Publisher's Note:  

There's a secret part of New York City that no one knows about. It's protected by a mysterious group of girls known as the Irregulars, led by the alluring Kiki Strike.

Inside the Shadow City introduces us to Ananka Fishbein, a regular girl whose life becomes anything but after venturing underground to join Kiki Strike and her friends, the Irregulars.

From the New York Times bestselling author of The Eternal Ones comes this brand-new package for her first two Kiki Strike novels in anticipation of the third-The Darkness Dwellers, hitting shelves in Winter 2013.

This book was sent to Compass Book Ratings for review by Bloomsbury Children's Books

Kiki Strike: Inside the Shadow City

by Kirsten Miller

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Overall Review:  

Kirsten Miller has created a unique heroine with an original story in Kiki Strike. Kiki and her four friends each have interesting stories to tell. Their friendships are genuine and touching.


This book has a very slow start--it took me over 80 pages to feel like I was into it--and the action is sporadic after that. 


Miller is a skilled writer. It's impossible to find fault with her use of language. Her dialogue is crisp and witty, and her narrative is colorful. There were times that I was completely absorbed in the story--and then all of a sudden I would be left wondering if it was going to get interesting again. I can't put my finger on anything I'd leave out, but there were just too many stops and starts to keep me engaged. 


There are some good twists and turns in the book. The Shadow City part of the story falls a little flat, but overall it's a fun little mystery I'd recommend to a reader who doesn't demand all action all the time.

Content Analysis:  

Profanity/Language:  6 mild obscenities; 3 religious obscenities


Violence/Gore:  A story is related about a boy being killed by a falling icicle with no details; news stories about gang violence are related; characters are chased and scratched by giant rats; characters find skeletons in circumstances that indicate foul play; a blood stain is seen; a character is seriously injured in an explosion with few details; a character is attacked and choked; several characters engage in martial arts combat with no gore; a character falls and hits her head, rendering her unconscious; a character is kicked in the head; several characters are poisoned; a character renders an attacker unconscious.


Sex/Nudity:  A character shows an illustrated book on maturation to another character of the same gender.

Mature Subject Matter:  

Opium dens; kidnapping; murder; gang activity; bullying; black maarket trading; human trafficking.

Alcohol / Drug Use:  

An opium den is described in a historical context; opium is used to drug crime victims; an adult is believed to be under the influence of opium; an adult is alleged to be too hung over to get up in the morning.

Reviewed By Leslie
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