Tuesday, April 03, 2007

A Scooby Gang Takes On A Girl Posse

Kirsten Miller works in advertising, and her debut book, Kiki Strike Inside The Shadow City, reads as if a really savvy marketer took a piece of many high profile stories and melded them together brilliantly. You've got a girl spy/criminal in the tradition of Artemis Fowl with her own Scooby Gang (nod to Buffy) that takes on a mean girl posse from...well, any number of recent books and movies. Then you've got a princess, and we love princesses. Really. You've got a world under New York, though it's more like the old Beauty and the Beast series than the Underland.

And you've got some history and mystery, too.

All these elements are worked together very well. The Scooby Gang is known as the Irregulars, which Miller says is a tribute to the Baker Street Irregulars of the Sherlock Holmes' stories. What's more, the book is narrated by a Watson-like character with a voice that is notable and not imitative of other first-person kid narrators. Though I did figure out the ending, I didn't do it right away. And there were plenty of twists and turns before I got there.

Kiki Strike is definitely a good entry in the early teen mystery category.

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