Book Review: Zeb and the Great Ruckus, by Josh Donellan


Zeb and the Great Ruckus, by Josh Donellan

“This is a story made from pieces of all the dreams that you had when you were asleep, but then forgot when you woke up.”

Hello! You are reading this in order to determine whether or not this book will be of interest to you ! Well, congratulations, you obviously have fabulous taste! Zeb and the Great Ruckus is a story about magic, music, fireworks, bewilderbeasts, clockwork birds and weaponised toffee. It has some funny bits, some scary bits, some sad bits, and a rather large bit about a cave-dwelling ruttersnarl which we would tell you about but we don’t want to give away the ending. If you like the sounds of any or all of the above, then this is the book for you ! If you would rather read a complete history of European haberdashery, please consult your local book emporium.

My Review:

Crazy.  Nutty.  Completely wacky.  Fantastically unique!  

I absolutely loved this story.  Books like this are the reason I read.  

While the plot is nothing spectacular (it is a basic quest plot), it is the way the book is written that makes it so appealing.  It is a brilliant new take on an old story.  The characters are vibrant and lively, each with a distinct personality that makes them loveable and memorable.  

To say that I was pleasantly surprised by this story would be an understatement.  I was completely overjoyed when I realized that I was reading something entirely cooky and crazy.  Zeb and the Great Ruckus was an addictive novel that felt like a cross between Dr. Seuss and Catherynne M. Valente. Josh Donellan has all of Valente’s unique story telling ability while infusing it with Seuss’s wackiness.  

From the way that Zeb’s mother speaks only in rhyme, to Flip’s distracted obsession with food, and the way Smokey thinks of his guitar as a daughter, this story was full of surprises and bits of fun craziness.  I sincerely hope to see many more books from this author.

The Cover: I can’t really decide what to think about the cover.  I love the artwork, and it goes very well with the story, but it doesn’t stand out in any way.  It was one of those books that I almost passed over (but I’m SO glad I didn’t!).

BTW, the Kindle version is only $4.99.  

Amazon | Goodreads | Website

About the Author:

JM Donellan is an author, poet, musician, installation artist, teacher and event manager. He was almost devoured by a tiger in the jungles of Malaysia, nearly died of a lung collapse in the Nepalese Himalayas, fended off a pack of rabid dogs with a guitar in the mountains of India and was sexually harassed by a half-naked man whilst standing next to Oscar Wilde’s grave in Paris.

He has an unnatural fondness for scrabble and an irrational dislike of frangipanis.

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  • Reply
    January 9, 2013 at 3:39 pm

    Sounds like a fun book! I probably would have passed it over by looking at the cover. Thanks for the review.

  • Reply
    January 9, 2013 at 5:31 pm

    I know, the cover is a tossup for me. This book is definitely worth reading though!

  • Reply
    No Strings Attached Giveaway Hop! | title
    September 5, 2015 at 1:37 am

    […] *One Kindle copy of Zeb and the Great Ruckus.* […]

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