all.

Sticky is learning to have pride in his intelligence. He's also learning how to deal with parents who don't want to let him do anything because they feel so guilty about how horrible they were to him in the past. He still struggles with fear and courage but Sticky, as before, holds his own and has a few surprises.

Kate is every bit as plucky and brave as before but she has new fears. While she was reunited with Milligan he's still doing Secret Agent business and is frequently away. Because he doesn't want her to be alone she recruits one of her old friends from the circus to be her live-in caretaker and who less would suit for that other than the strong man? No one of course. And I have to say, it's awesome to have a female character that consistantly kicks the boy's butts at physical tasks.

Constance really develops a lot more in this book, as any 3-year old would! Now that the other's know her age they have a lot more patience with her and understand her much better. She's far more likable in this one and in a sense she's the heart of the operation. In addition to the normal developments that a 3-year old goes through, Constance has some "special" abilities that may surprise you.

A good second book. I hope there will be more.