Warren the 13th and the All-Seeing Eye, by Tania del Rio and Will Staehle

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Warren the 13th and the All-Seeing Eye is a tribute to three people: Will Staehle, who created the title character, provided the illustrations, and designed the book, Tania del Rio, who wrote the story, and the unknown Quirk Books employee who agreed to publish such a detailed, gorgeous, labor-intensive work.

In the fine tradition of stories about put-upon Victorian orphans, 12-year-old Warren the 13th is the heir to the dilapidated Warren Hotel. Warren is the ward of his lazy, useless Uncle Rupert, but Rupert is too besotted with his new wife to pay attention to anyone else. Unfortunately for Warren, that exposes him to the cruelty of his evil Aunt Annaconda. Annaconda has come to the Warren Hotel to hunt for a mysterious, powerful device—the All-Seeing Eye—and she is convinced that Warren knows more about its location than he's telling.

Warren the 13th and the All-Seeing Eye is technically aimed at middle school students, but older readers will find plenty to enjoy, too. The story is simple but satisfying, the artwork looks like what would happen if Edward Gorey and Lane Smith had a baby, and the quality of the book design is spectacular. This might sound like strange praise, but Warren the 13th would actually make a great coffee-table book: it's equally fun to both read and casually flip through.
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Posted by: Julianka

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