Yes, confusing. There are some interesting characters, most notably a young reporter named Moxie Mallahan, and two (very) young taxi drivers, Pip and Squeak. The main character is a 13-year-old Lemony Snicket himself, and the plot centers on his apprenticeship with an associate in an unnamed secret association. It's all very mysterious, which is of course the point, but parts of the book will leave you scratching your head. If you want a good slapstick mystery comedy with a number of unanswered questions, characters with excellent names (the bad guy is named "Hangfire"), and some rich vocabulary, this is your book.
Honestly, I was expecting a bit more from Mr. Snicket. I'm not sure how young readers will like this book (the one fourth grader I had read it so far rated it 5/10), but I'm guessing that if the series succeeds, it will be due to the author's fame and notoriety from his amazing A Series of Unfortunate Events. These characters are interesting, but nowhere near as memorable as Count Olaf and the Baudelaire orphans!
Here's the official trailer for the new series.