A Streak Broken – a REview of The Austere Academy by Lemony Snicket

As previously illustrated, the odd books thus far in A Series of Unfortunate Events have been the weakest ones. That is, until now. Things are changing in the world of Violet, Klaus and Sunny.

The Baudelaires become students at Prufrock Prep, a morbid boarding school with obscure rules that make school life difficult and miserable. But they are able to find joy as they make their first true friends since being orphaned, Duncan and Isadora Quagmire. They soon discover the absurdities of how much they have in common and are able to bond over their circumstances. And then the five must team together as Count Olaf makes his way into the staff of Prufrock Prep.

This was the first book in the series to expand beyond Count Olaf’s escapades of trying to wrangle up the children, and I was here for it. It built up the world of Unfortunate Events so much more, which I could see having read the series many years before and knowing snippets of what to expect. This made the plot very refreshing and engaging compared to the other books, and sets up new mysteries to be solved later in the series.

I was a fan of exploring this new setting of a school too, for the short time we were present. The last book poked fun at labour and poor working conditions, and this book decided to poke fun at school by showing the most absurd one you could think of. And as someone who in my later years of high school realised how absurd schooling systems get when it comes to teaching us information they think valuable and beyond, this book was entertaining satire. With, of course, the typical Snicket spin.

The characters are getting more interesting now as well, especially as we are seeing more motivations in our characters and less surface level characters who off the top of my head we won’t be seeing again. I’m interested to re-remember how certain characters return and in what kind of scope.

And now I am truly interested in seeing how this series will turn out upon reread now that things have gotten deeper.

The Austere Academy gets a score of 4.5/5. Things are developing, and I’m here for it.

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