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Kill Fish Jones by Caro King

April 12, 2011


Meet Grimshaw and Lampwick the Robber, a curse demon and his master, stuck in Limbo and getting on each others nerves. Grimshaw hasn’t had a chance to unleash any destruction in the Real World since Lampwick’s death bed curses years ago.

When Lampwick has an unexpected opportunity to curse a whole new set of humans, Grimshaw can’t believe his luck!

There is one young boy on Grimshaw’s list: Fish Jones. But Fish has unworldly talents of his own. Unlike other humans, he can see Grimshaw. And as Grimshaw’s destructive inventiveness intensifies, it is matched by Fish’s ability to escape. Why is Fish able to avoid the curse? And when Grimshaw plans to wreak the ultimate destruction, not just on Fish, but on the world, will young Jones’ power be enough to stop him?


 Caro King is most well known for her debut novel Seven Sorcerers, published in January 2010, which was shortlisted for the Waterstone’s Children’s Prize. Kill Fish Jones is King’s latest novel and is due for publication on 28th April 2011 by Quercus.

What I like most about this novel is the sense of humour that King brings to the novel and its characters. I have no doubt that kids will be chuckling to themselves in a corner as they read it. This novel may not look very appealing – I think the cover is questionable but then I am a lot older than its intended audience. But from looking at the cover it seems to suggest that this is a book for boys, and this is something I would have to disagree with. I think girls will enjoy this just as much as boys, but my fear is that the cover will repel them.

Kill Fish Jones is full to the brim of high-quality, humorous, and exciting writing that will keep you turning page after page. I was surprised by how much I ended up enjoying the story, after finding the cover a little off-putting. I loved the character Fish – the way he is a little abnormal from those around him and everyone knows it. He doesn’t talk much and it’s interesting how much we learn about Fish through other characters who end up becoming his ‘voice’ for him. There are many one-sided conversations between him and his friends, but somehow this works very well.

The character of Grimshaw is most definitely the one who brings the comedy to an otherwise serious storyline. He is a third-rate demon, who has been created for the sole purpose of carrying out the curse of Lampwick the Robber, which he made on his deathbed. Lampwick is a fake magician who can’t quite come to terms with the fact that the only curse he was able to conjure produced a demon so ‘unfit’ for the job. Grimshaw takes his job – of killing anyone that disturbs Lampwick’s grave – very seriously. He looks up to the first-rate demons who have killed others so violently, and so spectacularly that he can only hope to get his chance to perform something equally as good – something that will make him memorable amongst all other demons. Unfortunately, there is one person on his list who he can’t quite get rid of – Fish Jones. Fish is protected by Fate to keep him alive – but not only that, he has the power to see demons, including Grimshaw. So begins the struggle for Grimshaw to create a magnificent plot that will not only end Fish’s life, but everyone else on the planet, so that his name will never be forgotten.

I haven’t read any of King’s previous novels, but I have a feeling that Kill Fish Jones may not quite compare, but what I do know is that Caro King is definitely an exciting new voice in children’s literature and I think she is one to watch. Kill Fish Jones is brilliantly written and well-executed with enough humour to have you laughing out loud.



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