“Sooner or later, everyone’s story has an unfortunate event or two…” // Review of “The End” by Lemony Snicket

Title: The End (A Series of Unfortunate Events #13)
Author: Lemony Snicket
Genre: Middle-grade
Date Read: 08/12/2017 – 11/12/2017
Rating: ★★★

Review:

It  was bittersweet, reaching the end of this series after reading it on-and-off all year. While the last book probably wasn’t my favourite of the series, I did really like the way everything wrapped up, even though I know others found the ending quite unsatisfying.

Throughout this series, Snicket’s writing style sometimes ground my nerves, either with its desire to sound clever, or with its repetition, or some other literary quirk that is rather unusual in books aimed at this age-group. This happened a bit more than often in The End and I did end up skimming a page here and there.

The thing I found most impressive about this particular book was that it had me feeling a bit sorry for Count Olaf. Having spent 12 book seeing him as nothing but a comical villain, it was actually quite nice to see a bit more depth to him, and get a glimpse into his back story. The entire series deals with the fact that even the noblest of people can sometimes do questionable things, and no one is entirely saint or sinner, and this was highlighted a lot here. Still, I felt some of the world-building, and the history-building, was a little flimsy at times. but I felt satisfied and a bit nostalgic when I got to the end.

The style and nature of A Series of Unfortunate Events is not for everyone, and I don’t recommend reading too many of the books at once, as the repetitious nature is more obvious that way (I tended to read two or three then have a break). However, it is quite unique and I recommend it, both for adult readers and children alike.


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#WWW Wednesday – December 13 2017

It’s time for WWW Wednesday! This blog hop is hosted by Sam over at A World Of Words. Link up with us by commenting on Sam’s post for this week, and just answer the three questions.

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What have you recently finished reading?

I finished The Penultimate Peril  and The End by Lemony Snicket, the final two books in A Series of Unfortunate Events. I actually really liked the way the series wrapped up, though I can see how some people were disappointed. I plan to read Lemony Snicket’s other series, All The Wrong Questions, which is set in the same world as ASOEU but follows adventures of the young Lemony Snicket.

I finally got my review of Stay by Jesse Blackadder posted last week. Click here to read it.

What are you currently reading?

I picked up Warcross by Marie Lu from the library last week and I have finally got around to starting it. I haven’t had a chance to read too much of it yet and I’m still getting my head around some of it but it’s promising so far.

I also started the audio book of Vicious by V. E. Schwab. After not loving the second two books in the Shades of Magic trilogy, nor being impressed by Our Savage Song, I had pretty much given up on Schwab, but since listening to it as an audio book means not taking away from reading other physical reads, that was okay. I’m at about 80% but I honestly can’t tell you whether I’m enjoying it or not. I think it’s one of those books where “enjoy” is not quite the right word.

Still sort of slowly working on The Game You Played by Anni Taylor when I have nothing else to read.

What do you think you’ll read next?

While I had one Christmas book on hold at the library, I decided I needed another, and I knew from talking to others that there is no short supply of Christmas reads on Netgalley. I looked through a few but chose What Happens at Christmas by Evonne Wareham, because I liked the sound of a mystery set at Christmas. I should probably read that before the library copy of Merry and Bright by Debbie Macomber (which I heard about thanks to Laurel-Rain Snow).

What are you reading this week? 

~ Emily

#WWW Wednesday – December 06, 2017

It’s time for WWW Wednesday! This blog hop is hosted by Sam over at A World Of Words. Link up with us by commenting on Sam’s post for this week, and just answer the three questions.

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What have you recently finished reading?

Ayeesh, from a week where I finished four books to a week where I didn’t finish anything.

It hurts my heart to say it but after taking a week to reach page 200, I decided to DNF Renegades by Marissa Meyer. I just felt that it way way too long, and nothing had happened at that 200-page point for me to really care about. But I also think maybe superheroes are just not my jam, since I thought Not Your Sidekick by C. B. Lee was just okay and I didn’t even reach page 100 in Not Your Villain.

I did manage to post my review of Killman Creek by Rachel Caine. Click the title to read it.

What are you currently reading?

I have started The Game You Played by Anni Taylor but I’m taking it slowly because unfortunately, the reviews that mentioned poor editing are correct. I can’t even blame that on it being self-published, so I don’t know what’s going on there. I think this is also going to be a bit of a slow read and I’m possibly comparing it to Stillhouse Lake/Killman Creek, which is probably not fair.

My main read at the moment is The Penultimate Peril, the second-to-last book in the Series of Unfortunate Events by Lemony Snicket. I had never read this one or the last one when I was younger, so this is a new experience. I was torn between finishing this series before the end of the year, or ticking off more books on my monthly TBR. I decided finishing this in 2017 would be more satisfying.

What do you think you’ll read next?

I will definitely read The End by Lemony Snicket and see the series through. Knowing I’m so close to the end of this series is giving me a bittersweet feeling, but I think I might check out some of the other books set in the same universe.

What are you reading this week? 

~ Emily

#WWW Wednesday – November 08, 2017

It’s time for WWW Wednesday! This blog hop is hosted by Sam over at A World Of Words. Link up with us by commenting on Sam’s post for this week, and just answer the three questions.

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What have you recently finished reading?

I didn’t get anywhere near the amount of reading done on my holiday as I intended! 😒 But I have finished two books in the last week.

I started I Am Watching You by Teresa Driscoll while I was waiting to pick up a friend, andI ended up finishing it the next day, despite the fact that I was supposed to be finished a final paper (the paper, while not my best work, got handed in on time, so it’s all good). i had a couple of issues with this, but it was a very engaging thriller. One of the better ones I’ve read lately.

And then I read book 11 of the Series of Unfortunate Events by Lemony Snicket, which was The Grim Grotto. I know I read this one back in the day because I remembered wasabi having significance somewheere in the series, but I feel certain that this was the last one I read, so the last two will be new territory. I liked a lot of the themes in this one, but I felt it was a bit long.

And I have literally just decided while writing this post that it’s time to call  Blood Guilt by Lindy Cameron a DNF. It is just too slow for me. Clearly my love for TV police procedurals does not extend to the written word. I think I’ll stick to thrillers for my mystery fix.

Reviews of The Bromancers by Tansey Rayner Roberts and I Am Watching You went up this past week. Click the titles to go read them.

What are you currently reading?

I started another library book, Now That You’re Here by Amy K. Nichols. I would probably say it is mostly a romance, but the twist is that one of the characters has been tossed into our world from his parallel universe and is trying to get home. It’s striking a good balance between the sci-fi and the romance and I’m enjoying it, despite a few quibbles.

What do you think you’ll read next?

Since I started Now That You’re Here rather than  Nyxia by Scott Reintgen, which had been my original plan, that will be next. I’ve also got the last two Series of Unfortunate Events books on hand.

The paper I mentioned earlier was my last one for the year, so I should have a lot more time for reading now. Here’s to some good reading weeks between now and the end of the year!

What are you reading this week? 🙂~ Emily

 

#WWW Wednesday – July 12, 2017

t’s time for WWW Wednesday! This blog hop is hosted by Sam over at A World Of Words. Link up with us by commenting on Sam’s post for this week, and just answer the three questions.

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What have you recently finished reading?

It’s been a couple of weeks since my last WWW post, and in that time, I’ve finished several books.

I finished listening to The Prestige by Christopher Priest. It was really hard to not compare it to the movie, which I think tells the same story in a much tighter way. I posted my review here on Monday.

I then began July by returning to Lemony Snicket’s Series of Unfortunate Events. I read The Ersatz Elevator, The Vile Village, The Hostile Hospital, The Carnivorous Carnival and The Slippery Slope (books 6-10) in quick succession. I thought for a while that The Vile Village was the last one I had read as a child, but I definitely read this far. I have a memory of Sunny cooking with wasabi, which I haven’t come across yet, so I guess I read far more of the series back in the day than I thought.

Other reviews posted since my last WWW post are The Mystery at Maplemead Castle by Kitty French and Interview With the Vampire by Anne Rice.

What are you currently reading?

am still reading  Dracula by Bram Stoker and The Ship Beyond Time by Heidi Heilig, though there has been little movevment on any of them recently. I only finished the 10th ASOUE book this afternoon, so I will probably return to one of these tomorrow. I need a break from Snicket before I finish the series.

What do you think you’ll read next?

I got The Year of Freaking Out by Sarah Walker out from the library today. I think this is a YA Contempory, and I’ve got it on my TBR for the Australian Women Writers Challenge. I also posted my July – September TBR, which you can read here. It’s a mix of ARCs and challenge books. e

What are you reading this week? 🙂

~ Emily

 


P.S.
If you feel so inclined, head on over to my writing blog, Letting the Voices Out, where I’ve shared an excerpt from my current WIP today.

#WWW Wednesday – 03 May, 2017

Hello everyone! Apologies for my absence over the last couple of weeks. I had a 4000 word paper due a couple of days ago, which pretty much consumed my life for the time I was writing it. It turned out to be harder than I expected to write, but I got there in the end. It wasn’t my best work, but I’m reasonably confident I won’t fail the course, since I have done reasonably okay on the assignments worth the other 50% of my grade. And if I do fail, I will be disappointed for a bit, then shrug it off and do the course again next time it is offered (it’s a core one for my specialisation, so I do need to tick it off somewhere).

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You may notice that this post only features WWW Wednesday. That’s because I’ve set up a new blog for my writing. You may have already seen the post I wrote on Monday announcing this, or you may have seen my Facebook post. If not, you can read my first WIPpet Wednesday post in the new digs here.

So now it’s time for WWW Wednesday! This blog hop is hosted by Sam over at A World Of Words. Link up with us by commenting on Sam’s post for this week, and just answer the three questions.

What have you recently finished reading?

I finished The Asp of Ascension by B. R. Meyers and posted my review here. I enjoyed the mystery and felt it had a lot of potential, but there were a few too many things that didn’t work for me, so it only got three stars.

After that, I read The Abyss Surrounds Us and its sequel, The Edge of the Abyss, both by Emily Skrutskie. My review of the first one is here, and the second one will go up this Friday.

I finally got back to the Series of Unfortunate Events for a while and read The Austere Academy by Lemony Snicket. It was nice to see the Baudelaires hanging out with some kids their own age, even if it didn’t last very long.

Last but not least, my review of The Secret Science of Magic by Melissa Keil was also posted since my last WWW post; you may remember me gushing about it. Click here to read the review.

What are you currently reading?

After seeing a really incredible stage production of it last week, and after discovering that I hadn’t donated my copy, I am trying to read  Dracula by Bram Stoker. Mostly to compare it with the performance, because I’m intrigued as to how much of the eroticism and repressed sexuality that seems to be in every adaptation was actually in the original text.

I know I’ve said in the past that I was swearing off vampires but Dracula doesn’t count. It’s modern vampires that I don’t like. The ones with ~feelings~ and who are all angsty about their nature. Unapologetically evil vampires I am still okay with.

What do you think you’ll read next?

I think I will try Poison Study by Maria  V. Snyder next. I own three of the books in this series and the four of them are on my April – June TBR. It’ll be good to knock a few off there, as well as being able to count them towards my Beat the Backlist challenge. Also everyone I know who has read these books has really loved them. And the covers are really stunning.

What are you reading this week? 🙂

~ Emily

#WWW and #WIPpet Wednesday – 15 March, 2017

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Welcome to WIPpet Wednesday! This is a weekly blog hop hosted by yours truly. If you’re a writer, you are very welcome to join us by posting an excerpt from your WIP that somehow relates to the date. You can click the blue guy on the right of this blog to be taken to the link up.

I was away over part of last week and briefly returned to With Memories and Magic but my main project at the moment is still my Wizard of Oz contemporary retelling. Today I’m sharing 15 lines for the 15th day of the month. Dora is chatting to one of her housemates, Sam Crowe, who if you couldn’t tell from the name, is the Scarecrow character. He’s only just started college and he’s already flunking out.

“I barely passed this paper,” he said. “If I don’t pick up my grades soon, I’m going to flunk this class.”

“What’s the class?”

“Twentieth century American literature.”

Dora stopped leaning on the door frame and took a seat on the couch next to him. “I did a few literature courses while I was getting my drama degree,” she said. “I did pretty well. Maybe I could take a look at it for you. I might be able to give you some advice.”

Sam didn’t look too thrilled at the suggestion, but he shrugged and handed the paper to Dora anyway. The topic of the paper was broad, asking for a discussion of themes in Steinbeck’s The Grapes of Wrath. As Dora glanced over it, she began to see a few reasons for Sam’s lower marks. He didn’t really focus on a particular topic; instead he jumped from idea to idea. His examples were vague, too. She had a feeling he had only read parts of the book and was trying to shoehorn in the quotes he was familiar with, even if they didn’t quite fit the point he was trying to make.

“Listen, I’m not trying to be rude,” Dora said, “but did you actually read the book?”

“Yes,” Sam replied, too quickly. Dora just raised her eyebrows at him and he looked away, shrugging again. “Maybe half of it. I used CliffsNotes for the rest.”

Dora bit her lip, trying not to laugh. “Sam, do you really think CliffsNotes is going to get you through college?”

And now it’s time for WWW Wednesday! This blog hop is hosted by Sam over at A World Of Words. Link up with us by commenting on Sam’s post for this week, and just answer the three questions.

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So I had the majority of this post ready for last week, then I shut down my computer and went away for three days without finishing it and posting it, so here we are! As a result, and the fact that I had lots of reading time while I was away, this is sligthly longer than usual.

What have you recently finished reading?

These aren’t in order of when I read them, rather I’ve grouped like books together.


I have finished the entire Colours of Madeleine series by Jaclyn Moriarty, comprising of A Corner of White (which I listened to on audio and the narrators were completely awesome), the Cracks in the Kingdom and A Tangle of Gold (I read these two in paperback). The first two I absolutely loved, but I was let down by the third one sadly. My reviews of A Corner of White and Cracks in the Kingdom are here and here respectively. A Tangle of Gold’s review goes up on Friday.

On a related note, I was thinking about starting a “this series started so well, what happened?” shelf on GoodReads because this happens to me an awful lot! Or maybe I need to swear off series and concentrate on standalone books.

untoldcoverI also finished Untold, the second book in the Lynburn Legacy series by Sarah Rees Brennan. The character arcs and the writing were really well done but the plot itself was a bit light on the ground. Review here.

I also finally got back to the Lemony Snicket books and read The Wide Window and The Miserable Mill, books three and four of A Series of Unfortuate Events. I haven’t been reviewing these because they work to a particular formula and I don’t think I would have enough to say about each of them individually, but they are rather addictive! Though I seem to be liking the odd-numbered books better than the even-numbered ones, so that’s a thing.

And last but not least, I’m going to put this here because I’m going to finish this tonight, So You’ve Been Publicly Shamed by Jon Ronson on audio. This is an interesting book exploring the issue of public shaming in the age of the Internet, and how a person can have the virtual screaming hoards pile onto them and they can lose their jobs, etc, over one badly worded tweet. It’s fascinating stuff, though I think some of the things he talks about are a bit tangential, or at least the way he structures the book makes them seem that way.

I also posted my review of The Fearless Travelers’ Guide to Wicked Places by Peter Begler since my last post.

What are you currently reading?

After weeks of having this book as the answer to What do you think you’ll read next, I am finally actually reading Adverbs by Daniel Handler. It’s essentially a short story anthology, but the stories are all set in the same universe, and the main characters in some stories show up later in smaller roles in others. It’s interesting, but the writing style is a bit pretentious, but then I guess even his Lemony Snicket books are a bit pretentious.

 

What do you think you’ll read next?

So I thought my March TBR had gone right out the window, but I’m actually not doing too terribly with it, despite getting distracted by Jaclyn Moriarty. A Conjuring Of Light by V. E. Schwab is still waiting for me on Kindle, so that will probably be next. After that, I’m looking forward to returning to my Beat the Backlist and Australian Women Writers Challenge items for a while.

What are you reading this week? 🙂

~ Emily

#WWW and #WIPpet Wednesday – 08 February, 2017

Guys, guys! Did you see that GoodReads has finally added a re-read feature? There are no words for how excited I am! They are rolling it out gradually but it is already showing up for my account. I don’t even reread much, but it’s good to know I can now revisit a series before the new installment is released, for example, and still have it count towards my yearly reading challenge. I am a slave to the GoodReads Reading Challenge.

Anyway.

It’s time for WWW Wednesday! This blog hop hosted by Sam over at A World Of Words. Link up with us by commenting on Sam’s post for this week, and just answer the three questions.

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What have you recently finished reading?

thereptileroomcoverI finishedThe Reptile Room by Lemony Snicket, book 2 in the Series of Unfortunate Events. It wasn’t quite as good as the first, but I still want to keep going and get into all the mystery stuff that I remember from the later books.

I also finished Beauty Queens by Libba Bray just this beautyqueenscoverevening, and it was my first five star read of the year! 😀 The audio book is incredible and if you have the time to commit to 14 hours of it, I really recommend it. I ended up downloading the ebook and splitting my time between the two because I was only four hours into it and it was due back tomorrow.

I only posted on review this week, of Unspoken by Sarah Rees Brennan. Click here to read it.

What are you currently reading?

I’ve been flitting between things over the past week, so I’ve got a couple of things on the go at the moment.

traitortothethronecoverI started the ARC of Traitor to the Throne by Alwyn Hamilton, with the hopes of finishing it in time for the release date last Thursday, but that came and went and I’m still going. I was having trouble reading off my tablet over the weekend because my eyes were aching, so that put a bit of a dent in my reading plans.

themesmeristcoverI also started The Mesmerist by Ronald L. Smith, another ARC (the book was released yesterday). It’s cute so far but some of the writing feels a bit clunky. Still, it’s fairly short, so I should get through it fairly quickly.

What do you think you’ll read next?

heartofbrasscoverWell, there’s Heart of Brass by Felicity Banks, which I have on hold and really should pick up again. There’s also The Fearless Traveler’s Guide to Wicked Places by Peter Begler, which I would like to try to review sometime around the release date of March 1. I probably should also review The Devil’s Prayer by Luke Gracias before too long.

adverbscoverNot to mention Adverbs by Daniel Handler and Neil Patrick Harris: Choose Your Own Autobiography by Neil Patrick Harris are both waiting for me to pick them up from the library tomorrow. Oh, and I still havethe four books of the Parasol Protectorate series by Gail Carringer on loan from a colleague, and another colleague today brought me in the rest of the Series of Unfortunate Events books.

So, um, yeah. It’ll be one of those, I guess.

What are you reading this week? 🙂

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The
other blog hop for this week is WIPpet Wednesday. If you’re a writer, you are very welcome to join us in this one by posting an excerpt from your WIP that somehow relates to the date. You can click the blue guy on the right of this blog to be taken to the link up.

Before I go any further, I wanted to announce that I have finally settled on a new title for the story-that-was-until-last-Thursday-known-as Operation: Sugarplum. This WIP is now known as With Memories and Magic, which is way more fitting now that the plot has completely diverged from its original form as a retelling of The Nutcracker.

My maths is easy this week: two paragraphs for the second month. This actually follows on from the WIPpet I shared a few weeks ago. Max has now arrived and is confronting the people pursuing Clara. He’s also brought back-up.

“I see you have two traitors with you.”

“You mean Derek and Ivo?” Max motioned to each man as he spoke his name. “They’re not the ones trying to persuade the Queen to return home so she can be enslaved by a dictator.”

Boy has a point.

I’m on the downhill run with the first draft of With Memories and Magic, and my subconscious has decided to go and get all antsy about it. I’m not getting down anywhere near the number of words I was each night a couple of weeks ago, and I’m far more angsty about the words I am getting down. I’m still hoping to finish this draft by the end of February, though. Cross your fingers for me!

I’ve been continuing with Fictional Flashback February. I’m hoping to write a few more little stories to go with my pictures like I did on the first few days, but some days it has just been easier to do one sentence with an image.

That’s it from me this week. I’m off to do my nightly writing and beta readings, and I’ll catch you all soon.

~ Emily

#WWW and #WIPpet Wednesday – 25 January, 2017

Oh, look, it’s, um… Thursday. In this part of the word. However, it’s only 8am on Thursday here, which means it’s still Wednesday in pretty much every part of the world where this blog has readers. I did have plans of writing this post last night before bed, except then I fell asleep on the couch. Oops.

Anyway. Let’s just pretend it’s still Wednesday and start off with WWW Wednesday, hosted by Sam over at A World Of Words. Link up with us by commenting on Sam’s post for this week, and just answer the three questions.

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What have you recently finished reading?

Jcreepingshadowcoverust one finished this week – The Creeping Shadow, which is book 4 in the Lockwood and Co. series by Jonathan Stroud. I actually ended up being a bit disappointed in it, but it’s the 7th Stroud book I’ve read and the first one to let me down, so I can’t really complain. My review will be up on Friday.

I posted reviews for Diary of a Young Girl by Anne Frank and The Bad Beginning by Lemony Snicket this week. Click the titles to read them.

What are you currently reading?

darkunwindingcoverI’ve got about two hours left on the audio of The Dark Unwinding by Sharon Cameron. This is a very character-driven book but I’ve ended up really enjoying it. And at risk of sounding like a teenager on Tumblr, pretty sure I found my first book boyfriend of 2017 in Lane Moreau.

unspokenlynburncoverI started Unspoken by Sarah Rees Brennan yesterday. It is the first in the Lynburn Legacy series. I wasn’t supposed to be getting anything else from the library but I’ve had this on  my TBR forever and when I saw it on the shelf I figured why not.

What do you think you’ll read next?

heartofbrasscoverI don’t know why I keep answering this question, since I have not once this year gone on to actually read the book I’ve mentioned under this heading. I think I will probably return to Heart of Brass by Felicity Hall, which is sitting on my currently reading shelf with only 60-odd pages read. I also have no idea what audio I’ll pick up; I will have to go on a hunt for one.

What are you reading this week? 🙂

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The
other blog hop for this week is WIPpet Wednesday. If you’re a writer, you are very welcome to join us in this one by posting an excerpt from your WIP that somehow relates to the date. You can click the blue guy on the right of this blog to be taken to the link up.

In this scene, Clara’s been chased down the street and grabbed by some strangers in purple robes. She’s stopped struggling because they seem willing to tell her some things about herself that her so-called friends so far have not, but she’s still not entirely buying it. Also, quick reminder because it’s been a while since he showed up in a WIPpet, General Bauer is the bad guy. He’s not really worried about her. Seven paragraphs beacuse 2+5 =  7.

She stopped struggling against her pursuer’s grip. Seeing that she was following his instructions, the man lowered his hand from Clara’s mouth. Three other figures stepped into Clara’s line of sight. They were all wearing dark purple robes and looked like they must be melting. Even after dark, the heat was still oppressive.

“Your Majesty,” said one of them, a woman. “General Bauer has been extremely worried about you these past six months. Come back to Thelidon with us. He looks forward to doing great things for the Kingdom, with you by his side.”

Clara bit her lip. “Look, um, it’s not that I don’t believe you about this, okay? Because some weird stuff has been happening to me lately, and at this point I’m willing to believe I’m the Queen of some far off country I’ve never heard of. But you’re going to have to explain things to me very slowly, because I have no idea what you’re talking about.”

The three people in front of Clara glanced at each other, as well as at the fourth person over her shoulder.

“You don’t remember Thelidon at all?” asked another woman.

Clara racked her brain. There was something about that word. And the robes these four were wearing. It was like a scrap of memory waving in the wind at the back of her mind, but when she tried to reach out to it, it was gone. She shook her head.

“Sorry.”

That’s it from me this week. As I’m late to the party now, and also since it’s a public holiday so I can spend my morning doing what I want, I shall visit your blogs straight away. Toodles!
~ Emily

“Like so many unfortunate events in life, just because you don’t understand it doesn’t mean it isn’t so.” // Review of “The Bad Beginning” by Lemony Snicket

Title: The Bad Beginning (Series of Unfortunate Events #1)
Author: Lemony Snicket
Genre:
Middle-grade
Date Read: 16/01/2017
Rating: ★★★★

Review:

badbeginningcoverMy goodness. I remember reading the first several books in this series back when I was about twelve, but I had no idea they were as dark as they are! Fortunately, that does mean that as an adult, I’m still able to get a huge amount of enjoyment out of them.

When the Violet, Klaus and Sunny Baudelaire’s parents perish in a terrible fire, they are sent to live with an alleged relative, Count Olaf, who treats them with contempt, forces them to live in squalor and do unnecessary chores, and who from the outset is clearly after their fortune. Unfortunately, the adults that should be supporting them are blind to the dangers and so it is up to the three children to foil the Count’s plot.

Snicket has a very particular writing style that I expect would not be everyone’s cup of tea. The tone is very dry and dispassionate, and he constantly defines words in the middle of sentences, which I know some readers find quite patronising. This didn’t bother me though, perhaps because I remembered it from my younger, less-discerning reading days, and so I knew what I was in for. The tone is one that I love, as it is just my sense of humour. The setting is a weird, gothic America, with no distinct time period or location. This also fits the mood perfectly.

The three characters are all very uniquely drawn. I particularly like that Snicket chose to make Violet the inventor and Klaus the bookworm. Many authors would have chosen to make the female character the quiet, nerdy one and the male character the one good with tools, so I applaud the choice to mix it up a bit. Sunny may only be a baby in this volume, but she has her own unique personality already.

Count Olaf is despicable, as are his cronies, but as the book points out, he is also very clever, and very ruthless. While he may sometimes come across as a bit of a campy villain, there are other times when he is chilling. I wanted to shake some of the other adult characters for being so clueless, but when they are not necessarily seeing the treatment the orphans are receiving, you can sometimes concede the points they make when arguing with the Baudelaires.

All in all, this was surprisingly entertaining, and I’m really looking forward to continuing the series.


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