Warren the 13th and the Whispering Woods by Tania del Rio and Will Staehle
This is the second book to feature the weird looking protagonist Warren the 13th. In the first book, Warren the 13th and the All-Seeing Eye, Warren had to fight off an evil witch to regain control of his family’s historic hotel. Click on the link above for my full review. Necessary caveat: Spoilers ahead for the previous Warren the 13th book.
So now Warren is the happy proprietor of the Warren Hotel, which is the only hotel in the world to move around on legs, bringing its guests to new and exciting locations. His friends Petula (the trainee witch hunter) and Sketchy (the octopus monster) help him run the hotel alongside his buffoon of an uncle, his kindly tutor, the piratical chef, and Petula’s mother, world famous witch hunter and chief of security.
When word gets out that a famous witch hunter is living aboard the Warren, the queen of the witches sets a bounty on the hotel and everyone in it. When the hotel is hijacked and brought into the Malwoods (where witches live, of course), Warren and his friends must race to save the hotel and one another.
I have to say that I really enjoy these books. Even though they are geared towards children, the plot and dialogue still sit well with older readers like me. Combine that with the Edward Gorey-style artwork, and this is simply a wonderfully fun book. del Rio and Staehle have carried through the puzzles and riddles from the previous book, and readers are invited to solve them themselves as the book goes on. The plot has a surprising amount of layers to it for a children’s book, and let’s not forget that as this is a kid’s book, we can count on a happy ending no matter what.
I would recommend this series for someone looking for a children’s book that is a bit off the beaten path. If you’re tired of happy bunnies and racing turtles and what not, this might be the book for you.
An advance copy of this book was provided by the publisher in exchange for an honest review.