Like handshakes, house pets, or raw carrots, many things are preferable when not slippery. Unfortunately, in this miserable volume, I am afraid that Violet, Klaus, and Sunny Baudelaire run into more than their fair share of slipperiness during their harrowing journey up — and down — a range of strange and distressing mountains.
In order to spare you any further repulsion, it would be best not to mention any of the unpleasant details of this story, particularly a secret message, a toboggan, a deceitful trap, a swarm of snow gnats, a scheming villain, a troupe of organized youngsters, a covered casserole dish, and a surprising survivor of a terrible fire.
Unfortunately, I have dedicated my life to researching and recording the sad tale of the Baudelaire Orphans. There is no reason for you to dedicate yourself to such things, and you might instead dedicate yourself to letting this slippery book slip from your hands into a nearby trash receptacle, or deep pit.
With all due respect,
What would you do if you found yourself trapped in a runaway caravan hurtling down a precipitous mountain slope? Fourteen-year-old Violet, the oldest orphan of the three Baudelaires, decides to try to slow the velocity of the caravan with a drag-chute invention involving a viscous combination of blackstrap molasses, maple syrup, maraschino liqueur, peanut butter, etc. If plummeting to their death weren’t scary enough, Violet and her brother Klaus have been separated from Sunny, their baby sister who is in a car headed in the opposite direction up the mountain with the “facinorous” Count Olaf, his “villainous and stylish” girlfriend Esmé Squalor, and their creepy sidekicks. Do Violet and Klaus find Sunny on the mountain? How will they survive the treacherous, snow-covered peaks with not much more than a ukulele and a bread knife, especially in the face of the “organized, ill-tempered” snow gnats? Will they finally unearth the mystery of the V.F.D.? Will they find out if one of their parents is alive after all? The suspense! As ever, the Baudelaires’ unfolding tale of woe is sprinkled with Lemony Snicket’s ridiculous, hilarious observations such as “Fate is like a strange, unpopular restaurant with odd waiters who bring you things you never asked for and don’t always like.” The tenth book in The Series of Unfortunate Events takes readers through the Mortmain Mountains to the churning waters of the Stricken Stream with all the coexistent horror and silliness a Snicket fan could hope for along the way. (Ages 9 and older) –Karin Snelson