Publish date- 2015
*Note that this review may contain spoilers for previous books in the series!*
(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.
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.