Jo Larouche has lived her 13 years in the California desert with her Aunt Lily, ever since she was dropped on Lily's doorstep with this note: "This is Jo. Please take care of her. But beware. This is a dangerous baby. "At Lily's annual Christmas costume party, a variety of strange events take place that 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 collection of knights who research useless information. Glamorous cockroach butlers, pointless quests, obsolete weapons, and bizarre festivals fill their days, but two villains are controlling their fate. Jo is inching closer and closer to the day when her destiny is fulfilled, and no one in Eldritch City will ever be the same.More
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The book gets mostly good reviews on Amazon and Audible, so I thought I'd try it. Turns out, I've owned it for months and am only halfway through it, because it is so tedious I keep moving on to other books. The audio narration is fine; it's the book itself that's the problem. The storyline is rambling and absurd, and most of the characters are so obnoxious as to be unlikeable. The main character, Jo, while not as ridiculous as the rest, is still undeveloped enough that I don't care what happens to her or anyone else. Honestly, I don't know how an author WOULD develop characters amid such a setting and plot (if you can call it that). The purpose of the story seems to be to introduce one ridiculous situation after another, each one more ludicrous than the last. It seemed like the author's goal was to come up with the most original, creative characters and situations of any modern story, but the outcome (6-foot tall cockroaches, being eaten and regurgitated by a giant fish, henchmen that are actually life-sized robotic balloon animals, men who only eat air from which all the air has been removed) was nonsense. It might have worked as an early chapter-book story for kids ages 6-8. But this book is around 14 hours long...