October 12, 2007

In the Land of Giant Squirrels

Ananka Fishbein narrates this episode of Kiki Strike, and leaves readers with the satisfying notion that there will be yet more of the girls adventures. Huzzah!

Glamorous, fast-paced Manhattan -- a wonderful place, but eventually, you've got to work. Ananka's family suddenly wakes up to the fact that their daughter isn't really... going to school much, and she's about to lose her place. Only ONE THING would alert her chronically neglectful parents, and that is the specter of failure. Ananka has been threatened -- but seriously -- by her suddenly focused mother: raise the grades or go away to military school!

But, she just CAN'T. Things are falling apart in the sisterhood of the Irregulars -- once again, Kiki is blinking in and out, not telling anyone the whole truth about anything, including the vicious people who are after her and now Oona's beginning to be more mysterious than ever. Her father, a famed Chinese gangster, seems to have her wrapped around his pinky finger. But what Irregular jumps through hoops just for a string of pearls? Have the girls gotten Oona wrong all this time? Is she really in deeper than she can get out?

Betty finds a beau, albeit one that adores giant squirrels... there's a ghost, a dead Empress, a tomb, an almost-death scene, and loads of fast-paced adventure in this the second of the Kiki Strike books, The Empress' Tomb. Getting to know Ananka, Oona and Betty better was a TREAT; here's hoping the next book fills in some of the missing details on the rest of the Irregulars, including their newbie.

I still love this series -- and can't wait to read yet more.

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