Early in October this year I received a review package from Quirk Books which held 'Warren the 13th and The Whispering Wood' and a sampler of 'Warren the 13th and The All-Seeing Eye'. 'Whispering Wood' is the second in the series so I started in on the sampler for 'Eye' - and I can say, quite confidently, that I enjoyed the three chapters provided. So much so that I requested the complete book.
It arrived and was just as much fun as I had hoped it would be.
Our Hero, Warren, is the latest in a long line of Warrens (hence 'the 13th') and, at only 12 years old is the bellhop, valet, groundskeeper and errand boy of the creepy family hotel, now run by his uncle and his uncle's new wife, Annaconda. As you would expect, Annaconda is very much the evil aunt, the uncle is pathetic and poor old Warren is very much put upon by her.
You see, there is a rumour that somewhere in the hotel is an artefact, the titular All-Seeing Eye and Annaconda wants it. She isn't going to do all the hard work herself though, oh no! That'll be for Warren to do.
This is a gorgeously put together book aimed, I would say, at readers between 8-15 yrs (but suitable for all really). The print is double columned on most pages and on those pages where it is only a single column that is only due to the glorious illustrations - and there are plenty of those (by Will Staehle). With puzzles and riddles to solve along the way and a cast of delightful (and dreadful) characters this is a really fun book. Imagine Harry Potter set in Gormenghast Castle and you won't go far wrong.
I'm going to put my copy to one side for my littlest niece, and I will pass it on to her when she is old enough to enjoy it - but I may just take it up for a reread or two before then