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Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Review: The Mysterious Benedict Society and the Prisoner's Dilemma



Join the Mysterious Benedict Society as Reynie, Kate, Sticky, and Constance embark on a daring new adventure that threatens to force them apart from their families, friends, and even each other. When an unexplained blackout engulfs Stonetown, the foursome must unravel clues relating to a nefarious new plot, while their search for answers brings them closer to danger than ever before.

Filled with page-turning action and mind-bending brain teasers, this wildly inventive journey is sure to delight.


Genre: Children's Fiction, Adventure, Mystery, Young Adult
Edition: Hardcover; Library
Page Count: 391
Pub. Date: October 6, 2009
Series: Book 3 in The Mysterious Benedict Society series

My Rating: 4 Stars (out of 5)
Amazon.com: 4.5 stars
Goodreads: 4.37 (Average)

My Summary:

We begin the tale in prison. Or something like it. Due to the fact that the children and their families are being sought after by the cruel Mr. Curtain, it has been necessary to keep them concealed as much as possible. But they haven't remained idle in the process. Mr. Benedict, their teacher and benevolent keeper, has kept them on their toes by testing them with riddles, puzzles, and more importantly, the "Prisoner's Dilemma."

Two suspects, partner in crime, are arrested by the police. The police have insufficient evidence for a conviction, and, having separated both prisoners, visit each of them to offer the same deal. If one testifies (defects from the other) for the prosecution against the other and the other remains silent (cooperates with the other), the betrayer goes free and the silent accomplice receives the full 10-year sentence. If both remain silent, both prisoners are sentenced to only six months in jail for a minor charge. If each betrays the other, each receives a five-year sentence. Each prisoner must choose to betray the other or to remain silent.


But in this case, the prison sentence was replaced by dish duty for a house of 13. As usual, the foursome find a way to turn the situation to their benefit. But while mischievous activity is going on under the Benedict household, other sinister events are underway in the city of Stonetown. Determined to get his Whisperer back, Mr. Curtain has devised another evil plot to try, once again, to reign his terror and superiority over the world. But the Society is fast on his heels.

My Thoughts:

Another hightailed journey with Reynard "Reynie" Muldoon, Kate Wetherall, George "Sticky" Washington, and Constance Contraire: the nerdy fearsome foursome. The thing I love about this series is: it's never dull. There's always an adventure, always a new puzzle to be solved, and a clue to be figured out.

The camaraderie between the 4 friends is endlessly fun. Whether it's Reynie's knack to solve the unsolvable, Kate's penchant to take action, Sticky's unnerving ability to remember everything, or Constance's quirky habit of forming poem's about the most random things - they each contribute something unique to the book and bring out the best in one another.

Your brain will be teased with excitement and tossed with adventure. You'll experience suspense, dread, happiness - all whopped in to 391 pages. But it's more than just an adventure story, it's a tale about friendship and sticking together through thick and thin. Kinda leaves you with a warm, fuzzy feeling.

Finally, this book gave the series a sense of closure. Many unanswered plots and threads from the previews books were dutifully answered and did the series justice. (But then again, I haven't read anything about this being the final book, so don't count on me) Such a satisfying read. Makes you want to keep reading about those 4. A series/book to be enjoyed by everyone!

3 comments:

Juju at Tales of Whimsy.com said...

Cool review :)

okbolover said...

I want to pick this series up! it caught my eye but I just never got around to reading them. Great review. :)

Nikki said...

@Juju - Thanks m'dear! :)

@okbolover - Thank you! I can't recommend this series enough. The illustrations for each chapter are adorable. Hope you get a chance to read them soon! :)

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