- Age Range: 12 and up
- Grade Level: 7 - 12
- Series: Kiki Strike
- Paperback: 416 pages
- Publisher: Bloomsbury USA Childrens; Reissue edition (January 8, 2013)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 1599909200
- ISBN-13: 978-1599909202
- Product Dimensions: 5.2 x 1 x 196.6 inches
- Shipping Weight: 1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 82 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #867,921 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Kiki Strike: Inside the Shadow City Paperback – January 8, 2013
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From School Library Journal
Grade 5-8–Ananka Fishbein, a seventh grader at an expensive New York City school, likens her life to flavorless mush. But when she wakes up one Saturday morning and finds that the small park across the street has become a sinkhole, her decision to explore it transforms her existence. She meets the mysterious Kiki Strike, and subsequently the group of girls (each with a particular talent) who call themselves the Irregulars, and they embark on an adventure that involves exploring the Shadow City, a series of tunnels under Manhattan. The identity of Kiki, along with the motives of the mysterious individuals the Irregulars suspect are planning to attack the city, are the mysteries at the heart of the story. Miller pulls readers in immediately and takes them on a series of twists and turns, culminating in a thrilling climax complete with international politics and intrigue. If a 12-year-old can be a hard-boiled detective, Ananka Fishbein is one. Her narration is fresh and funny, and the author's unadorned, economical, yet descriptive style carries her character through with verve. There are deft portrayals, with personalities artfully revealed through dialogue. The chapter endings are punctuated with selections from Ananka's guidebook on essential skills. Often placed so as to advance the story, they include How to take advantage of being a girl. Kiki Strike celebrates the courage and daring of seemingly ordinary girls, and it will thrill those who long for adventure and excitement while they impatiently await the next installment.–Sue Giffard, Ethical Culture Fieldston School, New York City
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
*Starred Review* Gr. 5-8. White-haired, leprechaun-size Kiki Strike is a new student at Atalanta School in New York City when she meets 12-year-old Ananka Fishbein, the narrator of Miller's debut novel. Together they begin a detailed exploration of the Shadow City, the subterranean rooms and streets under New York's subway system, and Kiki recruits a team of other precocious 12-year-olds, whose skills include hacking, chemistry, lock picking, forging, making handmade explosives, and mechanical engineering, to join them. Ananka, the team's urban archaeologist, will supply her family's extensive library and learn everything about rats, the current Shadow City inhabitants. As the girls try to obtain layered maps of New York City's infrastructure, they fear that terrorists with the same goals are putting the city in terrible danger. The peripheral plotline about a nefarious, exiled princess of Pokrovia, who is a fellow Atalanta School student, adds intrigue. First-time author Miller has created a fascinating, convoluted mystery-adventure, which features early-adolescent girls with talents and abilities far beyond their years. The novel will attract both male and female readers, as Harry Potter did, especially since many chapters conclude with perspectives on such universally appealing topics as "How to Be a Master of Disguise" and "How to Foil a Kidnapping." While some discerning readers may complain that the conclusion is too quick and tidy, readers will welcome the hints of sequels, all hopefully narrated by Ananka, the most intriguing and carefully developed of Miller's characters. Frances Bradburn
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
Top customer reviews
What I really love about this book is that author Kristin Miller actually understands the basic fact that setting a novel in a cosmopolitan and diverse city like New York means that the characters should reflect that diversity. NOTHING irks me more than a supposed "urban fantasy/adventure" novel in which everyone seems to be predominantly white. To authors: set your novels somewhere like Fargo if you want racial homogenity, NOT Los Angeles, Seattle or San Francisco!
Kiki's cohorts, a group of disaffected Girl Scouts--The Irregulars--are girls from various backgrounds with some very interesting "hobbies". Betty Bent is a mistress of disguise who prefers to be someone else rathet than herself (but for very interesting reasons); Luz Lopez is the mechanical wizard who probably owns a shirt that says I VOID WARRANTIES; Dee DeMorlock wears dreadlocks and is a chemistry genius who doesn't mind blowing things up; Oona Wong hacks into computers and forges documents just because it's fun; Ananka Fishbein is the queen of books and libraries.
There's danger, a horrid private school with its own snobby princess who is more than she seems, loyalty, lots of comedy and some really good advice for planning escape routes and even how to foil a kidnapping (and the advice is serious). Kiki is a mystery and all The Irregulars have pasts and presents that make them real and sympathetic while cheering them on. And though this is a series for YA, I know a lot of us adults would enjoy the world of Kiki Strike and wish we had friends as awesomely cool as The Irregulars
Back in New York, Ananka Fishbein and the rest of Kiki's offbeat gang of Irregulars are concerned when their friend doesn't check in. Eventually the shyest member of the team, Betty Bent, is sent to France on the track of Kiki, while Ananka and her friend Molly Donovan wage war on an elite New York school that turns out "Stepford students" and Oona Wong's identical sister makes her life miserable.
This is a wild ride involving sinister conspiracies, the ossuaries and catacombs of Paris, an underground group called the Darkness Dwellers that go back to the second World War, a disgraced spy, Ananka's headmistress, the headstrong Molly Donovan, another of DeeDee's crazy inventions, and even Ananka's mother. But the best part about the story is how Betty comes into her own. A great conclusion to the Kiki Strike trilogy.
Thank you, Kirsten Miller, for setting Kiki Strike loose on the world. I will never walk the streets of New York City and look them the same way again. Now where did they hang those pirate heads? Let me get out maps!
I can't wait to read book two (which I purchased before I even finished the first one), but now I'm off to either book 2 in the Sisters Grimm series, or Lemony Snicket's Ersatz Elevator. Somebody got a coin I can flip?
Kiki is difficult to understand, and the ambiguity of feelings
for her is well written. The girls start to transform from eccentrics
a group to be reckoned with.
Many laughs and comments on how adults dismiss children's
lives as mere tales of fantasy and misconception.
A good read for teens and adults who enjoy the irony of