Most of you have either never read or have no recollection of when I wrote about The Mysterious Benedict Society by Trenton Lee Stewart over a year ago. Take a minute, go read what I wrote. Then what I write now will make much more sense.
Oh my holy cow! I thought the first book was awesome but this one took the cake! I compared the first book to Lemony Snicket, but the second book leaves the comparisons behind and strikes out on its own. Stewart took this likable and heroic group of kids and showed that they had more depth and charisma than before. The quartet of brilliant children, Reynie, Kate, Sticky and Constance are forced on a journey across the ocean in search of their beloved Mr. Benedict who has been abducted by the evil Mr. Curtain. They have riddles and puzzles to solve along the way, which makes my brain hum with pleasure, and dastardly fiends to avoid. I especially loved the Ten Men, but you've probably figured out by now that I love a good villain. The Ten Men are dressed as dashing business men, but their briefcases carry deadly weapons of their trade. Ooh, they're nasty and I loved it. Kate is even more reckless and amazing as she thinks fast on her feet and makes use of her trusty bucket. Reynie re-examines what he thinks of people he once thought were trustworthy, Sticky becomes less frightened of the world around him, and Constance is more than her crabby exterior shows.
I seriously hope that Stewart either has more in store for these kids or tries his hand at more books. I can't get enough!