Monday, January 08, 2007
Kiki Strike Inside the Shadow City, by Kirsten Miller
As the back of the book says, "Five delinquent Girl Scouts/a million hungry rats/one secret city beneath Manhattan/and a butt-kicking girl superspy-welcome to the world of Kiki Strike." That gives you a taste of the most original YA book of the year. Kiki and her band of Irregulars fight the nefarious evil powers let loose in Gotham and save the day, conquering evil Chinese gangs and snooty girl cliques for a direct head butt. These girls can blow out doors, become mistresses of disguise, jimmy any lock, and finish off anyone in their way.
My only complaint with the book is that it's terribly long (390 pages) and probably at least two books in one (the story is wide open for a sequel and perhaps a series), but the writing is fresh and fun (the technical advice given in each chapre is useful and adds flavor to the story). The heroines of the story are an irresistable bunch -- everything you typically expect from a group of 12-14 year old girls but with a good non-nonsense approach to battling evil thrown in. On one had, realistic and on the other completely over the top. This book is clever and fun. Did I mention that I like it?