This is the second book review I am writing in regards to A Series of Unfortunate Events, the first discussed books 1 – 3, this will discuss 4 – 6.
I gave short summaries of each book in my previous review, this time I will get straight into the review. In saying that, if you would prefer to read a little synopsis let me know and I will add one in!
The next three books in the series are; The Miserable Mill, The Austere Academy and The Ersatz Elevator. These books continue to pull me in, everything I said in my first review still holds true.
Re-reading books 4-6 I realised I really didn’t recall much from the stories (most likely because I would read them in the library at school surrounded by friends and probably only taking in small portions of the books – we’ve all been there surely). Many times I felt I was reading a new book so it gave me a chance to be a ‘blind reader’ so to speak. I was able to put myself in the shoes of someone reading the book series for the first time. I was happy for this to happen because I wanted to test my theory of the book being repetitive and predictable.
Without a doubt the story is repetitive – Count Olaf manages to find the children no matter where they end up and somehow ALWAYS gets away with an abysmal disguise that nobody seems to see through until the very last moment. As repetitive as it can be these three books had a little difference to them. I found there were a few more characters introduced in these books. I noted a key change in books 4 – 6, the Baudelaires always had someone who believed in them. Books 1-3 you had Mr. Poe – good intentions but not reliable, Count Olaf – horrible, and a guardian in Dr. Montgomery – again good intentions but not reliable. Books 4-6 you still have Mr. Poe, Count Olaf, a guardian but in book 4 you have Charles – partner to Sir (the guardian) who tries to understand the children. Book 5 you have the Quagmire Triplets – a brother and sister who lost their parents and sibling in a fire much like the Baudelaires. The Quagmires are the saving grace of the Baudelaires and are probably the first people since the beginning of the story to actually help. In book the 6th you have Jerome who again tries to help the orphans as much as he can. This is what keeps me reading, I can see some progression and I can’t help but wonder what it will build to, we discover more mysteries – like that of the Quagmire triplets and also V.F.D and acronym we are introduced to at the end of The Austere Academy.
I also mentioned the predictability of the books, I would say it’s medium to high. The repetition in the book makes it largely predictable but there are small things for example – what V.F.D stands for, where the tunnel at the end of the ersatz elevator opens out to, what lot number Olaf has hidden the Quagmires in – that you have no clue about, an inclining towards or think you know until you are proven incorrect. I also just realised these mysteries are all within The Ersatz Elevator which again shows the story widening and becoming a lot more interesting.
I will definitely keep reading and be sure to cover books 7 – 9 in the not so distant future. Until then let me know your take on the series or what other books I should be reading!
“Help me if you can”