Saturday, 31 December 2011

Book Review: The Order of Odd Fish by James Kennedy

The Order of Odd - Fish review
Pages: 416
Publisher: Delacorte Books for Young Readers

Jo Larouche has lived her 13 years in the California desert with her Aunt Lily, ever since she was dropped on Lily’s doorstep with this note: This is Jo. Please take care of her. But beware. This is a dangerous baby. At Lily’s annual Christmas costume party, a variety of strange events take place that lead Jo and Lily out of California forever—and into the mysterious, strange, fantastical world of Eldritch City. There, Jo learns the scandalous truth about who she is, and she and Lily join the Order of Odd-Fish, a collection of knights who research useless information. Glamorous cockroach butlers, pointless quests, obsolete weapons, and bizarre festivals fill their days, but two villains are controlling their fate. Jo is inching closer and closer to the day when her destiny is fulfilled, and no one in Eldritch City will ever be the same. (Goodreads)

I found this book in Barnes and Noble and I admit it, it was the cover that drew me in! And normally that comes to bite you in the butt by choosing something purely on looks (yes don't be vain - but it is perfectly acceptable when buying books :P) but this paid off!
It starts off with the character in a kind of typical 'why won't something interesting happen to me!' frame of mind. Jo has been branded by this title of being a 'dangerous baby' and so far has had a pretty 'dull' life (although I wouldn't mind living with Aunt Lily - she's a little on the wacky side and lives in an amazing castle in the middle of the California - she sounds like a hoot!) and then BAM! During Aunt Lily's Christmas party Jo gets whisked off to the crazy new world and to the start of her new journey- You know something good is going to happen when a talking cockroach called Sefino arrives.
James Kennedy has a great writing style where everything just flows effortless to create this picture in your mind - which takes a lot of talent, to make this nonsensical world seem natural. The world is so cool and even though it's utterly unbelievable you can't help but be drawn in.
The Order of Odd Fish has so many great, hilarious scenes from when they hunt the Schwenk to the story of the apology gun but my favourite part has to be when Sefino confronts Chatterbox and the Eldritch Snitch and the crazy conversation on ascots.
Sometimes I found it hard to relate to Jo, I think it was because she is younger than me and most of the books I read are about characters my age or older. But it was nice to see through her eyes into the universe and I think that's what made it so much more powerful - the naive excitement at being thrown into such a crazy place when maybe older characters would have been like 'Hold up! What the heck is going on! I'm not going to go riding around on an ostrich!'
I find it hard to convey the love I have for this book, it is practically impossible to communicate all of its awesomeness. One of my personal favourites and its story stays with you long after you finish it.


  1. James KennedyDec 31, 2011 01:05 PM
    Hey, thanks for the nice review! I'm really glad you liked "The Order of Odd-Fish"!

    Here's a couple of supplementary "Odd-Fish" things, in case you're interested.

    I've been lucky enough to receive a lot of brilliant fan art for the book, and we've had a few fan art gallery shows showcasing it. If you'd like to see "Odd-Fish" fan art done by some seriously talented readers (including a home-brewed Belgian Prankster beer, and a real, four foot long Apology Gun, and a cake of a fish vomiting the lodge!), here you go:

    I also put together a mix of songs I think go well with the book -- kind of like my fantasy movie soundtrack:

    Thanks again for the positive review! I'm honored to be one of the first books you've featured!