I found this when I was rooting around in the juvenile section for the next Percy Jackson I need to read and said, wow I totally forgot about this. I had read the first 12 books and this one came out as I was moving. The library didn’t have it at the time and it faded from memory until now.
Obviously this is the last book of the series, so if you haven’t read the others turn back now. Sadly, this was by far the weakest of all the books. It was in many places outright dull and as an ending rather unsatisfying. Granted, I’m saying that as an adult reader. I should have asked my 10 year old cousin what he thought.
Long story short, the 3 Baudelaire orphans, Violet the inventor, Klaus the reader with the eidetic memory and Sunny, no longer a baby and now gourmet chef, are fleeing a hotel fire from the last book, stranded at sea with their arch nemesis, Count Olaf in the same boat. They all wash up on this coastal shelf where everything in the world eventually washes up. From there a young girl takes them to the nearby island but makes them abandon Olaf because he’s mean.
The orphans finally found people who DON’T believe Olaf’s crap. Sadly for them Ishmael, the facilitator for the island, hides knowledge from everyone, trying to keep the evil world at bay. He cages Olaf but when Kit Snicket washes up pregnant and injured (she was supposed to be helping the kids) Ishmael won’t let her on the island either. The kids eventually learn their parents had been on the island and there is one of the lamest final battles ever. This thing could have been a lot shorter but the trope that the whole series has used with Lemony Snicket as narrator (as Kit’s brother), explaining the meaning of this word or that or explaining Sunny’s baby talk just went on and on. It usually does but it was truly bad this time. The island didn’t provide anywhere near a dangerous enough backdrop compared to the 12 other books and Olaf’s final fate left questions. I was disappointed. Oh well.