In this funny fantasy story, Frankie Bannister welcomes readers to the rather unusual hotel that he runs with his parents. You won’t find any decent reviews of the hotel online, because his parents write horrible ones in order to put off prospective punters. Nor will you see many guests stumbling upon the hotel, despite its proximity to Brighton beach. This is because The Nothing to See Here Hotel is not really for human guests; that would be far too normal.
Giant spiders, banshees, cyclops and trolls are more familiar clientele. Indeed, the Bannister family are descended from trolls, and enjoy their living looking after wacky, wonderful creatures in need of a break – serving up cockroach puree and unicorn eggs. Life is happy and peaceful. That is, until an unexpected visitor arrives to ruin everything.
Goblins are rarely seen above ground, but Prince Grogbah has made an exception. He arrives with a ridiculous procession, including the Royal Nose Blower, Royal Blister Burster and Royal Toilet Flusher. His presence clearly spells trouble and it isn’t long before cannonballs are flying and goblin pirate ships are on the horizon. There’s also a lot of embarrassing nudity.
The Nothing to See Here Hotel is crammed with colourful details, and the feast of fantastical fairy creatures offer much in the way of comedy and silliness. The story races along at an enjoyable pace, despite the singular setting, and Frankie, as first-person narrator, repeatedly breaks from the narrative to chat with the reader about how they might be feeling about the story so far!
Though the characters are all lively and original, few of them are explored in great detail, but this won’t detract from most readers’ enjoyment. Steven Butler has given readers a ticket to the world’s weirdest hotel, and they might just want to stay for more than one book.