The world's unluckiest trio of children have their most perilous adventure yet in The Miserable Mill, the fourth book in Lemony Snicket's delightful tales of woe, A Series of Unfortunate Events. Orphans Violet, Klaus, and Sunny Baudelaire have yet to find a guardian they can live with and, after the disasters that occurred during their last living arrangement, they are now headed for a lumber mill in the town of Paltryville (most of the names used in these tales are as revealing as they are entertaining), located just beyond the gloomy, black Finite Forest.
Another misadventure is virtually guaranteed when the children arrive at the mill and discover an eye-shaped building (the eye being Count Olaf's signature symbol) located right next door. Supposedly the building is an eye clinic, but the children have their doubts. Life with their newest caretaker doesn't look very promising either, as the children are forced to work in the mill and bunk in a dormitory with the other employees, all of whom are paid in coupons. Then Klaus breaks his glasses and has to visit the eye clinic. He doesn't return for hours -- and then when he does, he acts very strangely.
Violet begins to suspect that Klaus has been hypnotized and her investigation of the eye clinic reveals Count Olaf in his latest disguise. It's one the children can see through easily, though they can't seem to convince any of the adults around them that the eye clinic receptionist named Shirley is actually Count Olaf. Only by using their singular strengths -- Violet's knack for inventing, Klaus's book smarts, and Sunny's T-Rex-like bite -- can they escape their latest horrible fate.
My Rating: 4/5
This is my favourite book in this series so far. I think taking a break between reading these made me enjoy it more, as I was finding them very repetitive.
The only issue I had with this book was that it was very predictable, but that didn't bother me as much as the previous three books did.
The characters didn't seem to have changed at all, and haven't developed that much. I still found Klaus to be too wimpy as the only main male character.