Monday 8 August 2016

#ReviewMonday with KM Lockwood: Warren The 13th and the All-Seeing Eye by Tania del Rio, illustrated and designed by Wilhelm Staehle

Published by Quirk Books in 2015
256 pages in hardback – black and red illustrations on every page, with patterned endpapers 
Read via NetGalley
This is a most unusual book – and so it deserves an unusual extract:
I think that is the only way to convey its decidedly eccentric qualities.
Who is Warren the 13th?
…And what is the All-Seeing Eye?
Warren the 13th is the lone bellhop, valet, waiter, groundskeeper, and errand boy of his family’s ancient hotel. It’s a strange, shadowy mansion full of crooked corridors and mysterious riddles—and it just might be home to a magical object known as the All-Seeing Eye. Can Warren decipher the clues and find the treasure before his sinister Aunt Anaconda (and a slew of greedy hotel guests) beats him to it?
Who knows and loves The Munsters? Do I have a book for you!
Written and designed by graphic novel creators, this original work has 18 splendidly named chapters. In each, an escapade takes place involving the likeable, ugly hero Warren the 13th. Set in an alternative America of about a century ago, it’s full of mystery, mild peril and humour. 
There are plenty of surprises and thrills from both allies and enemies – and clues for readers to solve. It would suit being read aloud, being full of exuberant language and marvellous pictures. Still, it is by no means a difficult book, and would suit many capable younger readers. They would have to be quite sensitive to find Warren the 13th really scary!
Quirky and charming, it would really go down well with those who like the artwork of Edward Gorey, The Nightmare Before Christmas and A Series of Unfortunate Events. If you like the look of it, check out the Warren the 13th website for a longer extract, free downloadable activity booklet and other goodies.

In short: vintage-style Munsterish fun – with a kind-hearted core. Happily, (if you like that sort of thing) Warren the 13th and the Whispering Woods is scheduled for March 2017.

K. M. Lockwood lives by the sea in Sussex - see the pics on Instagram. She fills jars with sea-glass, writes on a very old desk and reads way past her bedtime. Her tiny bed-and-breakfast is stuffed full of books - and even the breakfasts are named after writers. You're always welcome to chat stories with @lockwoodwriter on Twitter.

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