I spent a wonderful Sunday morning in bed finishing this book. I have to admit that after the first book I had very high expectations for this one and it didn't quite live up to them. But, it was still a great book and I thoroughly enjoyed it.
The second of the MBS books takes the 4 main characters – Reynie, Sticky, Kate, and Constance – on a whirlwind round-the-world trip to save Mr. Benedict. New characters and past ones join them (or attack them) along the way. Once again, each child must use his or her own unique gifts and work as a group to achieve their goal.
I enjoyed that the kids grew up a little in this book. A year has passed since their previous adventure, and you can tell. Kate has someone other than herself to care about; Sticky is struggling to control the pride he feels at his vast amount of knowledge ane maybe find that courage he's always lacked; Reynie is still as insightful as ever – I think he was grown up long before the first book. Constance was by far my favorite character in this book. As she's matured, she's learned to think of others. She is dealing with her newest gift and handling it admirably. I'm glad to see the characters change and grow along the series. I'm not sure how many books are planned, but the only way they will remain interesting is if the characters do.
Random thoughts: I loved that Reynie and Sticky were afraid of flying – it made me feel closer to them. I disliked that the Recruiters are now called Ten Men (for the 10 ways they can hurt you) because I always pictured ten of them and had a hard time keeping track of how many there actually were.
At first I didn't like the way that all the "good guys" are afraid of harming the "bad guys". I mean, if someone is about to kill me, am I really going to care if he accidentally drowns? At first I though it was just because it was a kid's book, but they do have their reasons and I get it now. I think the ending (no spoilers) finally put me at peace with that idea.
My previous post about the first MBS book referenced that it gave me the Harry Potter feeling I've been searching for. Having read Half-Blood Prince and this in the same week, I think I may have been mistaken. They are fantastic books, but nothing gives me that Harry Potter feeling but Harry Potter.
Looking forward to the third in the series this fall and highly encourage anyone who has not yet done so to give The Mysterious Benedict Society a chance.