Thursday, October 25, 2007
Miller, Kirsten. 2006. Kiki Strike: Inside the Shadow City.
Ananka Fishbein was just your average twelve-year-old until one day when she looked outside her window and saw a strange girl emerging out of a deep hole in the ground--a sink hole if you will where the park had formally been. Unusual. Strange. Yet oddly beckoning. When the young girl waved, Ananka found herself drawn or beckoned much like Alice was enchanted with the white rabbit. Soon Ananka finds herself outside and disappearing into a giant hole. What she finds is a room...or the ruins of a room. She also finds a trapdoor. But before she can explore too far, she hears the police approaching. When they see a young girl running around in a dirty hole that could very well be unsafe...they’ve got to question her sanity...after all...the girl apparently has no sense. But she alludes their custody by being girl-like. Still the event puzzles her for a long time. She subsequently discovers a book about New York City--where the book is set by the way--and how criminals created a tunnel system of sorts linking buildings and creating hideouts. She’s convinced that she’s discovered one entrance into a ‘Shadow City’ that has been forgotten about for over a hundred years. Unfortunately, the city covers the hole back up...and it will be quite some time until Ananka discovers another entrance and other people who share in her knowledge of the Shadow City. Enter Kiki Strike. An albino-elf character of sorts. Good at being invisible, mysterious, secretive, clever, evading capture and dodging questions. Kiki and Ananka find one another and three other twelve-year-olds with various skills and strengths and all with a sense of reckless abandonment when it comes to adventure and common sense. These twelve-year-olds form ‘The Irregulars’ a group that is determined to be ‘dangerous’ and to break the law whenever they feel like it. Sneaking out of the house, staying gone eight or nine hours at a time, endangering their lives...it’s all child’s play to this group of five adventurers. Are these kids scared of rotting corpses and skeletons, of course not. How about giant rats, don’t be silly. They’re not scared of the dark. Not of being trapped underground. Not of being blown to bits. Did I forget to mention that these twelve-year-olds like to use explosives? Not scared of being caught by the police or FBI. No, these five know no fear. Life is one adventure after another. Kiki Strike is full of excitement, adventure, danger, secrets, lies, revenge vendettas, murder cover-ups, and general junior high melodrama.