Book Review: The Order of Odd-Fish by James Kennedy

Jo Larouche has lived with her eccentric former movie star aunt Lily in the middle of the California desert for thirteen years. There are two problems stemming from the day when Jo was left with Lily: 1. Lily can’t remember anything that happened before that date and 2. Jo was left with the following disturbing note:

This is Jo. Please take care of her. But beware. This is a DANGEROUS baby.

Jo doesn’t seem particularly dangerous. In fact, the thirteen years of her life have been a series of eccentric parties thrown by Lily, working in a local cafĂ© and not much else. Until the day when Lily throws her annual Christmas Eve Costume Party. This is the day that Jo meets: 1. A strange man by the name of Colonel Korsakov, a three foot talking cockroach named Sefino and a Chinese billionaire named Ken Kiang who for some reason is trying to kill her. Through a series of Crazy (yes, Crazy with a capital C) events, Jo, Lily, Korsakov and Sefino are all transported away from California and into a strange place known as Eldritch City.

Once they get spat out of the stomach of a giant fish (I told you it was Crazy), Jo’s aunt Lily, Korsakov and Sefino all realize just why they could never remember anything before the last thirteen years: they are knights in the Order of Odd-Fish, a renowned group in Eldritch City whose mission is to research an appendix to an encyclopedia of dubious facts, rumors and myths and their minds had been wiped before they were exiled from Eldritch City for killing another member of the Odd-Fish. Oh, and Jo Larouche is actually Jo Hazelwood (aka “the Hazelwood baby” or “the Ichthala”) who was the baby responsible for destroying a huge part of Eldritch City thirteen years ago. Ooops. Now that Jo, Lily, Korsakov and Sefino can remember the truth and know that Jo is not dead like everyone in Eldritch City believes, it becomes a tough mission for them to hide the truth from the other knights.

I know, I know. You’re thinking “Just what kind of CRAZY book is this???” It is the best kind of crazy book. One filled with exciting, colorful characters and wacky adventures. One filled with studying pointless things like unlikely instruments, ludicrous weaponry (ever heard of an “apology gun”?), discredited metaphysics and unusual smells. Where the bad guy isn’t really all that bad and people ride flying ostriches. I found this to be one of the funniest books I’ve ever read. It is a great mash-up of part fantasy and part adventure story. If you want to go on a rollercoaster ride with the most interesting cast of characters known to man, read this DANGEROUS book!

-Natalie (Now listening to the Raven Boys!)