Warren is the 13th in a long line of men in his family, all of whom run the Warren Hotel. He is curious, hard-working, and trying his best to remain optimistic as his Uncle Rupert and Aunt Annaconda leave the hotel in bad shape.
Aunt Annaconda believes that a mysterious All-Seeing Eye is somewhere in the hotel, but all Warren wants to do is keep the family hotel from becoming a dump, which means that he has to find this strange treasure before Aunt Annaconda does.
I haven’t read many other illustrated Middle Grade books, aside from this and Seaside, which I read last year. With that lack of experience, I wasn’t really sure what to expect with this book, so I went into it without many expectations.
The first chapter didn’t really capture my attention, but once I started the second and third chapters, I really got into the book. I began getting used to the style of mixing illustrations into the text and having full-page illustrations, and once I got used to that, I flew through the book.
This book has a fairly interesting plot. I can’t say that I’ve read very many books that feature a main character who lives in and runs a hotel that has been passed through his family for generations. That was probably the thing that captured my attention the most when I first went into the book.
The art style and story itself have an almost gothic feel to it. Not in a super dark way, but the drawing style makes me think of something more gothic, which fits perfectly with the tone of the story.
I was surprised by how much I ended up enjoying the story once I got into it, reading pretty much the entire book in one sitting. It was easy to get into in between talking to a couple of my friends at the same time. I enjoyed the experience of reading the book and how it was able to take my mind off some disappointing news that had received that day. I was also surprised that I ended up reading almost the entire book, starting from where I had left off a couple of days prior. I hadn’t planned to finish it when I started reading, but it felt good when I kept reading and got to the end of the book.
Interestingly, I don’t think that a sequel is necessary for this book, even though I know that a sequel is in the works. With the way it ended, I think this could be presented very well as a stand-alone, giving a solid and satisfying conclusion to the reader.
I liked Warren and his positivity. He kept things light, no matter how irritated he was with his aunt and uncle. Warren is a great example of a hard-working kid who refuses to give up, making him a good role model and example for kids.
Uncle Rupert was fun to have around as comic relief. I found myself shaking my head at him on more than one occasion, but having to smile at how simple-minded the guy is. I don’t think anyone can really say that they don’t find him amusing.
4 stars. I’d recommend it to anyone who has kids who are currently reading Middle Grade books. This does have some paranormal elements, so it might be a good idea to read through the book yourself first if the kid is sensitive to some images and text that can be slightly scary for someone younger.