ABOUT THE BOOK
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.
I can honestly say that this book is one of the most unusual that I've ever read. Is it because the main character, Warren, looks a bit toadlike? Maybe. Is it because of the atmospheric illustrations found throughout the book? Maybe. Is it because of the two columns per page with the larger size? Maybe. Or maybe it's all of the above. Despite the strangeness of the book, I found myself intrigued with story, especially young Warren the 13th, who is a sweet, loyal, dedicated person who is being controlled and manipulated by his witchy Aunt Annaconda and overworked by his lazy Uncle Rupert. I found the setting to be completely fascinating, especially when things took an interesting turn towards the end of the book (I can't say more without completely spoiling the plot). The secondary characters provide plenty of entertainment as well, with a hotel guest completely covered in bandages who flits in and out of site, Aunt Annaconda's apprentice, Petula, who befriends Warren, but can she be trusted? And is she a ghost or isn't she? The puzzle/treasure hunt them is presented in a way I've never read before with the treasure turning out to be quite different than all the characters think. And the illustrations make for a great addition. I actually really liked the two column format and the numerous illustrations. An entertaining read for those who enjoy the weird and unusual.
WARREN THE 13TH AND THE WHISPERING WOODS
by Tania Del Rio, illustrated by Will Staehle
Quirk Books, 2017
Available March 21, 2017
Warren the 13th is back in another lushly illustrated middle grade adventure.
This sequel to Warren the 13th and the All-Seeing Eye begins soon after the first book's conclusion.Twelve-year-old Warren has learned that his beloved hotel can walk, and now it's ferrying guests around the countryside, transporting tourists to strange and foreign destinations. But when an unexpected detour brings everyone into the dark and sinister Malwoods, Warren finds himself separated from his hotel and his friends and racing after them on foot through a forest teeming with witches, snakes, talking trees, and mind-boggling riddles. Once again, you can expect stunning illustrations and gorgeous design from Will Staehle on every page along with plenty of nonstop action and adventure!