by Tania del Rio
Illustrated by Will Staehle
published by Quirk Books
expected release date: November 24, 2015
genre: Middle Grade, Fantasy, Mystery,
**received from publisher/netgalley in exchange for honest review.
Summary (Goodreads): 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.
My Thoughts: I wanted to read this for two reasons. The first cover (here) caught my attention when I was scrolling through netgalley. The final cover and illustrations the author posted made me want it even more. The second reason is my son. He is not a fan of fiction books, reads mostly non-fiction, and I am always looking for stuff for him to read that will make his teachers happy. This is one I will be getting for him when it comes out.
Warren comes from a long line of Warrens, all eventually become owners/managers of the hotel. Unfortunately, our Warren receives the hotel before he is old enough to run it, leaving him and it in the care of his aunt and uncle. The uncle is lazy and spends all his time eating and sleeping and the aunt is evil, always coming up with new ways to torture/discipline Warren.
Anaconda fills the classic villain role well. She is evil, greedy, and will do anything to get what she wants. Power, power and more power. With the help of her sisters (and several others) they manage to tear apart the hotel looking for the Eye, all under the nose of the oblivious uncle.
There were many twists and turn along with all of Warrens ups and downs throughout the book. Warren, while not your typical leading character, is still great and you cannot help but root for him. There are many surprises and great side characters, meaning there is something for everyone.
As I said, I'll definitely be getting this for my son and personally, I'm most looking forward to seeing the final illustrations.