Title: The Mysterious Benedict Society
Author: Trenton Lee Stewart
Publisher: Chicken House Books
Age group: 9/10 – 13 years (publisher’s recommendation:
8 – 12 years)
(Note from Asha: This is being posted by me on behalf of my 14 year old daughter, Aarini. We got this as a review copy from Scholastic India.)
Four Gifted Children. One Mission. And Unpredictable Events.
This is the perfect book for readers who like Lemony Snicket’s A Series Of Unfortunate Events!
I can sincerely say that this review will not do justice to the book or the series because it is jam packed with surprise after surprise and elaborating on each would be such a spoiler.
The story starts off with Reynard Muldoon, or Reynie, an orphaned boy, who is on his way to appear for a series of tests for gifted children. These special tests, created by one Mr Benedict, have very specific instructions and an extremely irregular format.
Reynie’s gift is the ability to come up with marvelous ideas. At the venue he meets Sticky, a boy with an incredible memory, but very anxious all the time and Kate, a very resourceful girl with a confidence we could all use. Later on, they all meet Constance, a girl whose skills are being obnoxious and stubborn. Together, they form The Mysterious Benedict Society – the team that’s going to save the world!
Mr Benedict is a man looking for children with a certain trait (I can’t elaborate on that!), to use their unique skills to bring down an impending threat that has not been identified yet. Hence, the tests.
Mr Benedict knows that there are secret messages being transmitted into people’s minds without them realising it and that the source is the Learning Institute for the Very Enlightened (LIVE). He sends the team of four on a mission to LIVE to find out who is responsible for the secret messages and to uncover what their long term plan is!
Morse code, brainsweeping, missing government agents, someone with Narcolepsy (a sleep disorder where you fall asleep at random times!), traps, secret passages, poisoned food, this book has got it all and will definitely scratch your adventure-mystery-spy itch!
As you can see, there is so much going on and ideally so much to write, BUT I CAN’T, because once I start, it’ll give everything away!
I can’t reveal who the bad guy is.
I can’t reveal what the bad guy’s nefarious plan is.
I can’t reveal the secret identities of certain key characters.
Honest confession: I get intimidated by large books and this one is almost 500 pages!! But once I started reading it, it got me hooked, and I looked forward to reading after school.
The back cover mentions that the book as FAST-PACED. That’s an understatement. There was never a moment in the book where I felt like the plot was dropping or getting boring. Every page from first to last was full of incredibly creative ideas and thrilling moments that made me feel like I was living their adventure myself. The major part of the adventure takes place at LIVE. During their stay there the four children would uncover parts of THE PLAN but before you get a chance to grapple with the information, the team stumbles upon something even more bizarre, that no one would see coming.
You’ll come across funny one liners every now and then that give you a small break from the constant adrenaline rush.
Oh also, there are not one, but two unpredictable revelations at the end of the book that made my jaw drop.
Guess what, The Mysterious Benedict Society is a series, so there is a lot more where that came from. A boxset of 5 books is available too!
If you enjoyed this review and wish to buy this book from Scholastic India (kbc affiliate link), please type The Mysterious Benedict Society in the search bar after clicking this red button. And in case you would like to explore the other books in this must have series, simply type BENEDICT SOCIETY in the search bar after clicking this red button.CLICK & BUY NOW!
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