BOOK 10: THE SLIPPERY SLOPE - The older Baudelaire siblings - Violet and Klaus - are pulling out their hair in frustration when they find that they have been tricked by Count Olaf, and are now without their baby sister, Sunny - who, in all actuality, is a baby no more. For Sunny is now being held captive by Count Olaf and his troupe of villains, as Violet and Klaus are headed for their death off of a snowy peak. However, thanks to Violet's inventine skills, the two siblings are saved, and find that they must now make it up the slippery slope on foot. But when they meet a surprise person along their journey through snow gnats, a group of annoying Snow Scouts, who like to recite a drawn-out alphabet of the Snow Scout Pledge at any moment, and a snowy peak, the Baudelaires, along with their newfound friend, must rescue poor Sunny from Count Olaf's evil clutches, and solve the mystery of V.F.D. before it is too late. After all, one of their parents could still very well be alive. 5 stars.
BOOK 11: THE GRIM GROTTO - When your last name is Baudelaire, it is a known fact that you will somehow stumble upon trouble, no matter how hard you may try and avoid it. When you're last name is Baudelaire and you're an orphan, stumbling upon trouble increases tenfold. Which is why the Baudelaire orphans (Violet, Klaus, and Sunny) know instantly after they begin floating along the Stricken Stream that trouble is lurking around some vicious corner. However, as they are not dolphins, seals, or fish, they did not expect their next bout of trouble to take place underwater. But, alas, that is exactly where they find themselves on their next dreadful adventure. Having come across a submarine that is filled with three crew members (Captain Widdershins, his step-daughter Fiona, and, lo-and-behold the Baudelaire Orphans old pal, Phil), the Baudelaire's enter the underwater vehicle, and begin their next journey. Within a short while, the three orphans learn that Captain Widdershins is a member of V.F.D., and they quickly realize that he is on their side, willing to help them discover the truth about the fire that took their beloved parents lives. However, when the orphans, along with Fiona (a young mycologist), prepare for a bit of deep-sea diving, they soon find that young Sunny has been infected with Medusoid Mycelium (a deadly fungi). Now, the siblings are searching for a way to save their baby sister from a very certain death, without many supplies. As if that weren't difficult enough for the Baudelaire's to endure, they have just discovered that Count Olaf is now trailing them under the sea, and plans on capturing them, and (you guessed it) claiming their fortune as his own. 5 stars.
BOOK 12: THE PENULTIMATE PERIL - When we first met the three Baudelaire Orphans, they were splashing in tide pools along Briny Beach. That is, before their lives took a turn for the worst. Now, as we meet up with them once again in this twelfth volume, we again see them upon Briny Beach. However, this time things seem as if they are looking up, for they are in the hands of good - Kit Snicket. With the pregnant Kit in tow, the three Baudelaires are brought to the Denouement Hotel. A place kept in order by the Dewey Decimal System. The Hotel Denouement is the last safe place, and within a few days, each and every volunteer will meet up with one another, where they will celebrate the claiming of the sugar bowl over the hands of evil. However, with Sunny, Klaus, and Violet disguised as concierges, they soon learn - by using their "flaneur" skills - that many of the people lurking around the hallways of the Hotel Denouement are anything but good. In fact, it is while wrapped up in their clever disguises that the three orphans run into various terrible people from their past - from the unescapable Count Olaf, to the treacherous Vice Principal Nero; and the oft-times brainless Justice Strauss, to the carnival freaks known as Kevin, Colette, and Hugo. With a bit more detective work, and a little help from identical triplets Dewey, Frank, and Ernest, the orphans soon realize that while the upcoming gathering of volunteers is supposed to showcase how good triumphs over evil; the hotel is overrun by unkind masterminds who plan on wrecking the celebration. Now it is up to Violet, Klaus, and Sunny to make a very important decision...call off the volunteer gathering, or think up a way to triumph over the evil that has surrounded them ever since the day Mr. Poe informed them of their parents deaths. 5 stars.
This may be quite an unfortunate series. However, it is with my great displeasure to announce that these last three installments, leading up to the end of the Baudelaire Orphans woes, are possibly the best in the series, setting the reader up for an end all to be all thirteenth tale that will hopefully leave the Baudelaires in safe hands once more. In THE GLOOM LOOMS, we see the Baudelaires search for and attempt to rescue their youngest sister, Sunny, from the evil clutches of Count Olaf and his troupe of freaks; we see Count Olaf's soft side as he giggles - in an unnatural, somewhat annoying way - in an under-the-sea submarine; and we watch as Violet, Klaus, and Sunny impersonate a trio of concierges in the confusing Hotel Denouement, where each floor is set up according to the Dewey Decimal System. It is in these three disgraceful installments that we delve deeper into the mysteries of the Baudelaires, the intrepid V.F.D., and Lemony Snicket himself, as he attempts to "Snicket-ize" each and every reader. As would be expected, THE PENULTIMATE PERIL sets the scene for the upcoming grand finale, and makes it quite clear that the end is near.