Book Review: The Mysterious Benedict Society and the Riddle of Ages

“Some time has passed since the inimitable quartet of Reynie, Sticky, Kate, and Constance have had a mission together. But with the arrival of a new Society member — and a new threat — they must reunite to face dilemmas more dangerous than ever before, including the villainous Mr. Curtain and a telepathic enemy tracking their every move, not to mention a dramatically preteen Constance.

In its triumphant return, the Society encounters all new challenges, but the series’ trademark sly humor, sweet camaraderie, hairsbreadth escapes, and mind-bending puzzles are all as engaging as ever. Fans of the series will be thrilled to see the Society has grown up a little with them, while a new generation of readers will fall in love with these irresistible adventures.” (from Goodreads)

When I finished the original trilogy just six months ago, I had my doubts about reading this one. Why read another book when that ending was sooooo satisfactory? Well, here I am, and I’m very happy to have read it. 😀

(I got to buddy read this book with my friend Mikayla. 10/10 would recommend.)

When it first started out, I’ll admit that it didn’t feel like I was expecting. The first chapter was more action-packed and explanation-packed than these books usually start out with–which I’m sure was a welcome opening for readers new to the series or in need of a refresher. 😉 Fortunately, it settled into the happy rhythm of cleverness, heartwarming friendship, and profound thoughts mixed together into an adventure like I’ve grown to love.

The blessed wordplays are back and better than ever! And so many callbacks to the first book. ❤ Also, Milligan will never cease to be a legend. XD

I love the old gang so much, and I loved seeing them be themselves and even more so. Kate was… WOW. The moment with the stairs, anyone? Sticky is darling, and the more I think about it, I relate to him a little more than I ever have before. And Constance!!! The green-plaid-suit-wearing teenager with scarlet hair (maybe a bit like her sister’s ❤ ). She was sleepy and grumpy again in this one, yes, but her struggles with feeling left out (as the only one officially still a young kid), her beautiful if grumpy love for her friends and family, and some of the gobsmacking things she did = happy sigh. Also, while I recognize that she shouldn’t be rude, I also recognize that certain things are always going to be harder for her, but after that ending I’ve got some hope. 😉 Also, Tai is my baby. ❤ I liked his role in the story, and yes, of course I saw a metaphorical meaning for it. XD

And Reynie. He’s always been my favorite character, and I love his big, beautiful heart. The painful growth he had to go through in this one was a little hard to read about at times, but I loved it in the end. He’s so awesome. ❤

Honestly, all the ponderings about growing up and growing apart and respecting each other were amazing. My friend Mikayla and I agreed that it meant a lot to us since we were a similar age to the characters for the first time. (And those topics have been on my mind a ton lately.)

I loved the adventure in this one, and while I had a *tiny* guess of what was going on, the full scope of it just blew. my. mind. O.o. I love it so much. I did find some of the logistics confusing at times and the ending was a little slow, but I didn’t mind those so much. 😉 Everything else was so perfect. ❤

(And Reynie daring Kate to keep her hairstyle in was The Most Adorable Thing Ever.)

Just a note, there were a couple instances of threats against children and some peril. Also, as it says on the tin, telepathy is a factor.

Best quotes: “Poetic license,” Constance said with a shrug. Tai was fascinated. “There’s a license for poetry?”

More than once he’d come close to knocking on Mr. Benedict’s study door, only to change his mind and creep away. Now it occurred to him that Mr. Benedict had been aware of those almost-knocks. In fact, Mr. Benedict’s decision to “have an extra cup of tea” had likely been meant to make it easier for Reynie to approach him. No need for knocking. Mr. Benedict had removed the door.

Altogether, this was a great read, and with the nods to the prequel, I’m thinking I’ll need to read that one too. 😉


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