Wednesday, July 02, 2008

Kiki Strike - Inside the Shadow City, by Kirsten Miller

The front cover alone sold me on this story even before the publishers Bloomsbury decided to send it onto me to read and review: Five delinquent girl scouts, one secret city beneath Manhattan and a butt kicking girl superspy.

I mean, seriously – you couldn’t have asked for a better teaser trailer!


The girl last to answer sat at the back of the class, hidden behind Lizzie Fitzsimmons, who was well into a growth spurt that wouldn’t end until she reached the eight grade and a full six feet.

“You in the back,” said the principal. “Don’t think you can hide. Tell me. What would you like to be?”

“Dangerous,” said the hidden girl, without a second’s hesitation.

End of Extract

This is our first introduction to Kiki Strike – a mysterious young teenage girl, small for her age, who is very fair, very pretty and who has an amazing amount of skill and criminal mindedness.

She teams up with Ananka who tells the story of Kiki Strike, Inside the Shadow City. Together they find the Irregulars, a group of extraordinary misfits who, like a crack squad put together by Danny Ocean himself, bring their various talents to play, in order to form a group of girls who seriously kick butt. Thank the heavens they are on the side of good….or are they?

Kiki Strike will make an excellent flick. It has everything, princesses, parties, glitz and glam, an underground city full of potential lost treasure, conspiracies, kung fu movies, friendship, misunderstandings and a pretty cool twist in the tale.

The girls are all fun and believable, with their various talents: Betty Bent brings her amazing talent for disguises and flair for fashion to the group whilst Deedee Morlock is the chemist extraordinaire and Luz Lopez kicks butt as inventor and tinker with Oona Wong being the hacker and forger beyond par. Ananka Fishbein is the everyday girl, the one who is slightly plump, a bit clumsy, but hugely intelligent and completely wasted as a student at the Atalanta School For Girls. Kiki forges them together with bonds of friendship and we watch the girls grow and have fun together.
Throughout the story we follow the girls on their adventures as they explore and discover more and more of the Hidden City beneath Manhattan’s streets. But you can’t help but think that there is more to Kiki’s story of just wanting to explore and see what is going on.

And there is. So much more that I was more than just slightly taken aback once it started unravelling.

I won’t spoil the story by going into too much detail but let me just say that if Kirsten Miller wrote scripts for movies and tv shows we would all be bald for plucking at our hair – she knows how to lead you around by the nose!

Kiki Strike is a fun, riveting and unputdownable read that takes you on a rollercoaster ride through Manhattan like you’ve never experienced before.

I cannot wait for the follow-up – Kiki Strike and the Empress’s Tome, due at the beginning of August from Bloomsbury.

1 comment:

Karen Mahoney said...

I love the look of this!! :)