By James Kennedy.
A wonderfully absurd, funny book, albeit with hints of darkness. I want to tell you more about it — there are many great moments — but most of them are spoilers.
Part of the greatness is the setting, reminiscent of the Half-Continent in depth but more modern in atmosphere: a huge, decaying city on a tropical island with giant cockroach butlers and centipede newspapermen, who perhaps serve the human population, or are perhaps admired by them. Colorful and solemn festivals alternate as Jo Larouche, shot down along with her aunt, an elderly Russian colonel and a three foot cockroach off the coast of California, discovers why her past has brought her to this place and struggles to avert the future others want to use her for... (Yes, the previous sentence has terrible structure.)
There are, however, grotesque moments and hints of the unsavory. The opening chapters contain some innuendo (although to what, exactly, is not entirely clear, which I guess is what "innuendo" means anyway) and I dimly recall wondering about some other lines.
Overall, however, I found this to be a quite enjoyable book. One wonders whether there will be a sequel.