Unless you are a slug, a sea anemone, or mildew, you probably prefer not to be damp. You might also prefer not to read this book, in which the Baudelaire siblings encounter an unpleasant amount of dampness as they descend into the depths of despair, underwater.
In fact, the horrors they encounter are too numerous to list, and you wouldn’t want me even to mention the worst of it, which includes mushrooms, a desperate search for something lost, a mechanical monster, a distressing message from a lost friend, and tap dancing (goodreads.com).
After leaving the Baudelaires traveling down the Stricken Stream, we are reunited with them as they make their way out into the ocean. Soon they discover a submarine and are thankful to find that the people inside are friends and not foes. Here they learn that the submarine is on a mission to find the missing Sugar Bowl before Count Olaf. After much deliberation they figure out that it must have traveled down the river and ended up in the ocean current leading to the Gorgonian Grotto, an underwater cave.
The Baudelaire’s find themselves in quite a bit of trouble after returning from the cave and they spend much of the book trying to figure out how to cure Sunny of poison while trying to stay away from Count Olaf who they find to be right on their tail. They end up getting captured by Olaf again before finding Sunny’s cure and time is running out!
The end of the book leaves the children in a much better predicament than they have been the entire series. Mr. Poe finally shows up, but they refuse to go with with and instead decide to get in a taxi that appears to be waiting for them. They are very pleased when it is revealed who is driving the taxi! 🙂
There is a lot going on in this book and although I enjoyed how it ended it wasn’t my favorite of the series, but not the worst. However, because it is pretty intense and exciting I am sure that a child would very much enjoy this one more than I did.
The plot wasn’t as interesting as all the other ones (finding a sugar bowl) and wasn’t even completed in this novel. They still have no idea what or where it is. The entire book is pretty much finds the children going from one place to another in order to find a bowl. There are many difficulties along the way, which kept the story fairly interesting, but I was hoping for something more. Possibly solving some of the many mysteries of the series, but that has yet to happen. With only two books left I really hope we figure everything out.
What I liked about the book was the different ending it had compared to all the other ones. I was much surprised that the Baudelaires stood up to Mr. Poe and are taking matters into their own hands to find someone who can help them. After getting into the taxi they are in the care of someone we believe to be a friend and that is much better than being in the trunk of Olaf’s care or in the care of a very horrible person.
There are quite a few new characters introduced in this book. One of which we have known about for a long time, but it wasn’t until now that we know his name.
The first character is Mr. Widdershins who is the captain of the submarine the Baudelaires ran into. I really find his character to be utterly annoying. Every few words he always says “Aye” and it seriously disrupts the flow of the dialogue and his motto, which he repeats probably 100 times is also irritating. There wasn’t anything about him that I liked, except for him being pretty kind to the children.
Fiona, his step-daughter, is slightly more interesting. She is a mycologist and has been studying fungi all of her life. From the beginning I don’t really trust her, there is just something a little off. Not really sure where her loyalties lie.
The last character is Fernald, who we have known as the hook-handed man. His name and relationship to other characters is revealed in this story and I will leave that for you to discover. Pretty interesting.
Although Violet and Klaus are older now they haven’t really developed much from the first few books. However, we can really see Sunny developing as her speech has been getting even better. Most of what she says now doesn’t require a translation!
The writing in this book bothered me a little bit because of some unnecessary repetition. The author describes the water cycle on so many different occasions that I just started to skip over it. Ugh. Once or twice is okay with a purpose, but more than that is just annoying. Otherwise, the writing was just as good as all the other books.
This is a decent addition to the series, but barely moves the plot forward. Even though I didn’t enjoy it too much, children will still love it because there are quite a few things that happen to the Baudelaires that make the story pretty intense and entertaining for them. If you are enjoying the series than there is no reason not to read this book. Enjoy it!
My rating: 3/5 stars!
My other reviews in this series
*photo provided by goodreads.com