Wednesday, November 11, 2015

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

**Warren the 13th and the All-Seeing Eye will be released Tuesday, November 24th!**

**I received a copy of Warren the 13th and the All-Seeing Eye courtesy of NetGalley and Quirk Books**

Throughout my yearly readings, I like to try to incorporate some fresh and interesting middle-grade books into the mix, and I always end up having such a blast diving into each imaginative new story. Warren the 13th and the All-Seeing Eye was a perfect addition to this category, and a wonderfully crafted middle-grade book!

Warren is an orphan living at the Warren House, a once bustling and popular hotel that has since fallen into disrepair after his lazy Uncle Rupert and villainous Aunt Anaconda take over control. His Aunt Anaconda, however, believes that a mysterious item known as the all-seeing eye is located somewhere on the property and will stop at nothing to find it - even if hundreds of unexpected and strange guests begin pouring into the hotel in order to find it as well. It becomes a race between all of these characters to discover the all-seeing eye, though Warren is the only one that means to do so in order to protect his family's legacy.

Warren the 13th is overflowing with vibrant, unique, and exciting characters - I can easily promise that you will never be bored. The illustrations are wonderfully whimsy and quirky, and there is no shortage of  crazy and unnatural creatures.

Warren himself is a hardworking young boy who wants nothing more than to reinstate the beauty and splendor of this once-great Victorian hotel. He is the hero of the story, though he doesn't act like any typical heroic trope; instead, he simply acts like a responsible young boy attempting to do his best to help out at the hotel where no one else works, all without many close companions to keep him company.

Aunt Anaconda is the perfect villain in any middle-grade story, and kids of any age will have a fantastic time hating her and rooting for Warren. She's spiteful and full of disdain, which makes for an exciting time. The rest of the cast of characters are equally intriguing, and I particularly enjoyed Warren's interactions with each one, whether brief of extended. For me, these interactions allowed Warren to meet new people, form some new bonds, and also truly allow the reader to get a sense for who Warren really is and why he wants to keep his hotel together - he wants to bring back all of the unique guests that brought the hotel to life. 

The illustrations were an amazing addition to the storytelling; they were interwoven in such a unique and quirky way that truly fit the overall atmosphere of the book. Though I was still able to enjoy the illustrations perfectly fine in ebook format, I can only imagine how lovely the physical book will be!

Overall, I am giving Warren the 13th and the All-Seeing Eye four stars for its quirky charm and delightful storytelling! The storytelling is perfect, the illustrations and text arrangements are engaging, and the characters are all exceptionally charming and inventive. This would be a great book to read with or to kids, or even on their own (don't worry, I don't see anything wrong with adults reading books for younger audiences)!

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