Publication Date: November 24, 2015
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.
hank you to NetGalley for hosting this on your site. Thank you also to Quirk Books for approving my request to read this in exchange for an honest review.