Monday, December 3, 2012

"Who Could That Be at This Hour?" by Lemony Snicket

"Who Could That Be at This Hour?" by Lemony Snicket is the first book in a new series, All the Wrong Questions.

13-year-old Lemony Snicket is apprenticed to S. Theodora Markson, and together they travel to the little town of Stain'd-By-The-Sea for an assignment: to steal a certain object and make sure it is returned to its rightful owner. The job is not as straightforward as it sounds, though, and Lemony may be caught up in a bigger mystery than he had anticipated.

This book has the same feel as the Series of Unfortunate Events, though in this case Snicket is telling his own story, rather than that of the Baudelaire orphans. He still enjoys throwing in the definitions of some of the more complicated words that he comes across, and he makes veiled references to quite a few works of literature that some of his readers may recognize. (I think I got most of them, though one or two had me stumped. To tell the truth, figuring out which titles he was referring to was probably my favorite part of this book.)

The plot is weird and wacky and even less straightforward than the plots of his earlier books. Too few of the mysteries we encountered were resolved for my taste, and the end of the book left me feeling frustrated rather than satisfied. I also found that it took me longer to read the book than I expected, as I kept putting it down and going off to do other things. However, I fully admit that it might just be me, in this case -- so if you are a big fan of the Series of Unfortunate Events, you will almost certainly want to pick this book up and judge its merits for yourself.

(Reviewed from a copy borrowed through my library system.)

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