Monday, January 13, 2014

Book Review: The Penultimate Peril by Lemony Snicket

Title: The Penultimate Peril (A Series of Unfortunate Events #12)
Author: Lemony Snicket Website | Goodreads
Published: October 2005
Publisher: Egmont Books Ltd
Source: Bought from Big Bad Wolf Book Sale 2012
Buy: Malaysian online bookstores: MPH | Times Bookstore | Bookurve | Kinokuniya
       US-based bookstores: The Book Depository | Amazon

Hardback edition.






I missed out a lot on the Baudelaire siblings. I skipped about 8 books. They've grown up a lot. And so was the story. The kids found a secret organization -- whoa, a secret organization, didn't see that coming o.o -- which has splitted into two factions. The Baudelaires were working undercover for the good side they called 'volunteer'. Volunteer vs. villain. I liked how Lemony rhymes almost everything in the book. Just look at the title of the books in the rest of the series, you'll get the idea.

Sunny who only talks in gibberish of words, now knows to talk in proper albeit not always in full sentence. She loves cooking and is very fond of food. I didn't see anything different from the other two older siblings; Violet still ties her hair with red ribbon whenever she invents things. She likes mechanical related works. And Klaus still loves to read, he's a walking dictionary.

At the start of the book, the siblings were taken by a woman called Kit Snicket to Hotel Denouement. They need to work as undercover-cum-bellboy to locate some impostors. I loved the concept of the hotel. It's like a library. How could you come up with such thought, Mr Snicket? I was amazed.

After reading this book, I wasn't sure if I've just read a children book. It left me thinking a lot. This book was deep and dark for children book, in my opinion. 

The book mentioned and discussed themes that were quite advanced for a kid. Anyway, I think it's good to expose these kind of themes to youngsters. For example injustice. The injustice that almost always happens in our society, our law, our court system. Also, the feelings you get when people you thought was your hope failed to help you; wicked people that are abundant in our society and the difficulty to tell them apart; wicked people in our societal system -- the authority; the desire to be good and noble but find oneself had to resort to wickedness because there is no other way around. Like you've got to be evil to defeat evil. Bad childhood that most often made ones a criminal. And many many more.

I couldn't help thinking that I was actually reading our (real people) life instead of the Baudelaire orphans. With lots and lots of corruption going on in our society, this book seems fitting to address the issue to kids.


Mysterious man.

The author, Lemony Snicket is very well-versed in literature. I was amazed at how he integrates the story of blind men and an elephant throughout the book. I didn't know that the elephant story is written by an American humorist poet named Saxe until I read this book.

Just like The Miserable Mill, I liked how Lemony described and defined difficult words in this book. Funny, in a witty way.

Also, the book has some pretty funny moments as well. I couldn't stop laughing at how ridiculous the situation was. Turning over sun-tanning people with large giant spatula. That was ludicrous. But, when I think about it, Lemony was trying to describe us, the people in real world, who are lazier days by days to do things on our own. I don't know, I could be wrong, maybe I was thinking too hard.

I think this book is mysterious. I kept guessing the entire time of who is good and who is bad. Or where did they put the item that both factions badly needed. I was putting two and two together the whole time and it can get pretty confusing. With me having read only book #4 before, so yeah it was pretty complicated.

I enjoyed it, nonetheless.

4/5 stars.

May peace be upon you :)

1 comment:

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