Sunday, October 27, 2013

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

Cover image for Who could that be at this hour?
Lemony Snicket (aka Daniel Handler) was an over night sensation with his Series of Unfortunate Events. I have to admit, I couldn't get through the first book in that series, but there was a huge faithful following among children and adults alike at the library.  Now he has started a new series, "All the Wrong Questions" in which a 13-year-old Lemony Snicket is the main character.  The book begins with Lemony escaping his parents right after graduation from a "particular kind" of school to join a mentor as an apprentice detective in a secret spy organization. He and his mentor travel to strange town by a dried-up sea where they are hired to retrieve a stolen statue.  Snicket is much more clever than his mentor, and soon figures out that the statue in question was never stolen, but that evil forces are using him and his mentor as pawns to acquire the statue.  As he tries to discover who is trying to get the statue and why, he meets a strange cast of puzzling characters, many of them young independent teens or children like himself.  The setting and characters of the story are odd, even surreal.  The mood of the writing contributes to the preternatural feel of the book.  I think that kids that liked Series of Unfortunate Events will like this one.  I actually liked it much better than the little bit I read of the earlier series (as evidenced by the fact that I actually finished it and I might even be interested in reading the second book). Though Lemony's attempts at achieving his goal are often frustrated because he keeps asking "All the Wrong Questions"  the mood is not as gloomy as the Series of Unfortunate Events and it has a kind of clever whit to it that was rather fun. (258 p)

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