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INSIDE THE SHADOW CITY by Kirsten Miller

INSIDE THE SHADOW CITY

From the Kiki Strike series, volume 1

By Kirsten Miller

Age Range: 14 & up

Pub Date: June 1st, 2006
ISBN: 1-58234-960-6
Publisher: Bloomsbury

An arch story of deposed princesses, Girl Scouts gone wild and the world beneath New York City. Smart, neglected Ananka pays attention, leading her to a world where preteen girls can do anything—as long as they have plenty of Village cafes for coffee and planning. Recruited by the mysterious Kiki Strike, Ananka and the Irregulars (experts in disguise, forgery, invention and chemistry culled from the Scouts) find themselves mapping the Shadow City, a remnant of old New York. Along the way, they take on Chinese gangsters and murderous royalty. Narrated eight years after the adventure begins, this is a rallying cry for the “curious” and an effective anthem of geek-girl power. Ananka peppers her narration with useful tips (from effective tailing techniques to spotting liars) reminiscent of the Worst Case Survival series. Two flaws: An imaginary branch of the New York Public Library, and Kiki turns out to be less bent on heroics and more on personal revenge. All in all, an absurdly satisfying romp for disaffected smart girl, with hints of more to come. (Fiction. YA)