“Why Is This Night Different From All Other Nights?” (All The Wrong Questions ?4)
Author: Lemony Snicket
Why are the snack so terrible? Why are we stopping? What’s the rest of the story?
A train ride! The big reveal! Librarians! Volunteers! A series finale! Lemony Snicket jumps on the train that run through the town of Stain’d-by-the-Sea where many familiar faces are also leaving town. Usually the train doesn’t stop until it reaches the city, but tonight it did. A murder is afoot and Lemony is hot on Hangfire’s trail. In this epic conclusion, will he finally discover who this villain is? Why is the Bombinating Beast important?
Before proceeding with this conclusion, here are a few other questions to consider:
- Do you think your curiosity might get you in trouble?
[ ] No. [ ] What kind of trouble do you mean?
- If you are following someone and they go someplace dangerous, are you curious enough to keep following them?
[ ] Yes. [ ] What do you mean by “dangerous”?
- If someone offers you an apple, should you take it?
[ ] That sounds familiar. [ ] Bad apples are bad news.
- A train departs from Stain’d-by-the-Sea late at night and travels at top speed toward the city. When does it arrive?
[ ] Just in time for a crime to be committed. [ ] Too late.
Lemony Snicket is in the thick of it when Hangfire kills somebody important and frames S. Theodora Markson for it. With the help of his allies, Lemony hopes to solve the case and stop Hangfire before the train reaches the city, and more importantly, before somebody else winds up dead.
Final books of a series make me sad. It means the end of a story and if it’s a really good one, like this one was for me, then you don’t want it to end. I tried to take my time with this book so that it would last, but there was no chance of that. This book, like the ones before it, moved fast from one moment to the next. It was a wild and unpredictable train ride. I couldn’t put this book down.
Many characters returned for this epic conclusion. From Sharon Haines of book three to Ms. Murphy the actress from book one. Like every great finale, there was nostalgia for the previous books. And that was really emphasized through the characters and their stories. I really enjoy when a finale can slip in things that remind me of its previous books. Its reiterates the journey that got me and the characters to this end game.
I really loved that Lemony wasn’t alone and that his friends: Moxie, Jake, Cleo, and Kellar were with him. However, every move he made toward finding Hangfire risked him losing them and that made me nervous. This series is fantastic for making you jittery with anticipation. I know I was.
The mystifying element that Lemony Snicket usually brings to his stories, like the poisonous fungus of The Grim Grotto, for example, is brought to life. Shocked and stunned, the mythical beast that Lemony has been surrounded by throughout the series isn’t so mythical, putting the people on the train in even further danger. It was actually a little scary. Lots of teeth and rather ugly.
All of the questions ever had are answered in this book. The simple answer is one I didn’t expect. It was heartbreaking and shattered everything I knew from the previous books, putting what I knew about the big cameos and Kit Snicket’s arrest together. I was mindblown.
And yes, I imagine Milly Bobby Brown as a young Kit Snicket.
The end or is it? While the series ends with this book, it didn’t feel like the end at all. It was left trailing and I took it as only the beginning of something else. After all, this does take place before A Series of Unfortunate Events. This ended phenomenally with Lemony walking into the metaphorical sunset rather depressingly, but left me wondering what happens next. I wish there was more!
This was an epic conclusion to a fantastic series. Truly. I recommend it wholeheartedly for those who enjoy the smart, adventurous, yet perilous story of secrets that leads to questions that leads to an unhappy ending. Because, this story didn’t have that happy ending. Not a single tidbit. In fact, you’re left feeling like you were left out in the rain without an umbrella, but I hear people enjoy a good story like that. So, if you do, this one is for you.
“We invited villainy aboard, I thought. And now its terrible mess was everywhere I looked.” (Lemony, p. 92)
“There is no point in delaying crying. Sadness is like have a vicious alligator around.” (Lemony, p. 147)
“Even the noblest of volunteers can associate with the wrong people.” (Lemony to Ellington, p. 200)
More to come soon…
P.S. Song today? Demons by Imagine Dragons
Thoughts? Tell me the comments below.