Warren the 13th and The All-Seeing Eye: A Novel - Will Staehle, Tania del Rio
4.5 stars

I received a free review copy of this book through Netgalley and Quirk Books in exchange for my honest opinion.

I don't know about you guys, but from time to time, I tend to end up in a book slump. My love for books is still there, I'm just not actively reading anything. A few pages of something before going to bed and that's that. I still check my Goodreads, bookblogs, bookstores etc. on a daily basis. Hell, I still even buy heaps of books because it feels so good buying them and then admiring them when they arrive (a little less admiration when it comes to adding new books to my Kindle though). However, when it's evening and I'm sitting on the couch looking at my books, I just can't be arsed to actually pick one up and start reading. Nope, I'll play a game instead or watch some TV, eyeing my books every once in a while, but then still don't feel like doing something with it.

And then a new book comes along which actually pulls you out of that state of mind. For me, Warren the 13th and the All-Seeing Eye was one of those books. I was about two pages in and already thought: THIS is exactly why I love books so much.

Just look at how chapter one starts off:

Warren the 13th sample image 1

How can you NOT get excited about something like this? The artwork looks amazing! And I didn't even see half of it yet, because I've only read the test version on my Kindle.

The backflap summarizes the story brilliantly:

" 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.

Annaconda 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!"

And strange guests they were alright! All characters are amazingly well developed. Fat and lazy uncle Rupert. His new wife, evil hag Annaconda. Mr. Friggs, an old veteran/tutor who basically lives in the library. Petula, a mysterious ghostly looking girl who's about the same age as Warren and knows how to draw portals and travel through them. And then Warren himself; a brave, sweet boy with beautiful golden curls and a face like a toad.

The setting is absolutely gorgeous. I first couldn't put my finger on what it reminded me of exactly, but then all of a sudden, it popped to the surface: it's like a Tim Burton movie (the ones for children that is). Sadly, I read some reviews the next day and discovered I wasn't the first person who came up with that *pouts*, but I'm still using it in my review, because it damn well hits the nail right on the head when it comes to describing the setting of this book: creepy yet oh so delightful!


I highly recommend this book to anyone who likes dark children's stories, beautiful (and many!) illustrations and has a quirky sense of humour. Or just to anyone in general actually. I will most certainly buy the book when it comes out, so I can see the illustrations on paper and hopefully, one day, will be able to read it to my children. This has the potential to become BIG!