The Perilous Journey, the second installment in the Mysterious Benedict Society series picks up six months after the resolution of the four friends' first assignment as The Mysterious Benedict Society. This time around, the children and their families are reuniting at Mr. Benedict's- and he has a surprise for them. Just as they arrive, eager to enjoy each other's company, it is revealed that Mr. Benedict and Number Two have been taken by none other than Mr. Curtain. In this sequel he returns as the villain, have escaped the clutches of the government's top agents. It seems as though Mr. Benedict's big surprise- a sort of scavenger hunt on an international scale- is cancelled. The children know that it's up to them to disobey orders and save Mr. Benedict and Number Two, as they're the only ones who could solve the clues he's left behind. And so they set off on their second adventure together, during which they find out more about each other and about themselves; though they must learn how to play to each other's strengths in order to survive and rescue their friends.
Although I am a huge fan of this series overall, this sequel was not quite as impressive as the first novel (see my review for it here). It was a little slow to start- I wouldn't say I was completely captured (and by that I mean exclaiming aloud as I read) until about 300 pages in (for reference this book is 440 pages). My impatience for some action/more intellectual stimulation led me to pick up the book less often, resulting in a longer read time and therefore...more impatience. Once the story got going though, I was totally caught up in it. I loved that the four children's characters were developed a bit more in this book. There was conflict within each of them and their actions were reflecting their new depth, resulting in more dynamic relationships. In addition to that, the stakes were completely different (think personal rather than global) and the injuries sustained more serious- a definite draw for young male readers. I'll definitely be picking up the third installment at some point this year.
Bottom Line Rating: 4/5
- Title: The Mysterious Benedict Society and the Perilous Journey
- Author: Trenton Lee Stewart
- Publisher: Little, Brown & Co., 2008
- Price: $5 on Amazon
- ISBN: 0316057800
- Format: Hardcover
- Source: Public Library