“Warren the 13th tiptoed across the roof of the Warren Hotel, and the old slate tiles clattered like bones. A crisp autumn wind snapped at his back, threatening to knock him off balance, but he kept going. A fall from the top of an eight-story building was the least of his worries. He had a chimney to repair.”
TITLE & AUTHOR: Warren the 13th and The All-Seeing Eye by Tania del Rio and Will Staehle
SERIES: Warren the 13th, #1
PUBLISHED : November 24th 2015, by Quirk Books
MY RATING: 5/5
Warren the 13th is the lone bellhop, valet, waiter, groundskeeper, and errand boy of his family’s ancient hotel. It’s a strange, shadowy mansion full of crooked corridors and mysterious riddles—and it just might be home to a magical object known as the All-Seeing Eye. Can Warren decipher the clues and find the treasure before his sinister Aunt Annaconda (and a slew of greedy hotel guests) beats him to it?
This middle-grade adventure features gorgeous two-color illustrations on every page and a lavish two-column Victorian design that will pull young readers into a spooky and delightful mystery.
Hello dear readers! Today I bring you a great book recommended to me by a bookstagram friend, called Warren the 13th. I have to admit I knew nothing about it beforehand, and I would never have even read it, had it not been translated into Serbian. I am glad I did, as I was more than pleasantly surprised, and now I hope to pass on the recommendation to at least some of you who like quirky and a bit dark things.
Warren the 13th is a children’s book, its writing is definitely reflecting that, but the adults won’t be bored either, especially the weird ones like me, who love witches and the occult. At the center of this story is Warren the 13th, a young boy and an heir of a crumbling hotel. Warren hotel was once a lavish institution, visited by many, but ever since Warren-the-boy’s parents died prematurely, his lazy uncle Rupert has left it to rot and decay. Little Warren is the only person taking care of the huge eight-floor building, and he is not helped in any way by his uncle, nor his new bride, Warren’s horrible aunt Annaconda (I think the name speaks for her). There is a centuries-old rumor that a magical object of immense power is hidden somewhere within the hotel, but no one is paying much attention to that old gossip until a mysterious, bandaged visitor arrives at the hotel and kicks off a series of unusual events which turn into a real adventure.
I thought the story was quite interesting, it’s a classic mystery-adventure with a few twists and betrayals, but it’s pretty simplified for the younger readers. That would have made it a bit boring for me personally, were it not for the gorgeous illustrations. I didn’t know how well and how much this little book was illustrated until I actually got it, so you can imagine my surprise at tons and tons of amaaaazing illustrations! We have Will Staehle to thank for that, and once I googled him I discovered he is also the artist behind the Gravity Falls logo and A Darker Shade of Magic covers! You know the red-black-white gorgeous ones? Which is no wonder because this book is mostly red, black and white as well! I loved the use of two colors, the amazing hand-drawn fonts and the turn of the century design style. The photos I took are just a tiny bit of what’s expecting you within these pages, because this is truly a book to treasure. I’m happy to say there are two more books in the series and Icannot wait to read them too! And they’re also cleverly designed, the second one in green colors and the third one in blue.
If you like quirky stories, like A Series of Unfortunate Events, Roald Dahl’s stories, or The Addams Family comics and movies, you’ll definitely love Warren the 13th and his adventures!
Tania del Rio is a professional writer and artist who got her start writing and illustrating comics, primarily for a young audience. Her clients include Archie Comics, Dark Horse, and Marvel; she is best known for her work writing and drawing the 42-issue manga-inspired run of Sabrina the Teenage Witch: The Magic Within. She is also the author of the WARREN THE 13TH middle grade series published by Quirk Books. She lives in Los Angeles with her husband and two dogs.