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The Mysterious Benedict Society and The Prisoner’s Dilemma

The Mysterious Benedict Society and the Prisoner's Dilemma (The Mysterious Benedict Society, #3)

Book Review: Kayleigh S., 8th grade

Book: The Mysterious Benedict Society and The Prisoner’s Dilemma

Author: Trenton Lee Stewart
Number of Pages: 391
Genre: Fantasy
Age Range: Middle Grades
Source of Book: Ramsey County Library

“You aren’t responsible for all of us, Kate had said in the prison.  We’re all responsible for each other, right?”

The Mysterious Benedict Society is back for their third and final escapade.  First, Constance runs away after learning the awful truth about her past.  Then a mysterious blackout sweeps over Stonetown, causing much confusion and distress.  Subsequently, Reynie, Sticky, Kate, and Constance are on the hunt for Mr. Curtain and his former executives again.  They are able to sniff out a trail that unbeknownst to them leads them right into a very sticky situation.  But that is just the beginning.  Filled with many escape attempts and trials that test their trust in each other and faith in themselves, this is the most crucial and radical adventure yet.  Will Reynie, Sticky, Kate, and Constance be able to effectively utilize their unique gifts in order to save themselves and everyone they hold dear?

This is the third book in the Mysterious Benedict Society series.  Compared to the first, I would definitely say that this book was disappointing.  The plot was very similar to the first two books:  Reynie, Kate, Sticky, and Constance ran away, got caught by Mr. Curtain, and had to escape.  There were some funny moments, such as Ms. Plugg trying to remember Sticky’s name by nicknaming him fiddlesticks (since he often fiddles with his glasses and “stick” is in his name).  Overall, however, it was as predictable as a Scooby Doo flick, except that Scooby Doo is really funny so it totally makes up for the predictability.

A few good points about the book were that it did have a couple heartfelt moments between S.Q. Pedalian and Mr. Curtain and between S.Q. Pedalian and Reynie, Kate, Sticky, and Constance.  Here is one example:

“Mr. Curtain released the lever and threw up his hands in defeat.

But before the lever slipped and the beam dropped, S.Q. … leaped into the cab of the crane, seized him, and leaped out again, falling hard to the ground. … Mr. Curtain was cursing him, berating him, snapping at him.  ‘You fool!  You fool!  You miserable, unthinking . . .’

But Reynie noticed — and so did they all — that Mr. Curtain was clinging as tightly to S.Q. as S.Q. was to him, and in the brief moments before his emotions sent him to sleep, Mr. Curtain’s eyes expressed something quite different from the words he was uttering with such ferocity. …

It was relief, perhaps, or perhaps something even stronger.

It might even have been hope.”


I LOVED the first book in the series so much that the other two books were really, all in all, a disappointment.  Sometimes when the first book is written SUPER well, it is really hard to top it.  I think that Stewart did a nice job of trying to make it a good series but I think it should have been left as a solo book.  If you’re a diehard Mysterious Benedict Society fan, you might want to read this book.  However, I would not strongly recommend it as it will probably not meet your expectations.


5 responses »

  1. I think it is intreasting to open with a quote.

  2. Ths is the first time I have seen a book review that didn’t like a book. This review saved my time because I was going to read bouth the 2nd and 3rd book. So I think ill save the series reputatiin by not reading them thanks!

  3. That was very informative. I liked the way you described the plot.

  4. I liked the quote and I really want to read the book now!

  5. I, or should I say we, read the first book in 5th or 6th grade as a class and it is still one of my favorite books ever. I have really wanted to read this book for a long time and I never got around to it. The beginnings are a little slow and for me, it’s really hard to get interested in a book that is “slow”, but I will try. 🙂


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