The Mysterious Benedict Society and the Perilous Journey, by Trenton Lee Stewart

Here’s another series that I’m enjoying on audiobook… I listened to the first book about a month ago and have just now gotten to this first sequel. It’s definitely great for work because the plot is quite simple so there’s not too much stopping and going back any time my work area gets too loud or I have to go chat someone up.

The idea of this book is the same as its predecessor… children who are very smart and talented in different ways work together to solve seemingly insurmountable problems. But whereas in the first book this idea was set against a plot of trying to take down an evil genius from inside his base of operations, here the plot is a bit… weaker. The same evil genius is back, and he’s kidnapped the titular Benedict, but for the most part his existence and actions are just there to give the story a time limit of sorts. The real plot follows a path of puzzles that Benedict had laid out for the children to follow for funsies, before he got all kidnapped and whatnot.

This plot is both better and worse than the one before it. Better, because I liked the puzzling parts and enjoyed having more of them to try to solve myself (where possible). Worse, because outside of the puzzles there is very little to this book. The characters do their thing, I guess, but it’s not terribly interesting.

But! The puzzles are generally interesting, and some of the scenarios the characters find themselves in are in fact intriguing, and if you’re listening to this book while doing something else you can skip all the boring parts. Sweet!

Recommendation: Good if you like puzzles!

Rating: 7/10

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