This weekend I finished The Order of Odd-Fish. I picked it up because I came across James Kennedy's blog and found him to be hilarious. The book did not disappoint in that regard.
The book begins in a home that I would very much like to visit, The Ruby Palace. It belongs to our protagonist's (Jo) aunt who was a successful film star in her younger days before she disappeared for forty years. She returned to her home with no recollection of where she had been and found a baby with a note that that alerts her that the baby is Jo and she is dangerous. Now Jo is 13 years old and her aunt is throwing another wild party. Jo is hiding and watching people when she notices a strange man dressed as a colonel and he seems to be looking for her. This is the beginning of a journey that takes them out of the desert, into the belly of a fish, to finally wind up in Eldritch City.
The author is really great at characterization. Each character has his own peculiarity and I was never confused as to who was speaking. Each time a new character was introduced I felt immediately drawn to that character and his or her back story. Unfortunately, only a few lived up to the potential they had been set up for. The book was, at times, overly silly. But in context it worked well and was easily forgiven.
For being a middle-grade book, I was a little embarrassed by how many of the words I did not know. This is great for those in the intended age range. James Kennedy is obviously very intelligent and very creative. I think it is a great read for those still in school and while I found it enjoyable (enough so that I would read anything else he writes), I don't necessarily think it's one that adults will enjoy in the same way as other younger reader books.
Wow, please forgive these elementary school reviews. I promise for the next book to have something of substance that actually mentions something about the book!