We're starting to get closer and closer to the end of the Series of Unfortunate Events, but there's little sign that Lemony Snicket (or his alter ego, Daniel Handler) is slowing down or tying up loose ends. While there are more hints about the nature of V.F.D. and a bigger sense of how some of the disparate characters of the series are tying together, The Grim Grotto raises as many questions as it answers - actually, it asks WAY more than it answers. New characters (including a doozy of a new arrival to end the book), new threats that seem to intimidate friend and foe alike, more shifting alliances, and more moral shades of gray all combine to make just another knockout entry in this incredible series. Grim Grotto doesn't have some of the emotional heft that Slippery Slope had; what it does have, though, is a fantastic sense of humor, bringing some of the funniest scenes of the series, including a tap dance recital gone horribly wrong, a sea captain with bizarre running narration, Olaf's irritation at his newest "colleague", and so much more. It's a blast of a book, all told with the usual great writing, clever wordplay, and surprisingly rich character work that's made the series so good to begin with. And more than that, it continues to be one of the few book sets for young audiences that explores morality in shades of gray and raises questions to which there are no easy answers - no small accomplishment in the often cut-and-dried YA adventure world.