Title: The Vile Village
Author: Lemony Snicket
Series: A Series of Unfortunate Events, #7
I really wish I didn't feel an unhealthy desire to finish this series. Because then I wouldn't be reading them, and could be busy reading things that are awesome. At least they're quick?
In The Vile Village, the Baudelaire orphans once again get put in a horrible living situation (this time, an entire village of awful people, as it takes a village to raise a child), get ensnared in one of Count Olaf's plots (this time, with bonus Esmé), and engineer a patently ridiculous way to get out of it (this time, stretched so far the author has to hang a lantern on it). Spoilers past the cut.
You know what's really starting to get on my nerves? It's not even how patronizing the narrator is. It's the number of times he feels the need to tell us to gasp, turn back because the story isn't happy. And at this point, it's not that the story is unhappy. It's that it's just annoyingly ridiculous.
There's ridiculous where I can maintain my suspension of disbelief. I like that kind of ridiculous. You know what kind of ridiculous I cannot stand?
The kind where the Baudelaires take down a brick wall by using a glass of water, a piece of bread, and a wooden table. With erosion. The bread used as a sponge to save the water. I just. I just can't even anymore. And yet I know I'm going to read the next one.
All the (granted, temporary) solutions to their problems are so far out of left field and require so little work. And instead of just... writing a better book, I guess, the author actually has Klaus say, "What we need is deus ex machina."
And I guess I could keep whining about the things I've whined about in my other reviews. Although something else that's really starting to get grating is the constant references to the other books. Stuff like this:
"It won't be any more boring than the time I had to read all about grammar, in order to save Aunt Josephine," he replied.
Which would be all good and fine, if there weren't many, many passages like this, and the number weren't increasing with every book. Pro-tip, author: when we're dealing with the seventh book in a series, the others have probably been read. If not, it's okay if a small reference is missed. I promise.
Oh. And the increasing number of random-ass red herrings. Not just for the reader. Not just for the Baudelaires. For everyone! For no reason, except that apparently no other kind of misdirection is even remotely useful or something! Maybe if I keep using exclamation points, I'll stop hurting about these books so much! It's not working!