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February 8, 2016

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

Warren the 13th and The All-Seeing EyeTitle: Warren the 13th and The All-Seeing Eye
Author: Tania del Rio and Will Staehle
Publisher: Quirk Books
Publication date: November 24th, 2015
Genre(s): Middle Grade, Mystery
Source: Quirk Books for Review
Pages: 224
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Meet Warren the 13th, a cursed 12-year-old Victorian bellhop who’s terribly unlucky . . . yet perpetually optimistic, hard-working, and curious. Orphan Warren’s pride and joy is his family’s hotel, but he’s been miserable ever since his evil Aunt Anaconda took over the management. Anaconda believes a mysterious treasure known as the All-Seeing Eye is hidden somewhere on the grounds, and she’ll do anything to find it. If Warren wants to preserve his family’s legacy, he’ll need to find the treasure first—if the hotel’s many strange and wacky guests don’t beat 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.

Every now and then I find myself longing for a good middle grade that will bring me back to my childhood and serve as a quick, fun read. That's exactly what Warren the 13th accomplished. The dark, depressing sort of style is something I would have 100% picked up as a kid. I was all into dark books like A Series of Unfortunate Events, the Bailey School Kids (although that one was a bit on the lighter side) and every ghost story you could ever imagine. So if Warren the 13th had been around for me when I was actually in middle school it would have been one of my favorites. Even now I highly recommend it.

The characters are all quirky and interesting. Not only do you get their descriptions, but the story is also enhanced with drawings of the characters. This way you get to see what everyone looks like and they all have such distinct features. I absolutely loved the illustrations in this book. Here are a few pictures of what you can expect throughout the book: 

The book itself is beautiful and I will definitely have it on display at all times. 

There are so many intricacies to Warren the 13th. If I were to read it again I would probably find new things hidden within the pages of the book and within the illustrations. I feel like the author, Tania Del Rio, and the illustrator, Will Staehle, really thought out every detail of the story and how it would all tie together as a finished product. Look out for hidden codes! 

No matter what you like, there is something for everyone. There are monsters, witches, lazy old men, and some particularly strange humans. I thoroughly enjoyed every bit of the story and with that super secret code I cracked throughout the book I'm even more excited for book two! Excitement Level: I would do anything to get my hands on book two right now.

I recommend this gem to anyone looking to reminisce on their childhood or looking for the next middle grade adventure story that will capture readers of every age. 

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