Move over middle- grade graphic novel. Make room for something new. Take the best of picture book art, mix in an original layout, add equal bits comic, Victorian tale, suspense and horror, and wrap it all up with humor, and what do you get? You get a quirky middle-grade adventure so much like a rich bite of chocolate you will be asking the question: is there another one? Please? Thankfully, this is book one of a promising new series.
What a gem this is. The illustrations are a feast for the eyes and the story is incredibly fun. The two- column Victorian lay out and red and black illustrations are exceptional and the story is full of just enough quirky characters and puzzles to keep even a reluctant reader’s attention. Meet Warren the 13th heir to his family’s fortune. He’s a real oddball. The fortune is not money or jewels it’s an old, spooky hotel that just happens to have a secret or two. The hotel has fallen on bad times and Warren has to work under the direction of his lazy Uncle Rupert and his new wife Anaconda. Anaconda is a witch determined to find the treasure known as the All-Seeing Eye. It is supposedly hidden somewhere on the grounds. Much to Anaconda’s dismay the secret of the treasure gets out and soon the hotel is full of guests that are ready to beat her to the treasure. Let the games begin!
This is a book you will want to keep paging through. Author and Illustrator get extra points for originality while keeping true to a tried and true middle- grade adventure. Who said real books are on the way out? Warning –the e-book does not give you the rich illustrations. This is a must read.