Like the Harry Potter series, the Lemony Snicket novels share a preoccupation with dark and sinister forces. But unlike the Harry Potter series, the Lemony Snicket novels aren't centered around one location. Hogwarts School becomes a defining element of the Harry Potter series as well as a limitation, as the vast majority of events must take place in its vicinity. And likewise, while the stuff of magic--spells, wands, wizards' hats, robes, etc.--is definitely an attractive element for readers of the Harry Potter books, it also tends to confine the books to a particular kind of storytelling in which young sorcerers must battle trolls, dragons, and other dangerous beasts. In contrast, the Lemony Snicket novels are free to go anywhere, which opens up the series to a larger world and a much greater variety of storytelling possibilities.