Monday, September 30, 2013

A Vintage Reads Review: Inside the Shadow City

Inside the Shadow City (Kiki Strike, 1) by Kirsten Miller, May 30, 2006. 387 pages. Published by Bloomsbury USA Children's Books. Source: Bought.
Life will never be the same for Ananka Fishbein after she ventures into an enormous sinkhole near her New York City apartment. A million rats, delinquent Girl Scouts out for revenge, and a secret city below the streets of Manhattan combine in this remarkable novel about a darker side of New York City you have only just begun to know about…
First Sentence:
Until the age of twelve, I led what most people would consider an unexceptional life.
First off, let me tell you that this is perhaps the third or fourth time I have re-visited the first adventures of the Irregulars and it was every bit as good as when I bought it on a whim.

Okay, so, now that I am a couple years older than the first time I picked up Inside the Shadow City I’ve begun to notice things that I may have glossed over, like, the fact that in the beginning of the book you cannot help but think that Kiki is definitely not the kind of girl you should trust…since she never reveals her motives. While Kiki Strike herself might seem a little on the crazed side, I think that is what made her character so appealing to read about because you never really knew what she was going to say or do, and that is just what pulled in the girls who would make up the Irregulars.

So what is it that made me pick up Kirsten Miller’s Inside the Shadow City, well, that would have to be the premise. When the dust jacket mentioned delinquent Girl Scouts, a secret city, and a superspy I knew I would have to see what it was all about. While the premise pulled me in, what kept me reading was the interesting story and characters and the way Ms. Miller pulled it all together. It was in short brilliant. 
   Above I mentioned how much I enjoyed the story and characters, now; I’d like to share why I liked them. While the plot and characters can be good, the story would not have worked if the writing hadn’t been on par with the story. Really, this book would not work without Ms. Miller’s writing because her writing really brought everything to life with the wit and humor she packed into it.

Alright, I’ll let y’all in on a little secret, when I’m bored I like to browse through the little tips and tricks featured at the end of the chapters. Why, because it amuses me and because it happens to be one of the highlights of the book (who wouldn’t want to know how to be…dangerous). In all seriousness, what I always find myself enjoying the most about Kirsten Miller’s Kiki Strike books is her writing. I just really enjoyed reading about Ananka, Oona, Betty, Kiki, Luz and DeeDee because they make the book so much fun.

Content (highlight to see;will contain minor spoilers): [Other than some poisoning (more to knock out characters and impair their judgment), some violence (kung fu, kidnapping, and the attempted murder by chocolate) there is not really anything worse than what you might see in a PG to light PG-13 movie.]

Final Verdict: Inside the Shadow City- Now this is the way girl scouts should have been done. This book is both a thrilling and fun read as you watch the Irregulars come together to save New York.

Inside the Shadow City
earns 5 out of 5 pineapples.   

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