A Book Review of The Hostile Hospital

WARNING: Reading this article may give away things in the story ranging from unimportant to plot turners.

The Hostile Hospital by Lemony Snicket (Daniel Handler)

Type: Adventure, Children’s

Basic Plot: The Baudelaires’ life has never been harder. Not only are they hiding from Count Olaf, but are now also on the run for being falsely accused of murder. While hiding, the Baudelaires still hope to find out about V.F.D. and one day again meet the Quagmires.


Plot: 4/5 Well Done: The plot has greatly improved. The plot is quickly and greatly changing. The children are still hiding from Count Olaf, but are becoming more desperate to find out about V. F. D. The plot also has a revelation that makes the plot more complex and is a new drive to the story.

Writing Style and Setup: 4/5 Well Done: The book has several hints in it for previous and later books. The author very wells leaves clues and revelations in a discreet and natural way. The style is also filled with more dark humor.

Graphics: 4/5 Well Done: The graphics were done in the same style as the ones in the previous book, pencil sketches. They were again scattered with clues about what would and will happen.

Moral: 2/5 A Non-Clear Moral and an Introduction to an Ethical Dilemma: The main moral of the story was clearer than some books, as the Baudelaires are trying harder than ever to stay together. By the end of the book, Klaus is determined that they should stay together even if it is dangerous. It is good for a family to b strong and stay together.

The “ethical dilemma” that is introduced is the question if it is ok to do wrong if it is for the right reason. This is only introduced in this book and is done in the last chapter, but in the remaining books it is pondered and discussed more. As a Christian, we know that the end does not justify the means. It is not ok to have an abortion if it saves a child from a hard childhood. It is not ok to lie if it keeps a friend from getting in trouble. I will save some of the deeper discussions on this for later reviews in the series, but I will say that I am looking forward to it.

Overall: 4/5 Well Done: The quality of the book is definitely improving in plot. The direction of the plot and moral discussions will gain even more momentum, and I can say that I will be enjoying it. I recommend it to children of either gender eleven to twelve and older.

Moral Content

Sexual and Inappropriate Content: 0/5 None

Violence: 2/5 Light and Attempted Violence: “Violent” is used as a description. It mentions that “people… wanted to hurt them.” Several people attempt to attack children in various ways, including smashing them with filing cabinets and stabbing them with stiletto heels that actually have stilettos. They never do get hurt. Some people attempt to cut a girls head off in a fake operation. They fail. A girl bites a man’s hand. A man worried about his butterflies being hurt in prison. Threats and slightly violent comments are made to and concerning children.

Swearing and Using the Lord’s Name in Vain: 0/5 None

Emotional, Intense, and Disturbing Content: 1/5 Some Possibly Slightly Disturbing Content: The dedication mentions a woman has died. Some people are falsely accused of murder. It mentions people that have died in previous books. Some people sing a song that mentions several illnesses and injuries, though it is not gory. It mentions a certain coat was made from dead animals. A man mentions that they will perform surgery “until the patient is dead” on accident. A man probably dies in a burning building, but it never says for sure.

Religious Issues: 1/5 Brief Mention: The author briefly mentions being in “the Cathedral of the Alleged Virgin.” It mentions that knives were used for pagan religious sacrifices.

Magic: ½/5 Brief Mention “Ghost” and “ghostly” are used as a description. The fairytale “Sleeping Beauty” is briefly told and mentions the witch.

Others: It briefly mentions there being an advertisement for wine.

Overall: 1½/5 Almost All Appropriate: This book is almost recommendable for all ages, the violence being the category to be the most concerned with.

Here is a link to the ninth review:



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