Hillary Woody's Reviews > Inside the Shadow City

Inside the Shadow City by Kirsten Miller
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's review
Feb 07, 2011

really liked it
bookshelves: young-adult
Read in February, 2011

I was hooked the minute I read the little quip on the back of the book: “Five delinquent Girl Scouts, a million hungry rats, one secret city beneath Manhattan, and a butt-kicking girl superspy.” That would be the unforgettable Kiki Strike the title character of Kirsten Miller’s debut novel.

Kiki Strike: Inside the Shadow City is a story of a girl named Ananka and her adventures with the mysterious Kiki Strike and three other girls who have outgrown the Girl Scouts. Together they explore a secret underground city and ultimately must also work together to save their classmates and New York City.

Kiki Strike is a clever and witty novel which is mostly mystery, part action and zero love story. It seems like it is hard these days to find a young adult novel which doesn’t have a love story or a host of brooding characters. But Ananka, Kiki, and the others are confident and interesting and never talk about boys (though they drink a lot of coffee). Each character has their own special skill—one girl is a master of disguise, one is the city’s best counterfeiter, one is good with machines, and another is a chemist. Together they are an intriguing and dangerous bunch.

Readers will enjoy Ananka’s helpful tips on topics like “How to take advantage of being a girl,” How to be a master of disguise,” and “How to get what you want,” which are both hilarious and practical.

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