The Penultimate Peril by Daniel Handler - Book Review


The Penultimate Peril

The Penultimate Peril by Daniel Handler - Book Review

The Penultimate Peril is probably the one that Handler spent most of his time writing for how detailed, action-packed, and anticipation-building it is. Readers should not expect every detail to fall into place in this book, because it brings up more questions than it answers.

However, it is exciting and brings almost all of the characters in the series in one place, or one hotel: Hotel Denouement. Although this hotel looks normal on the surface, it hides many secrets in the configuration of the floors and beneath the lake. All of this makes it one of the best books in the series.

The twelfth book features characters back from book one who all come together to help the orphans by participating in a trial that will determine Count Olaf’s fate. While the orphans were here to investigate the place and find the mysterious VFD meeting, they unearth truths about the Count and themselves, as the lines between good and evil blur so much.

The orphans end up fulfilling their criminal reputation by inadvertently killing someone and burning the place down in order to escape. This brings up something that Handler foreshadowed in the previous book, “People aren't either wicked or noble.

They're like chef's salads, with good things and bad things chopped and mixed together in a vinaigrette of confusion and conflict” This didn’t have an effect in the previous book, but it was deeply felt here, especially after the strong attachment we developed for the orphans after 12 books of misfortune and misery.

This book does little to explain the mysteries surrounding the orphans and focuses more on their moral dilemma, though if you try to search for answers on the internet, you will find multiple theories explaining what went down in the hotel after the fire. Even better the Netflix TV series is explaining it better.

The book ends with the orphans escaping the hotel with their archenemy Count Olaf to their final adventure. The cluster of events in this book brought a semi-closure to all secondary characters, leaving the last book, “The End” to bring closure to the main characters.


Book Details

Title: The Penultimate Peril
Format: Paperback
Author: Daniel Handler
Language : English
Publisher : Egmont UK Ltd
ISBN: 978-1405266178

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