by Lemony SnicketBook Review
From BookList, October 15, 2006, Copyright © American Library Association. Used with permission.
After a singularly bad beginning, the Baudelaire orphans, Violet, Klaus, and Sunny, have finally reached the end. The question is, will Book the Thirteenth in A Series of Unfortunate Events meet the expectations of the series' myriad fans? Snicket might put it a somewhat different way: if end simply means to cease, the answer is yes. If, however, end means to complete, the answer is most assuredly no--because though Snicket neatly clips numerous threads in the tragic saga, he leaves others literally fluttering in the breeze. As with the previous books, this one begins where its predecessor left off, with the orphans and the villainous Count Olaf afloat on dangerous open seas. When a storm blows their craft ashore, kindly islanders welcome the orphans, but Olaf is an outcast. Have the children finally found the longed-for “last safe place on earth?” Not so fast . . . before long, they are once again scrambling to avert disaster and death (“Kikbucit,” as Sunny puts it when a couple of characters are terminated). If possible, this title is even more preposterous than others in the series (the children help an old friend give birth), as well as considerably longer than some. But frequent references to the other adventures will send Snicket fans back to previous books to delight once again in the idiosyncratic characters, the wry humor, and the wordplay, which has surely increased their vocabulary tenfold. StephanieZvirin.