When she was a baby, orphaned Jo was left on Aunt Lily’s doorstep with a note: “This is Jo. Please take care of her. But beware. This is a Dangerous baby.” For thirteen years Jo couldn’t find anything remotely dangerous about herself until one day she meets a Russian Colonel who takes advice from his digestive track and his butler, Sefino the cockroach. Together they go on a rather inconvenient adventure to Eldritch City, the home of The Order of Odd Fish, an order of knights whose purpose is to research pointless subjects. It is here that Jo finds out that her birth was connected to a mysterious cult and was the cause of the near destruction of Eldritch City. Jo finally feels like she has found a place where she belongs, but she has to keep her true identity a secret. This book has some amazing adventures like riding giant squids through underground rivers, cockroaches who find themselves the topic of the gossip columnists, and a millionaire who is trying to become a super villain.
I do not remember ever laughing more at any book than this one. I’m not usually one to laugh out loud at books. It’s probably my catholic school library time that taught me not to make a sound when you are reading. This book though, had me cracking up. Much to my embarrassment, I was giggling in my dentist’s office waiting room! This book just has a flair for the ridiculous that you cannot help but laugh at. I’ve heard this book being compared to Roald Dahl and even Monty Python. I can see both of those influences in this novel, but I really think James Kennedy’s first novel has a humor and a charm all its own. On top of the humor, James Kennedy has a knack for describing things. There are settings, animals and characters in this book that only exist in the imagination, but they are described so well that the reader has no difficulty understanding the fantastic world of Eldritch City. I could picture everything so well, that I often felt like I was watching the book happen. I think this is a great book for those who enjoy adventure and a lot of silliness. This is James Kennedy’s first novel, but I look forward to more from him in the future!