And as you might know if you have read my #re3 of The Miserable Mill, this is the first book in this year long unofficial challenge that I haven't read, so was going into this quite blind. I didn't even google what the word "Austere" meant (See? We book bloggers aren't as smart as we fake ourselves to be!) till I was quite close to the end of the book.
In this, the fifth book of the series, the Baudelaire orphans are sent to the boarding school which was mentioned in pasting in The Wide Window, Prufrock Preparatory. And, while the three make new friends within Duncan and Isobel Quagmire, this don't mean their lives turn for the better. They are forced to sleep in a shed, with crabs, weird fungus and hideous wallpaper. There's a bully of a vice-principal and a bully for a class mate. And, of course, Count Olaf in disguise, after the Baudelaire fortune...
This is a weird one for me. I have faults with it - it's repeating the same pattern as the previous books in the series (and while that's ok, I wish there was more) and the story feels a bit flat with some characters.
However, this seems to be the book that really starts the series off. We met characters - Isobel and Duncan Quagmire - who seem to be in the same situation as Violet, Klaus and Sunny - and I liked reading them. Plus, it's these two characters who give an important piece of information that will now be the driving force to the series, I hope.
This was a fast read (I read this over two days - Good Friday and Easter Saturday. Well, I had to read something to get over the shock/despair my heart was feeling after reading Half Lost!) and I think because I am much older than this series's target audience, if that's why I am reacting the way I am to it. I sped through and then find things that bother me when, I know, that if I discovered this when I was eight or ten years old, I would have devoured it!
But am going to keep going with this series. Why not? I'm in this far! Ok, onto book six, The Ersatz Elevator!