Vikki VanSickle's Reviews > Inside the Shadow City

Inside the Shadow City by Kirsten Miller
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May 09, 2012

it was amazing
bookshelves: middle-grade

Kiki Strike: Inside the Shadow City has a sort of retro, film noir, gothic, superhero vibe, except that it is none of these things. The book takes place in a vaguely contemporary New York City and is about an enigmatic girl, the white-haired, Vespa-riding Kiki Strike, who assembles a team of ex-girl scouts with remarkable talents (including a chemist, a disguise artist, an “electro-genius,” and a hacker) to find and map a secret underground city, called The Shadow City. The girls call themselves The Irregulars and are dedicated to protecting New York. There is no reliance on magic or super human ability, only street smarts, skills, and co-operation, which I guess makes it more Babysitters Club meets Ocean’s Eleven, set in New York. Do you see why I’m in love?

Kirsten Miller is a top-notch writer who clearly adores her subject matter. Her characters (The Irregulars) and setting (New York) are vividly and lovingly depicted. Ananka, who has mad reseach skills and access to an incredible library, is the perfect narrator; a self-described observer, she is in the middle of the action yet also slightly detached. This is perhaps the reason why Miller writes her Kiki Strike blog from Ananka’s voice. The structure of the book is somewhat unusual in that there is a pretty major climax early on, a few years pass, and then Miller builds towards another plot peak. It goes without saying that this would make an excellent movie. Given the superhero/comic book fever sweeping through Hollywood, one hopes it is only a matter of time.

The Kiki Strike books are an excellent choice for girls (and also boys- these are not gushy, girly reads) 11+ who are looking for a mystery that is fun, different, and notably sassy. Fans of The Girl Who Could Fly, The Red Blazer Girls, Nancy Drew, and Ally Carter’s Gallagher Girls books will clamour for Kiki. I desperately want to be a member of The Irregulars
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Michelle (FabBookReviews) Added to my TBR list- looking forward to read this one!


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