There was a town, and there was a girl, and there was a theft. I was living in the town, and I was hired to investigate the theft, and I thought the girl had nothing to do with it. I was almost thirteen and I was wrong.

I read the Series of Unfortunate Events series maybe 5 years ago, and really enjoyed them, so I was excited to learn that Lemony Snicket had a new book coming out- about himself. The narrator of the book is the thirteen year old Lemony Snicket. He is now an “apprentice” to S. Theodora Markson. Don’t even think about asking what the S. stands for. They arrive at the town of Stain’d-by-the-Sea, which manufactures ink, and is no longer by the sea. There are many mysterious characters and shady goings-on this weird town.

I was rather disappointed by this book. The writing isn’t nearly as…well…Snickety. It’s less intelligent, and was kind of annoying at times. I wish there were at least a few good adults; most of them are portrayed as foolish people. I can’t really put my finger down on what made me dislike it so much; perhaps I no longer like Lemony Snicket. It has been five years after all.

The metaphors he used were really tacky too. Like “The machines looked like huge hypodermic needles, as if a doctor were planning on giving several shots to a giant.” And it wouldn’t it really be “was”, not “were”? Sentences like these are abundant throughout the book, as Snicket strives to make it feel like a hard-boiled detective story.

Another thing I really didn’t like was the names of the characters, which all sound vaguely like names from the algebra book (stupid puns), but aren’t actually puns at all. They were really annoying, and not creative in a good way. I wish at least one of the names could have been more realistic. However, if this is the “true” story of Snicket’s childhood (which I doubt), I suppose he couldn’t really change the names, could he?

Overall, the mystery fell flat for me. It was really easy with huge font, so it was a quick read. However, I was confused throughout the book about why Snicket was a detective-in-training and what he was supposed to do with his associate in the city. I wish the author could have cleared a bit more of that up. The book wasn’t suspenseful, it wasn’t compelling, and I never really got into it. I may read Book 2, but I will certainly not be waiting eagerly for it. Though I would like to find out the answers to my questions (be they right or wrong).

Read Who Could That Be At This Hour?:

  • if you like Lemony Snicket
  • if you like (hard-boiled) mystery

258 pages.

 
Okay book, but it left me wanting more!
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