Saturday, June 18, 2016

Why is This Night Different From all Other Nights by Lemony Snicket...

Publish date- 2015
Publisher- Egmont.
All the Wrong Questions #4. See my reviews for books 2 and 3.

*Note that this review may contain spoilers for previous books in the series!*


Review time...

(A Brief) Synopsis:
Everything goes down. Everything. It's all happening on this final night.


What I thought:
I have a long-term love for Lemony Snicket's work, a love for the bitterswet, often miserable nature of it and a never-quelled intrigue into the dark, sorrowfil past (including his relationship with Beatrice, the Baudelaire's mother) that, throughout ASOUE, we get but the smallest tidbits of information on. Snicket knows (or knew) a great number of the adoptive/foster parents and relations of the Baudelaire's, and I WANT TO KNOW ALL THE STORIES.

And here, in All the Wrong Questions, there was a series about Snicket as a child, his journey (as a member of the secret organisation) to Stain'd by the Sea, and the remarkable people he meets in that slowly dying town. I thought, for sure, that at least some of my questions would be answered, in due course.

Now, with the first book, I was a little uncertain because it's so different. Snicket, for the first time, is at the forefront and we're thrust into this new era and it was all fast moving and baffling.
But I grew to love it.
Each book was better than the last, the plot becoming more intense, the level of trust- something Snicket is relatably slow enabling himself to grant or feel- has been sealed, and the conclusion- the answers- it was all here.

Well. That's what I thought.

Unfortunately I realised too late that the things I was waiting for- a sign of Beatrice, more involvement than a single, momentary appearance from other members of the organisation- weren't going to be found here. And, though disappointed, I could have dealt with that, growing attached to characters and the plot and the race to stop this new dastardly villain, if only it hadn't felt as if the series came to a crashing halt in exactly the wrong place. Something happens, something big but also not terribly unexpected, and the reaction- from every single friend Snicket had made- was something I was completely unprepared for.

I was stunned, that things could end in such an abrupt, startling, sad way, that I had given so much time and put so much effort into something, only for the characters I had grown to love to change in behaviour and personality at the last, right when they ought, if I knew them at all, to have been the strongest, the most steadafast, to have proved, basically, that they really understood what danger they were all in, as they had already said they did, and it wouldn't change things. And maybe that isn't fair, since there are plenty of circumstances which change everything and this one, which I will not be spoiling, is big, as I said. But not a single one of them was who I thought, and that hurt. And it confused me.

This book felt different from the rest. Set over the course of a single night, mostly on a train, I end the series not comprehending what made things finish in this way. I feel like I have more questions than ever, and none of my old ones answered, and I really don't like that feeling. There were good points. Character interactions, finishing this four-book plot arc, the mystery of it all and the fresh questions I was met with, and received answers to, but too much was just... too much was not good. Too mcuh was less than I had hoped it would be, and that isn't how I want to feel at the end of a series.

Rating: Hmmmm.
A disappointing end to the series, to say the least. Not the fault of the plot, but by the unexpected, unsupportive reactions of characters who I thought were somehow truer than they were proved to be.

10 comments:

  1. I haven't read a Lemony Snicket book since my childhood of reading a series of Unfortunate Events, but I kind of do want to try another read of his. I actually loved the Series of Unfortunate Events but I absolutely detested the last book and the ending and found it to be incredibly dissatisfying. The sad thing is that it sounds like the same thing has happened with this series too, and now I'm beginning to think it might just be something with Snicket and endings :/ Sorry that you couldn't appreciate the ending as much as you would have liked to :3

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    1. I grew up listening to Snicket on audio, but I never finished the series until a few years ago when I reread/listened to all of them. And I actually liked the ending a lot! I thought it was really well done- and it's actually a very different kind of ending, in theme and resolution, in this series, so I wouldn't say it's Snicket's endings. You might actually enjoy this series and its ending, since we felt differently about ASOUE. You never know!

      It is a shame, but it happens. And it isn't going to stop me from being keen to find out more of the mysteries surrounding Snicket! xx

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  2. These books never made it to my childhood library, unfortunately. Can you believe that my first foray into reading was those Harlequin romance novels when I was a teen? Anyway, I really wish I grew up a reader and that my boy will be inspired to read these. He's 9 now, but he's more into facts than fiction. It's not so bad, I guess.

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    1. It was? That's sweet, though! And it got you reading, which is the important thing. You've retained your passion! I didn't actually read this series, as a child, but listened to it- and then I reread it a couple years ago, finishing it!

      Definitely not! And there's still reading in factual books, it's just learning about history and real life, rather than the fictional worlds you and I love. xx

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  3. I am sorry to hear this series didn't end as you would've hoped. I don't like too open endings where I am left with too many questions, I want most of the plot points to get resolved. And that all their personalities seem to change in this last book sounds a bit weird as well. I am glad to hear it had some good points as well, but that's too bad it was mostly disappointing.

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    1. I know- it is a shame, isn't it? But I suppose I really enjoyed 3 out of 4 books, and that isn't anything to complain about. Definitely would have preferred to get off uneasily with the first book than have this feeling at the end of the series, though.

      Oh, I agree! I'm definitely not a fan of endings that are too open or have as many lingering questions (or more) than what's been answered. I definitely don't feel like my main questions were answered, and some of that could be my fault- maybe this series wasn't the time for them to be discussed- but not all of it, and it's still a disappointment.

      It was pretty strange/disappointing, especially since I had grown to trust and care about those characters almost as much as Snicket did- so to see them acting so out of character was a huge let down, and I still don't understand why that was done.xx

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  4. I've read some of Snicket's A Series of Unfortunate Events when I was much younger but never finished the series because some were yet to be written. I do remember really enjoying them though. It's too bad this series ended on a disappointing note. I hate when you're left with even more questions.

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    1. Same! I think there were only 10 books published when I started listening to them, since I grew up with the audio, which meant I didn't finish the series until a couple years ago, when I reread them all and got to the very end. It was fantastic, though, and I liked getting back into the world and battling with the mysteries (although the first four books are fairly repetitive, and I nearly gave up!).

      Definitely. I don't think it's going to stop me from reading any more Snicket-written stories, though, since I'm just so keen to find out the answers to all the questions I've been left with. xx

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  5. I am kind of sad that I was never on The Series of Unfortunate Events bandwagon, because I know that so many people love it, and that it is apparently really great. But I was off reading my horsey books and Enid Blyton and whatnot, and I guess I wouldn't trade them for the world. But it does mean that I missed out on what seems like a pretty fabulous series.

    UGH. I absolutely loathe it when a series finale leaves you feeling so utterly dissatisfied. It almost feels like there wasn't really a point to anything, and that's really sad. And the fact that it was the characters who changed in this book is horrible - especially since you loved them so much.

    I'm so sorry that this one didn't live up to the expectation you had for it, lovely :( <3

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    1. You can still read it, though, Chiara. You still can. JOIN THE BANDWAGON. When I reread it, I actually almost gave up, though, because the first 4-5 books are incredibly repetitive feeling, and I only got by after that on audio (apart from the last book, since my library only had that in book-form), and I ended up being so passionate about it. I don't know, quite, how I'll feel when I do a reread, but we shall see. I have to say, I think you'd love Olaf. Especially in the later books.

      I definitely don't feel like there wasn't a point to this finale, but I was really frustrated by how changed everything became (and how certain plot elements felt as if they were abandoned for no apparent reason). With the characters that changed, it was particularly frustrating because they were friends of Lemony, and the change in their attitude was just awful and unexpected to watch.

      Thanks, Chiara.xx

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Have a beautiful day.x