Warren the 13th and the All-Seeing Eye, by Tania del Rio (Nov. 2015, Quirk Books), $16.95, ISBN: 978-1594748035
Recommended for ages 8-12
Poor Warren the 13th. He’s a 12 year old orphan, who’s currently bellhopping at his family’s hotel. His hapless uncle Rupert and Rupert’s evil wife, Annaconda are managing the hotel until he’s old enough to take it over, but Rupert’s really running the whole show. All Rupert wants to do is nap, and Annaconda is convinced that a treasure she calls the All-Seeing Eye is somewhere in the hotel, and that it will give her unlimited power. The thing is, word gets out, and the hotel is besieged by all sorts of wacky and weird characters. The hunt is on, but Warren needs to find the Eye first to save his family’s legacy!
This is a perfect book for middle graders who love their creepy stories with a lot of humor. We’ve got a Cinderella type story here, with a sweet kid being raised by an evil family member (his uncle isn’t bad, just a bit slow on the uptake). There’s a fun subplot that will surprise and delight readers, and the ending – and Warren’s origins – leave the possibility of a sequel open. The Victorian setting is such a fun setting for stories – rambling homes with all sorts of stories abound- and there two-color illustrations on every page that will spur more visual readers on.
Tania del Rio is a comic book writer and artist whose credits include work for Archie Comics, Dark Horse, and Marvel. You can find out more about her books and see more of her art at her author website.