Sunday, May 1, 2016

Warren the 13th and the All-Seeing Eye by Tania del Rio and Will Staehle

Warren the 13th and The All-Seeing EyeWarren the 13th and The All-Seeing Eye by Tania del Rio

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Review copy provided by Netgalley

What a delightfully strange journey this book has been! Warren the 13th is an odd yet endearing child who lives in and loves the hotel that has been in his family since its creation twelve generations before. His parents are dead, and so his Uncle Rupert runs the hotel until Warren turns eighteen. The trouble is that Uncle Rupert has no business dabbling in hotel management. He's lazy and not too bright, and he's madly in love with an evil witch who is using him to get to a magical treasure that will restore her to her former glory. All the while, poor young Warren is forced to act as bellhop/repairman/maintenance crew for the entire hotel, which is understandably hovering in a state of decrepit disrepair brought about by Uncle Rupert's slovenly mismanagement.

It's hard not to love Warren. He's industrious, resourceful, and kindhearted, spending all day trying to do the impossible and keep things working. He has few friends, but they are steadfast and noble. His tutor and the hotel chef are odd characters as well, but they are noble and honest through and through. His evil Aunt Annaconda is the only person actively trying to make life more difficult for Warren as she attempts to uncover the secrets of the All-Seeing Eye, a possibly magical devise that she believes is housed somewhere in the hotel grounds.

The style of this book is certainly unique, from the column style of the writing to the illustrated text and odd illustrations, everything about this book screams quirky (which is an appropriate statement to make considering the publisher). The thing is, it all works so well together that you can't help but enjoy the experience. This is a great adventure with a healthy dose of mystery and magic heaped on top. I'll certainly be adding this to my school's collection. If I can say nothing else for the story, the fact that the book is so odd will sell a large segment of students on it, no questions asked. Add to that the fact that the story is well told and heartwarming to boot, and you know you're dealing with a winner. Well done.

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