The biggest surprise in this was not the big reveal, it was realizing all along that Snicket knew who Hangfire was from the very beginning. He only hoped that he was wrong in his suspicion.
I loved the unraveling of the mystery surrounding Stain'd-by-the-Sea. I was impatient for everything and the release of every installment was far apart enough that by the time read the next one, I have forgotten every clue that was shown.
There were still unanswered questions (as usual) at the end of the book but what really bothered me were:
Why would you sink a dying town even lower when you're just as distressed as everyone else with everything that has happened?
Why would you even want power over such a town?
Why avenge the wrecked environment by making the world a wild and lawless place?
What kind of parents left their children in a dying town and be too scared to go back for them??