Bride of the Tornado
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Stephen King’s The Mist meets David Lynch’s Twin Peaks in this inventive, mind-bending horror-thriller.

In a small town tucked away in the midwestern corn fields, the adults whisper about Tornado Day. Our narrator, a high school sophomore, has never heard this phrase but she soon discovers its terrible meaning: a plague of sentient tornadoes is coming to destroy them.

The only thing that stands between the town and total annihilation is a teen boy known as the tornado killer. Drawn to this enigmatic boy, our narrator senses an unnatural connection between them. But the adults are hiding a secret about the origins of the tornadoes and the true nature of the tornado killer—and our narrator must escape before the primeval power that binds them all comes to claim her.

Audaciously conceived and steeped in existential dread, this genre-defying novel reveals the mythbound madness at the heart of American life.

Chicago Tribune Top 10 Books of 2023

Guardian Best Science Fiction, Fantasy and Horror (September 2023)

SciFiNow Best Science Fiction Books (August 2023)

New Scientist Best New Science Fiction (August 2023)

Powell’s Bookstore Pick of the Month (August 2023)

Bookriot’s 10 Don’t-Miss Horror Novels (August 2023)

“A powerfully weird, original tale that combines American folk horror with a surreal coming-of-age nightmare.”—The Guardian

“An eerie, surrealist twist on the American Midwest, highlighting everything unusual about small-town living . . . The focus on creating a desolate and strange atmosphere pays off. Horror fans who value ambiance over jump scares will want to check this out.”—Publishers Weekly

“A genre-bending horror thriller that grapples with adolescent desire and existential dread . . . Gooey, gory, and frightening, Kennedy’s latest will appeal to fans of coming-of-age horror.”—Booklist

“Strap yourselves in for a super-storm of psycho-sexual intensity: American gothic, full-blown horror, wrapped up in an adolescent coming-of-age tale . . . Don’t try to understand, just get swept up and enjoy the ride.”—Daily Mail

“Wonderful, improbable . . . Its dream logic unfolds into an epic.”—Chicago Tribune

“A twisty, startling, atmospheric Midwest Gothic with the unstoppable power of a freight train and the moody ambience of a mist-shrouded diner at midnight. I could not put it down, and the ending left me in pieces.”—Delilah S. Dawson, New York Times-bestselling author of Star Wars: Phasma, Bloom, Wake of Vultures, and more

“A Lynchian sense of creeping nastiness, rooted in the way small-town life can be stifling, pervades a novel that, as its various plot strands come together, has a whirlwind energy that’s hard to resist. Four stars.”—SFX Magazine

“An utterly unique coming-of-age horror-thriller . . . Deadpan creepy, extremely weird, and totally satisfying.”—Laini Taylor, New York Times-bestselling author of Strange the Dreamer and the Daughter of Smoke and Bone trilogy

“Depraved, hilarious, and genre-bending.”—Kathleen Rooney at Brooklyn Rail

“Delves into surreal, mind-bending depths . . . Fans of eerie, atmospheric horror will be hooked.”—SciFiNow (“Best New Science Fiction Books of August 2023”)

“It’s downright unsettling . . . a wildly original and haunting coming-of-age story.”—Cavan Scott, New York Times bestselling author (Star Wars The High Republic, Shadow Service)

“Reads like a fever dream wrapped inside of techno-colored nightmare and viewed through a kaleidoscope . . . Kennedy keeps the reader hooked with his vivid descriptions and the narrator’s infinite curiosity, trying to make sense of the messy business. Anyone looking for a surreal, supernatural thriller with mysterious undertones will be blown away by Bride of the Tornado.“—Manhattan Book Review

“Nightmarish . . . Reads like Ray Bradbury channeling David Lynch and Stephen King.”—Keir Graff, author of The Tiny Mansion and The Swing of Things

“A fever dream for adults who want to be surprised . . . A high-velocity twister of a ride.”—Lori Rader-Day at Chicago Review of Books

“There are some utterly bonkers & epic moments that I’ll remember for a long time . . . You’ll find yourself utterly enthralled.”—FanFiAddict

“Creepy and increasingly surreal . . . For readers who like strange things in their fiction.”—SF2 Concatenation

“Feverish, compelling and brilliantly original . . . Bride of the Tornado is everything horror can be. “—The Book Beard

“A strange whirlwind of a horror story . . . What I loved most about this book is how freaking weird it is. The experience of letting go of trying to figure out any practical explanations and just enjoying the ride was fantastic.”—Elliott Bay Book Company (Seattle)

“Fascinating, bizarre and mind-twisting.”—The Constellation of Moon

“Captivating and utterly unique . . . James Kennedy’s masterful storytelling, imaginative world-building, and compelling characters make this novel an enchanting and thought-provoking read.”—Ginger Nuts of Horror

“I love me some smart horror, I love being puzzled and guessing up to the end, and I love being immersed in a weird world. If you are like me, you will probably love this book. This is for fans of Stephen King, of House of Leaves, and of Ishiguro’s Buried Giant.“—The Chuckanut Reader

“No one does lost outcasts searching for purpose like James Kennedy. What a strange, haunting, eerie, unsettling, satisfying, infuriating piece of art.”—Books Inc. (San Francisco)

“A Twin Peaks-esque tale of first love, sinister adults and strange cults that will leave you wondering: what did I just read?! Unsettling, funny, electric. And just a little sweet.”—University Book Store (Seattle) | Barnes & Noble | Amazon

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Dare to Know
On sale everywhere in hardcover, paperback, eBook, and audiobook

Get signed, personalized copies from Chicago’s Exile In Bookville HERE (they ship!)

Dark Matter meets Annihilation in this mind-bending and emotional speculative thriller set in a world where the exact moment of your death can be predicted—for a price.

Our narrator is the most talented salesman at Dare to Know, a prestigious and enigmatic company in the death-prediction business. While he has mastered the art of death, the rest of his life is an abject failure. Divorced, estranged from his sons, and broke, he’s driven to violate the cardinal rule of his business by forecasting his own death day. The problem: apparently he died 23 minutes ago.

The only person who can confirm his prediction is Julia, the woman he loved and lost during his rise up the ranks of Dare to Know. As he travels across the country to see her, our narrator is forced to confront his past, the choices he’s made, and the terrifying truth about the company he works for—and his role there.

Highly ambitious and totally immersive, this adrenaline-fueled thriller explores the destructive power of knowledge and collapses the boundaries between reality, myth, and conspiracy as it races toward its stunning conclusion.

A Times UK Best Book of 2021
Indie Next List Pick (Sept. 2021)
Audiofile Magazine Earphones Award winner

“Worth the cover price for sheer insolence alone . . . Essential reading for the gathering dark.”—The Times Saturday Review (“Best New Science Fiction for October 2021”)

“A voraciously readable page-turner of a novel, part creepypasta, part thought-experiment.” —Cory Doctorow, author of Little Brother and Radicalized

“Explores questions of free will, psychology and human history in a fascinating, compulsively readable thriller.”—The Guardian (“Best Recent Fantasy, Horror and Science Fiction September 2021”)

“A razor-smart sci-fi corporate noir nightmare. Dare to Know is what happens when Willy Loman sees through the Matrix. A heartbreaking, time-bending, galactic mindbender delivered in the mordantly funny clip of a doomed antihero.”—Daniel Kraus, co-author of The Shape of Water

“An entertainingly mind-bending read.”—Financial Times (“Best In New Science Fiction, October 2021”)

“Audaciously clever and well written . . . [a] superb piece of storytelling: vivid, thought provoking and unsettling. After you finish it you’ll want to go back to the start and read it again.”—SFX Magazine

“A surreal premise and an unconventional revelation fuel a cosmic journey . . . a wholly original novel that’s bound to frustrate just as many as it entrances.”—Esquire

“[An] enjoyable slipstream thriller… Readers with a taste for the synchronicity of the cosmic with the commonplace are sure to be entertained.” —Publishers Weekly

“Philip K. Dick energy infusing Death of the Salesman… I loved it.” —Kieron Gillen, Hugo-winning creator of The Wicked + The Divine

“Seamlessly integrates philosophy, first love, Beatles music, jaw-dropping science fiction and the four stages of civilization, and turns it all into a fast-paced, existential, mind-expanding thriller—a thoroughly enjoyable read.” —Shelf Awareness

“Will keep readers on the edge of their seats wanting to find out the next piece of the puzzle… Dare To Know will prompt the reader to consider the philosophical implications of life and death itself.” —Booklist

“Imagine Rod Serling hijacking Mamet’s Glengarry Glen Ross into The Twilight Zone, and you’ve got a glimmer of James Kennedy’s doom-laden, genre-defying novel Dare to Know. A fresh and morbid twist… Kennedy spins a slow-burn nightmare in which something is clearly coming apart at the seams, but is it our self-cursed narrator or the whole of existence?”—Stephen Segal, author of Geek Wisdom

“A personal and riveting horror story . . . frightening and smart.” —The Southern Bookseller Review

“Kennedy weighs the book in a sense of reality, which is important when things start to go gonzo later in the narrative . . . Perfect for science fiction readers who like their concepts intelligent and complex, but also like to have characters with developed personalities.” —SFBook Reviews

“If you’re a fan of speculative fiction that dances with metaphysics in the style of the late, great Philip K Dick, chances are you’re going to get a kick out of Dare to Know. Like Dick, Kennedy deals with big philosophical ideas that question the nature of perceived reality, but (again, like Dick) grounds these questions with protagonists whose lives feel lived in and real . . . A wonderfully twisted, intelligent, and unusual read.” –Russel McLean (author of Ed’s Dead)

“[A] genre-bending thriller… Good pacing and clever plotting keep the pages turning.” —New York Journal of Books

“I love being surprised—and very much was—by where Dare to Know not just ended up, but by the path it took to get there… If you like David Lynch, if you like the mysteries of the universe, you’re going to want to give this a read.” —Brennan Storr, host of Largely the Truth

“A mind-twister reminiscent of Philip K. Dick.” —SF2 Concatenation

“Imagine what would happen if Chuck Palahniuk, Enrico Fermi, and the Brothers Grimm got together to raise a child . . . This novel is weird, in a terrifyingly techy, could-be-so, where’s-this-going? kind of way . . . Sci-fi, snark-horror and futuristic thriller fans will love it.” —The Guam Daily Post

“You get something entirely different to what the blurb promises, but in the best possible way . . . I won’t spoil anything but those last 60 pages are truly pulse-pounding. Kennedy grabs you and just runs, his sentences become snappy, what should be leaps in logic make perfect sense and my god I loved it. This is spec fic at its finest. If you love a story that starts weird and gets WEIRD, this is for you.” —FanFiAddict

“An incredibly thought provoking and mind bending novel.” —It Starts At Midnight

“If you like your books weird, twisty and to be a bit of a mind f***, then this is the book for you . . . It’s a book that I raced through and loved the uniqueness of it all . . . It makes you think outside of the box and challenges you!” —Books and Me

“A convoluted, shifting fever dream of a story . . . like sci-fi Metamorphosis on acid. 4 stars.” —Bethany’s Bookshelf

“Like reading a kaleidoscope . . . mind-bending . . . a book well worth reading.” —Geek Dad

“Wonderfully quirky, nerdy, and compelling . . . marvelous plotting, building tension and momentum and vague, creeping dread.” —Johnson County Public Library, Johnson County, KS

“Twisty, thought provoking, and delightfully quirky doesn’t begin to scratch the surface of this wild thrill ride of a novel. Set aside a day and the better part of a night, because putting your copy of Dare to Know aside won’t be an option.” —Jenny Chou, Boswell Book Company, Milwaukee, WI

“The twists and turns that James Kennedy puts you through will give you whiplash . . . Trust me on this, Dare to Know is a wild ride that will stick in the back of your brain long after you finish it.” —Zach, McLean & Eakin Booksellers

“As you read Dare to Know, your sense of reality will melt away.” —Bob Lingle, Off the Beaten Path Bookstore, Lakewood, NY

Buy Dare to Know

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The Order of

Available everywhere in hardcover, paperback, Kindle, and audiobook

Get signed, personalized copies from Chicago’s Exile In Bookville HERE (they ship!)

Jo Larouche has lived her thirteen years in the California desert with her Aunt Lily, a faded Hollywood starlet, ever since she found in Lily’s laundry room with this note pinned to her blankets: This is Jo. Please take care of her. But beware. This is a DANGEROUS baby.

Up until this point, Jo has been, as Aunt Lily puts it, “as dangerous as a glass of milk.” But all that’s about to change. At Lily’s annual Christmas costume party, several strange things happen: a boy in a hedgehog shoots an elderly Russian colonel; a talking cockroach is found tied up in the basement, moaning about how this will play in the tabloid press; and a box falls from the sky, addressed to Jo from “The Order of Odd-Fish.”

Soon, worsening circumstances 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 colorful collection of knights who research useless information. Glamorous cockroach butlers, impossible quests, obsolete weapons and bizarre festivals fill their days, but Jo’s dream turns to nightmare when she learns that instead of a hero of Eldritch City, she may in fact become its destroyer. By the novel’s wrenching climax, Jo comes to understand who she truly is—and what it means to call a city home.

Equal parts Monty Python and Roald Dahl, The Order of Odd-Fish is an entertaining and hilarious ride through a world that readers will not want to leave.

Reader’s guide for schools and book groups (PDF)

A Smithsonian Notable Book for Children 2008
ALA 2009 Best Books for Young Adults Nominee
YALSA 2014 Popular Paperback for Young Adults
Winner (?) of 2009 Newbery Medal (here’s the sordid tale)

“Hilarious . . . Readers with a finely tuned sense of the absurd are going to adore the Technicolor ride.” —Booklist

“An extraordinary and delightfully weird romp that’s one part China Mieville, one part Lemony Snicket, with trace amounts of Madeline L’Engle and Roald Dahl . . . Kennedy has filled 400+ pages with a series of strange turn-ups and adventures that grow progressively more outlandish and funny, such that when you think he’s surely run out of runway and must crash, he finds new, unsuspected weirdness to explore.” —Cory Doctorow, author of Little Brother, For The Win, and co-editor of Boing Boing

“Rollicking fantasy on the grand scale.” —Smithsonian magazine

“An adventurous romp with singular characters. Fans of humorous chaos will find plenty of stimulation here.” —The Bulletin of the Center for Children’s Books

“A carnival of odd . . . The imagination, whimsy, and humor aren’t like anything else you’ve read before. . . The whole time I was reading this I wished I was reading it with someone, so I could elbow them at particularly bizarre moments, or chortle, or read passages aloud and savor them.” —Laini Taylor, author of Daughter of Smoke and Bone and the National Book Award-nominated Lips Touch

“If Douglas Adams spawned with Hunter S. Thompson and the resulting lovechild was raised by Eddie Izzard, the result would be a close approximation of what you’ll find here. I don’t get to use the word ‘depraved’ enough in my reviews, but this book is an example of sweet mind-boggling depravity that marks the debut of an author to watch.” —Elizabeth Bird, New York Public Library

“Kennedy’s writing is so extraordinary. He has a knack for creating outrageous characters and vivid scenes where the subtlest turn of phrase can make the most hilarious impact . . . Kennedy reminds us that writing, especially young adult writing, does not have to be simple or tedious or at all reductive, that it can be dense and multi-layered and exquisitely complex . . . I loved The Order of Odd-Fish.” —Gapers Block

“A work of mischievous imagination and outrageous invention.” —Time Out Chicago

“Over the top? Yes . . . fantasy done to a clever, grotesque, nonsensical turn.” —Chicago Sun-Times

“For fans of fantasy and oddball humor, James Kennedy’s debut novel is sure to please . . . This clever, creative story will keep readers engaged and laughing. This is the perfect book for selective readers who think outside the box. Recommended.” —Library Media Connection

“A weird love child of Douglas Adams and J.K. Rowling . . . I actually laughed—hooted, snorted, guffawed—out loud . . . Wacky, weird, zany, unusual, off-kilter, and, yes, odd. You shouldn’t miss it.” —Book Nut

“A fantastic, rollicking adventure that’s perfect for older kids and teens and even adults, too. It captures the same fanciful spirit and surreal nature of Dahl and the coming-of-age story of the Harry Potter series. But Chicago-based author James Kennedy’s tale stands on its own merits, setting itself apart from those inspirations with its own brand of humor and spectacularly surreal characters and story. It’s an engrossing book that readers will be drawn into almost immediately.”—Chicagoist

“A wonderfully delirious book . . . Kennedy plays whole thing for surreal, over-the-top laughs—and he gets them in spades . . . H.P. Lovecraft meets Monty Python at a Willy Wonka convention.” —Rob Weston, author of Zorgamazoo

“Clever plot, rich and fully realized setting, and often witty dialogue.” —School Library Journal

“Start with a healthy dose of grotesque Victorianism—Charles Dickens or Lewis Carroll will do. Add splashes of Harry Potter and Franz Kafka with a cup of Monty Python and Edward Gorey. Season with pinches of William S. Burroughs, Joseph Heller, and the Book of Jonah, and whatcha get is a deliciously absurd debut novel . . . What I found most enjoyable about the novel, however, was the author’s sense of comic timing. In my opinion, he ranks among such writers as John Kennedy Toole (A Confederacy of Dunces), Oscar Wilde, and Charles Dickens at his comic best.” —Mr. S’s BiblioBlog

“Well-crafted, frankly brilliant . . . I simply couldn’t put it down.” —We Be Reading

“Delightful and moving . . . This book is a joy to read. It is absurdly funny, touching, and relentlessly paced.” —The YA Department

“It’s difficult to compare The Order of Odd-Fish to any recent MG or YA literature; that’s just how absolutely bizarre it is. Bursting with creativity and absurdity (and decidedly British humor), it’s such a fun ride from start to finish. Everything, down to the most inconsequential details, is peppered with something strange and unheard of. Even when the twists grow a little darker, Kennedy handles them with deft humor and ingenuity. Verging from the corny to the positively mind-boggling, The Order of Odd-Fish pulls out all the stops as a sci-fi/fantasy-comedy.” —The Bookish Mutant

“Deliciously inventive . . . a delightful, almost classically British sense of humour, that makes every page a delight to read . . . Kennedy is a writer of superb creativity and absurdity . . . I thought that strange and delightfully imaginative books like Alice In Wonderland and Hitchhikers Guide couldn’t be written any more without the authors of them being accused of taking various psychotropic cocktails. I am delighted to announce that novels stuffed with the wacky and hilarious are alive and well, and, if in no-one else, they live in James Kennedy.” —A Quick Word

The Order of Odd-Fish is a fun, funny story full of oddball characters and the best cockroach butler you will ever find in a book. It appears as though pages have been ripped from Roald Dahl and Lewis Carroll, twisted all up, and then bound together with Monty Python-esque decoration—a truly entertaining book.” —Kern County Library

“Twist a slice of the Wizard of Oz around a sprinkle of Alice in Wonderland. Add in a spoonful of Salvador Dali’s brains, a smidgen of Dr. Seuss and roll it all together with a heaping dose of whatever makes the Cheshire cat grin and you have the beginnings of The Order of Odd-Fish.” —

“It reminded me a lot of the books of Roald Dahl . . . If you’re looking for a wonderful fantasy-filled book full of zany characters and situations, you can’t go wrong checking out The Order of Odd-Fish. Highly recommended.” —Curled Up With A Good Book

“One of the more singular young adult fantasies—or fantasies, period—I’ve run across . . . What marks The Order of Odd-Fish as singular is the sheer explosive inventiveness of Kennedy’s universe-building . . . A wonderful book—funny, bizarre, action-packed, and even thoughtful, and stocked with a gallery of larger-than-life characters. And you don’t have to be a teenager to enjoy it. Trust me on that.” —Green Man Review

“Lively and creative . . . a novel stuffed with symbolism and intriguing themes. Are there any academics out there looking for a kids’ book to write about? Choose this one. I can’t wait to read the articles that come out of The Order of Odd Fish . . . Delacorte should be proud.” —A Shrewdness of Apes

“Every time I thought the story had settled into its comfort spot and would just flow along, Kennedy turned everything on its head and upped the absurdity ante again, and again, and again. And, amazingly, every time it works splendidly. Overflowing with laugh-out-loud moments, totally unexpected plot twists, and off-the-wall fantastical details, this is the most fun I’ve had with a book in a long time. Highly recommended, particularly to anyone who gets bored easily, and anyone who has ever wondered what a novel written by Dr. Seuss might be like.” —Josh’s Froz-T-Freez Internet Drive-Inn

“Not since Kafka’s Metamorphosis has a giant cockroach been brought so majestically to the printed page . . . Masterly . . . This is a great book for a 13ish year old reader of fantasy, or anyone who wishes to read a book that offers an entertaining and satisfying escape from the quotidian world.” —Charlotte’s Library

“Kennedy’s first novel is so many odd flavors wrapped into one . . . If you love elaborate ceremonies, weird motives, strange smells, hideous devices, a classic quest with Lovecraftian squishiness, strong women and strange men, and the odd creature or two (tame squid anyone?), The Order of Odd-Fish is for you.” —Leaving Shangri-L.A.

The Order of Odd-Fish is hard to describe but it’s a whole lot of fun to read. I laughed out loud many times. Kennedy’s word choice is smart and witty. I love that Kennedy appreciates the sophistication of a teenage reader.” —The Happy Nappy Bookseller

“Crazy. Zany. Wacky . . . I really enjoyed The Order of Odd-Fish . . . I don’t think there is anything that can compare to this book!” —Married To Mr. T

“This book is like Monty Python and Roald Dahl mixed together. It’s extremely funny and had me laughing out loud.” —Kiss The Book

“This is a totally weird book. If you like fantasy that is completely crazy you will like this book. . . Eldritch City, itself, is a strange and wonderful place . . . Jo is truly dangerous and you really want to read the book to find out why.” —Cougar Book Corner

“Adventure, mystery, and tons of crazy . . . I really had a good time with this book, like a breath of crazy air, if you want something fun. This will be a good choice.” —Binge On Books

“The book rocks . . . a book that both adult and teen can enjoy for the fantasy and for its devilishly clever humor.” —I’m A Stranger Here Myself

“Astonishing and funny . . . Think of Eldritch City as the love child of Lewis Carroll and Neil Gaiman . . . irony worthy of a satirist writing for adults.” —Book Aunt

“I do not remember ever laughing more at any book than this one.” —Adventures of a Book Worm

“A crazy ride that would make Norton Juster proud . . . a delightful journey through an eccentric city. I’m eager to explore more of Kennedy’s imagination.” —Materials For Teens

“Whimsical, absurd, grotesque . . . I wasn’t just laughing, but feeling amazed delight at how wonderfully off-centre it all is.” —So Many Books

“A wonderful book . . . It almost bubbles with frenetic energy, but at the same time, you get to know the characters and what drives them . . . I just really, really liked this book. It’s so well written, funny, moving, and exciting.” —Well, It’s About Time You Heard My Opinion

“A fantastic book by an author who is clearly influenced by Monty Python and Roald Dahl. His book contains all of the fantastic whimsical ideas that they could dream up along with the dark and scary too.” —Book of the Day Club

“Kennedy certainly has his own unique style . . . It’s a lot of fun to read . . . Fun, frothy and full of flavor.” —Aarti Nagaraju at Booklust

“The most delightful and darkly compelling book I have read in a long time.” —Vaughn Public Library

“Epic . . . Kennedy has created something unique . . . the Belgian Prankster and the Silent Sisters rank among the best villains of children’s literature.” —Hi Miss Julie! Librarian Blog

“A roller coaster ride of craziness and humorous fun. If this book isn’t on your book shelf, you only have yourself to blame.” —Artist In Progress

“Impossible to not love . . . Random, absurd and imaginative and very tongue-in-cheek . . . this book rocks and that I think everybody should get it at once . . . The kind of book where you’re totally into it, laughing loudly, wanting to quote entire chapters to family members.” —Akima Montgomery’s Karolinske Paradis

“You should go read this book. It takes a really basic coming of age story about a girl trying to figure out who she is and who she wants to be and flips it on its head. Kennedy creates an absurd world that is full of odd, disgusting, hilarious and dangerous characters and gives us a story that you won’t want to put down. It has adventure and laughs and what more can you really ask for?” —A Reader’s Ramblings

“Wonderfully fresh in plot and characters. It is extremely creative, full of amusing and scary twists and turns. The descriptions on Eldritch City and every other scene is so vibrant with sounds, sights and smells that you will feel you are in the book. This book doesn’t have a boring moment. James Kennedy has created a whole ‘nother world, vibrantly alive. A must read.” —An Opinioned Synopsis

“Maybe one of the best books I’ve ever read. Filled to the brim with enjoyable characters, action, mad villains and fairy tales come to life, this was an amazing book that I’d recommend even to the most critical eye.” —Fishy

“One of the most amazing books ever. I think it made it onto my ‘Favorite’ list (which I will reread probably until I’m eighty) with Twilight, most Tamora Pierce books, the Abhorsen trilogy, and The Compass Rose before I’d even finished it . . . Just plain brilliant.” —An Angel’s Gettaway

The Order of Odd-Fish isn’t your typical fantasy novel. And that is the exact thing that makes it so brilliant . . . Everything about the book is really witty and clever . . . Mysterious, suspenseful, fantastical, and even a little bit scary, but most of all it’s fun . . . The perfect balance of the silly and the serious.” —That Hapa Chick

“This book has it all: Hilarity: check. Mayhem: check. A level of quirky-cool-things-per-page that is heretofore unseen: check . . . I see this one appealing greatly to fans of Terry Pratchett, in its combination of silly-yet-serious . . . Very, very enjoyable. ” —Finding Wonderland

“A fine read and unique in lots of ways that are not simply odd but also surprising and fresh. Things aren’t just weird for weird’s sake. They all fit together in the weird salad that Kennedy has tossed together, or spun…however you prefer salads made. So, if you are into things like kids saving the world, flying ostriches, giant fish, pranksters, and Akira style endings, go read it.” —Forgotten Books

“Reading it is a three-dimensional experience . . . I see a man with a leaky fountain pen clasped between his toes writing rapidly on the back of an ancient, uncooperative hippopotamus while juggling a flaming Baked Alaska, a razor-sharp cleaver, and a small cardboard box . . . I whole-heartedly encourage you to run now to your library and try it out for yourself! (The reading of the book that is; not the juggling of cleavers.)” —Deborah Diesen, New York Times bestselling author of The Pout-Pout Fish and The Barefooted, Bad-Tempered Baby Brigade

“A wonderfully absurd, funny book, albeit with hints of darkness . . . Quite enjoyable.” —Bookroll

“Definitely an entertaining read. It is a book that will have readers laughing and rolling on the floor.” —Open The Eyes

“Very fun, very clever . . . Kennedy twists the tropes he’s working with, even as he painstakingly honors each one . . . Like Twain in Huckleberry Finn, Kennedy does his level best to convince his audience that they’re reading a straight-up adventure yarn with no real substance while actually presenting them with a well-layered fable with a moral for those willing to look. In a story filled with the whimsical and ridiculous, Kennedy actually manages to address one of the central deep terrors of adolescence—that the strange new person we’re turning into isn’t good enough, isn’t loveable, isn’t even really us—and he does it with the same panache and originality that he uses while gleefully tipping the sacred cows of heroic adventure stories . . . Buy this book. Seriously, come on.” —Can You Retitle These Later?

“While I read James Kennedy’s The Order of Odd-Fish, I thought of the following authors: Norton Juster, T.H. White (especially King Pellinore and the Questing Beast in The Sword in the Stone), Daniel Pinkwater, and James Thurber. It also brought to mind Dr. Horrible’s Sing-Along Blog and Quentin Crisp . . . I recommend The Order of Odd-Fish to members of secret societies and others, and am eager to see what Mr. Kennedy will come up with next.” —Sara Ryan, author of Empress of the World and The Rules for Hearts

“This book is awesome. It’s incredibly bizarre; very Monty Python-esque with a bit of Lovecraft crashing the party. The oddball adventure is neatly balanced with a slight touch of horror, and it’s a lot of fun . . . Incredibly engaging. 5 out of 5 stars.” —Black Cat Lit

“The most bizarre world I’d ever been in . . . Despite everything being very strange it’s somehow very human too . . . If you like weird stuff you are in for a real treat!” —Blue Eyed Night Owl

“I highly recommend the book for fans of Douglas Adams or Jasper Fforde . . . A great choice for people who enjoy books that are bizarre, clever, and very funny.” —Sonderbooks

“Absurdly funny . . . a strange and clever book, full of fantastic places and well-developed, complex characters . . . I was fervently hoping for a sequel, or even a prequel. Mr. Kennedy’s book is fantastic, and absolutely worthy of its five-star rating.” —Galumptious Words

“You will never read anything else like this . . . nerve-wracking and suspenseful . . . It’s freaking awesome. This is nothing like any other book. It’s so weird. This guy has an awesome imagination.” —Bookie Woogie

“Crazy, wonderful . . . equal parts Monty Python, Kafka, The Simpsons, Italo Calvino and fever dream.” —Dina Strasser at “The Line” blog

“Brilliant . . . It’s so outlandish and backwards . . . All the characters, plotlines, and dialogue are fantastic!” —Bookworm Extraordinaire Reviews

“Quirky and funny . . . but it also has a dark undercurrent that gets pretty horrifying.” —Girls Underground

“One-of-a-kind debut . . . I was hooked!” —The Book Files

“One of the most delightful YA books I’ve read in a while . . . a fantastic read if you’re looking for something different from the current genre fads: its quirkiness and, well, oddness distinguish it as a fun read that stands out from the rest of the pack.” —Susie Bookworm

“The zaniest book I’ve ever read . . . I hope James Kennedy writes forever.” —Bri Johnson at Kidinfo

“James Kennedy’s writing was amazing . . . Definitely a fun and thrilling read.” —The Haunting of Orchid Forsythia

“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!” —West Allis Public Library

“If you like bizarre, in the style of Roald Dahl, Monty Python . . . Dr. Seuss, or say Lemony Snicket, than you might just quite enjoy this. I certainly did . . . Fun and entertaining.” —Randomly Read and Reviewed

“A wonderfully funny, quirky and entertaining book . . . Jo is a strong female character, is always ready for adventure, ready to find out what was going to happen next . . . Especially recommended for kids who enjoy adventures and the sort of humor that you find on Monty Python.” —x-tine’s x-libris

“Delightfully absurd and witty. His characters are lively and engaging, and every new plot twist is hilariously surreal . . . The Order of Odd-Fish is one of the most interesting books I’ve read in a long time, and it’s definitely enjoyable even for those who don’t consider themselves fantasy readers. Get ready for a crazy ride, and read it. Seriously.” —Spartanburg County Public Library

“Straight out mysterious, exciting, and hilarious! I’m not sure there has ever been a book like it. The characters are fresh and with no doubt they will make you laugh, wonder, and may give you the chills.” —Watermark Books

“Weirdness on top of weirdness . . . A grand epic with real peril and devastating consequences.” —

“A rollicking adventure for all ages, The Order of Odd-Fish has something for every lover of all things ridiculous. . . James Kennedy piles on oddities so fast that you can’t help but dive in, and enjoy the stay.” —Teens Read Too

“Bizarre, quirky, mischievous.” —Internet Review of Books

“A wonderfully imaginative book the likes of which we haven’t seen since The Phantom Tollbooth, and in many ways reminds me of The Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy. Kennedy not only creates a totally unique world and landscape, but does an excellent job of defining the rules of this world, and describing how everything looks so that you can imagine along with him.” —Lindsey’s Library

“A magnificent, mind-blowing, magnanimous, monstrous, mountainous, Machiavellian masterpiece!” —Piqua Public Library, Piqua, OH

“A fully realized and whimsical world . . . It’s exactly the sort of thing my thirteen year old self would have gone for (not to mention my almost 26 year old self).” —Book Wit

“James Kennedy has populated this strange world with colorful, bizarre characters, secret societies, and odd goings-on. The details may dizzy, initially, but ultimately, Eldritch City and its denizens (which include vain cockroach butlers, eelmen, flying battle ostriches, and more) delight. There are hundreds of other Eldritch stories waiting to be told (it would be a crime to let all of that glorious world-building go to waste). Their whispers will sneak into the corners of your dreams until you, too, take up the banner of Odd-Fish and enter the Dome of Doom. Imaginative, suspenseful, and entertaining. Four stars.” —The Huntley Area Public Library

“Hilarious, absurd, and challenging . . . Part Monty Python and part Roald Dahl, it is the sort of book that can inspire in young and old alike both fits of laughter and deep philosophical thought.” —Literary Chicago

“A great writing style where everything just flows effortlessly to create this picture in your mind . . . The world is so cool and even though it’s utterly unbelievable you can’t help but be drawn in. . . . I find it hard to convey the love I have for this book, it is practically impossible to communicate all of its awesomeness. One of my personal favourites and its story stays with you long after you finish it.” —Books Worth Remembering

“I don’t think I’ve ever laughed so hard while reading a book. James Kennedy’s book is pure, outrageously silly fun . . . Read it!” —Not On Shelf

“Strange and thrilling . . . a unique, exciting, and mind-boggling story of an ordinary girl who turns out to be the most extraordinary of all.” —Prescott Library

“A fabulously hilarious fantasy for anyone who misses Harry Potter.” —Rochester Hills Public Library

“An interesting read from start to finish. The world of Eldritch City is enthralling as well as original. Many of the ideas, such as a talking digestive tract, or the Inconvenience, are all the more interesting for their originality as well as their oddity. It is an enjoyable fantasy that pushes that which is ‘normal’ out the window. A fantastic read.” —Evanston Public Library

“Part Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy, part Discworld, part Alice in Wonderland, and part The Phantom Tollbooth, James Kennedy’s novel The Order of Odd-Fish is an absurdly hilarious adventure through a simply strange and wondrous world.” —East Brunswick Public Library

“James Kennedy is a terrifically diverting writer . . . I just worry my next read will fall flat in comparison.” —The Hitch-hiker’s Guide to the Gallery

“A delicious romp . . . While this book is dressed in the traditional garb of adolescent fantasy, you’ll find on closer inspection that the fabric is a constantly shifting sea of colors, patterns, and mythic beasts. This book never lets you get comfortable with anything before it rips the rug from out under you . . . A technicolor dreamride . . . Keep a watch on this Kennedy, he has creativity to spare.” —The Weirdside

“The weirdest book we’ve ever read . . . a cross between Monty Python and Roald Dahl. ” —Greenwoods Bookshoppe

“Compelling . . . The imagination of Mr. Kennedy is wild, wooly, and incredibly active . . . The language is rich, the scenery detailed, the story humorous and amazing.” —Nancy Carpentier Brown at Flying Stars

“Fabulous . . . The story kicks into high gear and stays there . . . Once you start reading you will see why kids are eating this book up and going back for seconds, thirds and fourths.” —CYA: Children and Young Adults

“One of the weirdest, ebullient, busy, fantastical, lively, curious, strange, surprising, grotesque, scary, triumphant, inventive books I have read this year.” —Miss Corene’s Website

“No-holds-barred awesomeness: funny, fantastic, exuberant, enthusiastic. Read it! Now!” —Stacy J. Ratner

“Hilarious and heart-stopping . . . This seemingly ridiculous but unexpectedly touching novel will keep you reading up ’til midnight.” —Alice’s Blog