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The Order of Odd-Fish by James Kennedy

The Order of Odd-Fish

by James Kennedy

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This was a fun, zany read. It didn't grab me and keep me reading obsessively like I thought it might, and a few bits were confusing (because it's super-zany at points...), but overall, it was definitely a great read, and I'm glad I found it! ( )
  srearley | Sep 21, 2013 |
Giving up. This just isn't holding my interest at all. I don't understand why children's and teen fantasy books are all so (a) derivative and (b) unnecessarily long. Since the runaway success of Harry Potter, nobody bothers to streamline plots anymore; nearly any fantasy book published for the 10-and-up crowd suddenly has to be pushing 400 pages, regardless of how much material has to fill it.

I dunno, this might be great overall, but the first 130 pages didn't inspire me to finish.
  librarybrandy | Mar 29, 2013 |
'"I thought the afterlife would be drier than this," said Jo.

"Or better lit," said Sefino.

"We're not dead!" insisted Aunt Lily.

No one spoke for a while. Jo fidgeted uncomfortably in the wet darkness. Her body was coming back, and it ached all over.

"Pretty dull afterlife," said Sefino. "I must have been more of a sinner than I thought."

"I expect it picks up later," said Colonel Korsakov.'

What do you think of this little snippet of The Order of Odd-Fish? Love it? This book is for you, then. Somehow, and I really can't imagine how, unless he has been working on this book his entire life, somehow author James Kennedy has written an entire four hundred page so-called children's book with this kind of repartee on every page. Absolutely delightful. With Alice in Wonderland-ish zany plot twists. And a Hitchhiker's Guide to the Universe-ish philosophical soul.

I feel like I just spent a week at some kind of wacky interplanetary Disneyworld.

Thank you to the author for this delightful review copy. ( )
  debnance | Sep 23, 2012 |
I accepted this book for review and expected a fun read. What I didn't expect was a well-crafted, frankly brilliant novel that left me wishing for more. Though it is billed as YA, I didn't see any reason besides a teen protagonist that this couldn't be enjoyed by lots of adult readers as well.

That teen protagonist is Jo Larouche, thirteen years old and an orphan, who lives with her "aunt" Lily Larouche in a bizarre, bedazzled palace in the California desert. They're celebrating Christmas Eve with a rip-roaring costume party when, well, things start happening. Not only does Jo notice a large man watching her, but she eventually ends up talking to a man-sized cockroach (not a costume). Then, at a pre-appointed time, a package falls from the sky with her name on it -- a cardboard container that contains a mysterious black box. By the next morning, Jo's life is in danger and what follows is an adventure that could only come from a very fertile imagination!

I'll admit that after a couple of days of reading this book regularly, it got to the point where I simply couldn't put it down. With itchy eyes and mild regrets about the following morning, I finished reading it at 4:30 in the morning! The villain of the story was, to be honest, terrifying. But Jo and her friends and "family" were fantastic. The story heads in a direction where you truly aren't sure who will survive the madness. Though some might find this story to be a bit much, I think it certainly deserves a wider audience.

http://webereading.com/2012/08/the-desert-was-empty-as-though-great.html ( )
  klpm | Sep 4, 2012 |
It feels like this book has been written with the absurd in mind. Everything is tilted twisted 90 degrees and than tilted. Luckily, there is a solid base that makes this book into something a bit more than strange.

The characters were solid, if a bit surprising. I especially like the cockroach butlers. I did find this book to be rather overdone in the horror department - the top of the book is strange and funny, but once you get to the bones of it, you find something that is quite scary and Lovecraftian. I don't think this is a book for younger readers, but I suspect that older teens will love it. ( )
  TheDivineOomba | Mar 4, 2012 |
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The desert was empty, as though a great drain had sucked the world underground.
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 038573543X, Hardcover)

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.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:16:17 -0400)

(see all 2 descriptions)

Thirteen-year-old Jo suddenly finds her humdrum life turned upside down when Colonel Anatoly Kordakov shows up at her aunt's party and announces he has come to protect her.

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