Thursday, April 18, 2013

What Do You Mean You Never Read?: Kiki Strike Series by Kristen Miller

Every once in a while we like to talk about a book or series that we love so much we can't believe it when someone else hasn't read it. Kady is stepping up to the mic today:

Kiki Strike Series by Kristen Miller
I've been really into butt-kicking girls lately. It's a nice change of pace from my usual swoony romantic interests and there are a lot of great butt-kicking girl stories out there. You've got your Isaboe and Quintanna from the Lumatere Chronicles (see our posts), Sybella and Ismae from His Fair Assassin (see our posts) and Gobi from Au Revoir, Crazy European Chick  (see our posts) just to name a few. But one girl rises above all others in sheer humor, inventive disguises and adrenaline pumping capers. And that girl is Kiki Strike.

There are three Kiki Strike books: Inside the Shadow City came out in 2006, The Empress's Tomb in 2007 and the newest one, The Darkness Dwellers came out earlier this year. All three books follow Kiki, an elfin girl with white-blond hair, mad Kung-Fu skills and, thanks to a nearly fatal assassination-by-poison attempt, an inability to eat or drink anything except coffee and gruel. Kiki recruits a band of delinquent girl scouts called The Irregulars, all with highly useful yet peculiar skills, to help her protect New York City, and the hidden series of tunnels and abandoned speakeasys and smuggler's routes that lie beneath the city, from the criminal masterminds who wish to control it.

Ananka Fishbein, one of the The Irregulars (special skills include a library that fills up her entire apartment and an intense curiosity) narrates the books and interrupts the action frequently to give advice to would-be spies; much needed advice on everything from fashioning a decent disguise with just the clothes you already have on to running surveillance on a suspect.

I feel like I'm not doing these books justice with my premise outline, and since there are three distinct stories I don't want to give away too much else, but here's what you really need to know: They've got twisty plot turns! And deaf rats! Crazy scientific experiment gone wrong! Dastardly villains! Masterful disguises! Forged art work! Hit men and gangsters! AND AN ENTIRE UNDERGROUND CITY JUST WAITING TO BE EXPLORED!

Go out now, check out the first book, meet Kiki, Ananka and the rest of The Irregulars and just try to stop yourself from checking for underground cities or the Irregulars' calling card in your own hometown.


Libby Parker-Simkin said...

Kiki Strike was my absolute favorite in middle school. My friends and I secretly wanted to have all sorts of fantastic sketchy adventures like Kiki and the Irregulars.

nico said...

Libby, you have to check out the newest book in the series!