If you missed the previous books reviews in A Series of Unfortunate Events, you can find it below:
A Series of Unfortunate Events Collection: Books 10-13
By: Lemony Snicket
If, by chance, your moaning and weeping is more or less under control, there is no need to further risk your physical, emotional, and literary health by reading the four remaining volumes in the series. It would be better to regain your strength by spending your time indulging in less alarming activities, such as whistling or making cupcakes for the elderly. After all, this collection contains all of the calamities in the last four volumes of A Series of Unfortunate Events, including abandoned condiments, cigarette smoking, a shocking revelation, a ridiculous laugh, a fearsome storm, a herd of wild sheep, a truly haunting secret about the Baudelaire parents, another shocking revelation, and Phil. There is no need to exposure yourself to such atrocities, not after all you’ve been through already. – Goodreads
Book 10: The Slippery Slope
The Slippery Slope picks up exactly there the previous book ended with Violet and Klaus Baudelaire rolling down a mountain backwards as Count Olaf takes Sunny and his crew up the mountain. Just like how the story starts, the mystery of VFD takes a big leap forward in quite a quick pace. It isn’t in just a literal sense of them sliding down the mountain and Violet and Klaus finding another intelligent way to escape their demise but also introducing one more character in there that makes it a rather sweet turn of events that takes another turn at the end.
The Slippery Slope might be one of my favorite books in the series mostly because of the adrenaline rush and the secrets unveiled and the questioning of their morals and values through all of these efforts of running from Count Olaf. At the same time, Sunny also gets a much bigger role than just being the toddler but also realizing that she is quite smart and has grown up as well in her own way to the point of having her own narrative plot.
Book 11: The Grim Grotto
From the land now to the sea, The Baudelaires head underwater as the river or stream or whatnot carries them out to a bigger body of water where they get saved by a submarine run by some more VFD members. In exchange of getting them to the Last Safe Place, they end up helping Fiona, the daughter of a Captain that disappears shortly after they board. At the same time, they end up being pursued at sea by Count Olaf yet again with the help of another familiar face from a previous book.
The Grim Grotto gets way more deadly especially because they are sent to explore a grotto under a burnt down research facility run by VFD and also where they learn more about the schism. The danger here elevates even more. The Baudelaires are nifty and smart as always and Fiona becomes an interesting additional character in this serious endeavor which also brings up another relationship link between some supporting characters. That is what makes these stories so fun is the link between all the characters existing and added in along the way to the big picture. There’s a lot of scheming and counterscheming to try and survive and escape a dire situation.
Book 12: The Penultimate Peril
The Penultimate Peril takes us into the Last Safe Place and lands back at where the whole story began. The idea of justice and literal and figurative terms as well as Count Olaf and everyone on the path of the last twelve books gets put together into one and ties both VFD, still with its secrets and the Snickets as well as all the other characters together. Its not exactly the story that shares all the secrets but it also put together both the things that The Baudelaires have learned and also puts into question the final question of whether they are also as guilty as Count Olaf is because of the things they’ve had to do to protect themselves and whether that makes it more right than wrong. The means and all that, right? This one has its whimsical and clever moments and in the end does unlock a few important things however the pacing of it also does have its effect but then its execution of one specific part which lets the reader choose the order of reading simultaneous events is one that is quite unique to say the very least. Its a charming and fun read as always and it seems that more is at stake than ever before and that The Baudelaires and these easily manipulated group of people that they’ve met on their journey since their parents’ death are ever so abundant and how hopeless it must feel for them.
Book 13: The End
The End is an interesting take. On one hand, it moves Count Olaf and The Baudelaires onto another closed in island completely and brings together a group of strangers but in my mind, these people who wash on the shores of this island all seem to be connected in one way or another, at least one character in particular definitely seems like there is an obvious thread that connects it even if its not specifically mentioned. Of course, we do learn that whether its VFD or the Baudelaires both have their connection to this island where everything eventually gets washed up on and that is what makes it full of secrets as well. In one way, stepping back from VFD and its schism brings forth a bigger picture of how the world itself and any place in general could be as dangerous as VFD because schisms can happen when someone tries to rock the boat as described in this boat. Of course, there is a lot more to the story but I’m not doing spoilers here. I liked The End because it doesn’t give all the answers to enough to feel satisfied with where it all goes. For a book like this, it really is all that we can ask for.
The last four books of A Series of Unfortunate Events is exactly those reflected in the last season of the tv series. I’m not going to compare the tv series just yet but will take a look at that in the TV Binge. However, these last four books is a change yet again in the tone and direction of the story because yet again, Count Olaf is more ruthless, there are characters with darker backgrounds and the Baudelaires have grown from their last situations and being stronger and smarter and even more sly as they start thinking like their enemy to win and struggling as whether that is the right thing to do. There are a lot of positive messages to contemplate here while bringing in friendship, alliances, enemies and relationships in general (family, friends, even a hint of romance). There’s a lot to love about these books, especially the whole collection as its a story that tells an intriguing story but also uses its narrative to expand the reader’s vocabulary and popular sayings and descriptions and such that has its own educational value while bringing up some contemplative questions about right and wrong.