Hey, guys! Today we will be discussing the fourth book in the A Series of Unfortunate Events series, The Miserable Mill by Lemony Snicket. I really enjoyed this book, even if it wasn’t my favorite thus far in the series. This review will be spoiler-free, but since this is the fourth book in the series, I don’t recommend you staying unless you have read the first three books. I did a review for both The Bad Beginning and The Reptile Room, and I also did a separate review for The Wide Window, if you would like to check those out. But that is it for the non-spoilery section, so if you haven’t read books one through three, then you should leave, read them, and come back, and we can discuss them together. So goodbye, non-spoiler people!
Now let’s jump right into the review!
I hope, for your sake, that you have not chosen to read this book because you are in the mood for a pleasant experience. If this is the case, I advise you to put this book down instantaneously, because of all the books describing the unhappy lives of the Baudelaire orphans, The Miserable Mill might be the unhappiest yet. Violet, Klaus, and Sunny Baudelaire are sent to Paltryville to work in a lumber mill, and they find disaster and misfortune lurking behind every log.
The pages of this book, I’m sorry to inform you, contain such unpleasantries as a giant pincher machine, a bad casserole, a man with a cloud of smoke where his head should be, a hypnotist, a terrible accident resulting in injury, and coupons.
I have promised to write down the entire history of these three poor children, but you haven’t, so if you prefer stories that are more heartwarming, please feel free to make another selection.
With all due respect,
This book is definitely not one of my favorites of the series, to be completely honest, but I did still really enjoy it, and I am glad I read it. This book was the one with the most mystery in it and with the least Count Olaf, at least in the beginning. Usually, we see Count Olaf right off the bat, he does some unspeakable bad deed, they figure out his plan and stop it, and Olaf is caught, but he escapes. That’s the general structure of every book in the series so far, excluding this one. It was a nice surprise to see Lemony Snicket change it up a bit.
Throughout the majority of this book, everyone is wondering where in the heck Count Olaf is. The children may seem a little bit paranoid, but their paranoia is right on the money. Olaf is just taking a more subtle approach at trying to get the children so that he can get their fortune. I sort of inherited the children’s paranoia whilst I was reading this, so I trusted no one. Every single person they came across, I was instantly suspicious of. I believed either they were in cahoots with Olaf or they really were Olaf. And I was actually right on the money.
I really enjoyed the story line because it was so interesting. We didn’t know what was going on with Klaus. We just knew that something was influencing his memories and the way he was thinking and was just screwing with him. And this of course resulted in the whole scene at the end, which was pretty crazy. We got to see how manipulative Olaf could be with those around him. He could turn people over to his side just because of money.
But that whole end scene was absolutely insane. It kept me on the edge of my seat, and even though I knew that all of the children would live, I was still scared shitless that one of them would die. It was probably my favorite scene from the series so far. It was executed pretty brilliantly, in my opinion. I really enjoyed it.
I also really loved getting some insight into Violet’s character. We got to see how worried she was about Klaus, and how much she just wants to protect her siblings. She feels like she has failed her parents if they get hurt, and we get to firsthand see that guilt. It humanized her a little bit more for me, and I really loved seeing the insight into her mind and her thought processes.
Speaking of thought processes, it was interesting to see the children have to put themselves in each other’s shoes. At one point, Klaus is not mentally and physically able to help them, so Violet has to think like Klaus. At one point, Violet can’t help, so Klaus has to put himself in Violet’s shoes. This allows us to realize how vital each of the children are to their survival. Klaus is a reader, not an inventor, and Violet is an inventor, not a reader or researcher. It just made them more important in my eyes, and I loved seeing that insight.
Overall, I really enjoyed this book. I loved the character development, the plot line, and the interesting setting. The writing was interesting as always, and I am really anticipating the next installment to the series!
And there you have it! That was my review of The Miserable Mill by Lemony Snicket! What’s your favorite children’s series (excluding Harry Potter)? Comment down below! And that is going to be it for this post today. Thank you so much for reading this, I hope you enjoyed it, and I will see you next time!