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Reviewed by:
  • The Order of Odd-Fish
  • Cindy Welch
Kennedy, James; The Order of Odd-Fish. Delacorte, 2008; [416p] Library ed. ISBN 978-0-385-90524-4 $18.99 Trade ed. ISBN 978-0-385-73543-8 $15.99 Reviewed from galleys R Gr. 6-9

The day the impossibly large fish beaches itself and disgorges thirteen-year-old Jo, her aunt Lilly, and the missing building housing the Lodge of the Order of Odd-Fish is a day of rejoicing in Eldritch City, even though Jo and her aunt are considered outlaws. By the time their exile order is rescinded by the mayor, Jo has been named Lilly's official squire and they are happily enmeshed in the affairs of the city and the lodge. All is not well, however, since the shadowy Sisters of Silence and a discredited lodge member known as the Belgian Prankster are on Jo's trail. It turns out that Jo is the Ichthala, the missing piece of a seminal goddess known as the All-Devouring Mother, and legend has it that when Jo has been fed to the recently reassembled body of the goddess, the world as its inhabitants know it will come to an end. Kennedy has worked overtime to create his quirky world inhabited by cockroach butlers, a knight guided by his digestive system, and a plethora of silly lodge members who engage in everything from dithering to smell collection. The narrative is a crazy quilt of action, burdened with subplots involving the Ichthala legend and an aspiring but unsuccessful super-villain named Ken Kiang, but the author uses sheer force of will to bind it all together for intrepid readers, creating an adventurous romp with singular characters. Fans of humorous chaos will find plenty of stimulation here. [End Page 478]



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