I am saddened to report that this is the final book in the Series of Unfortunate Events, at least for the Baudelaires. Maybe we could hear more from the other members of V.F.D. or maybe a history of Count Olaf. But Lemony Snicket says this is it.
When we last saw the Baudelaires they were escaping from the high court due to the lack of justice, and they had just helped Count Olaf to burn down the Hotel Deneument and escape in a boat out to sea. Well the orphans and the villain are at sea running out of food and water and all Count Olaf can do is try to boss the children around.
They are all in the same boat but Olaf seems to think the orphans are in his clutches or that they will be his henchmen. But, a storm changes that and the boat is swept away and nearly destroyed before it washes up on a coastal shelf. The coastal shelf is near an Island wher the orphans learn more secrets of their past but first must endure the strange customs of the Island.
The locals on the island are all castaways that have given up on the outside world and want to live in peace. Here they drink a strange drink, a coconut cordial, that is a form of an opiate and keeps them all docile. They also all wear long white robes and eat bland meals. The island's facilitator, Ishmail, uses peer pressure to keep the castaways "happy" and keep the outside world away. But Ishmail has his own secrets, in fact he's got clay feet. hmmm....let that one soak in...or better yet read the book and find out what I mean.
I can tell you that at the end of this book a child is born into the world, a villian dies, a volunteer dies and the Baudelaires learn the history of their parents. I have heard some fans of the books say that this book leaves you with more questions than answers, but In my opinion, I think that these books could have only ended this way. While the answers to some secrets are revealed, more are made even more mysterious.
I'm gonna miss Count Olaf. But I'm glad the kids got motivated to read.