cvr9781442440326_9781442440326_hrReviewed by Carrie Ardoin

A World of Trouble is the second in a series and will contain spoilers for the first book in the series, The Bad Apple.

I really liked the first book in this series, and read it pretty quickly. Being introduced to Seamus, the main character of this series, and the entire world of the Troublemakers was a unique reading experience. But much of the magic and humor from the first book seems to have dissipated in the second installment of the Merits of Mischief series. Things took on a more serious and somber tone, which very much took away some of the reading enjoyment I usually get from middle grade books.

The novel starts right where the first left off–Seamus is at home for the semester break, and all kinds of weird things are going on at home and with his parents. His mother in particular is acting very dodgy. Daily gifts start arriving for Seamus, weapons and cool gadgets that he first assumes are being sent from someone at Kilter Academy. But he soon learns that no one at Kilter Academy has anything to do with the sweet stuff he is receiving–and when he sees who it is, it brings up way more questions than answers.

This seems to be a theme that goes throughout the book, and was something I had trouble with in the first book of the series as well. The reader is constantly left in the dark and wondering what the heck is going on sometimes, and even though you get to the end of the book, the questions you want answers to are never really approached.

For example, as soon as Seamus goes back to school for his second semester, the director of the academy asks him to monitor one of his more secretive teachers. This is an important plot point for the majority of the book, but towards the end it is kind of brushed off and neither Seamus nor the reader learn why he was sent on this task. This made me quite frustrated.

As I said, A World of Trouble seems to have more serious moments than humorous ones, and that is a shame because I quite enjoyed all the trouble Seamus and his friends got into when they first met at Kilter. I hope now that Seamus has done the important quest he wanted to do, that things get more lighthearted in Kilter Academy.

I’d love to finish out this series to see how Seamus and friends end their time as Troublemakers.

Rating: ★★★☆☆ 

Carrie runs the blog Sweet Southern Home, and is a stay at home wife and mom to one little boy. When she’s not reading, she’s usually watching Netflix with her husband, playing outside with her son, or baking. Her family would describe her as sometimes annoyingly sarcastic, but mostly lovable. 

Review copy was provided free of any obligation by Aladdin. No monetary or any other form of compensation was received.