Kiki Strike and the Empress’s Tomb


kiki1.jpgAdrienne sent me ARC for this new Kiki Strike a few weeks ago. I started it, put it down for some reason and forgot about it. I found it again and have spent the last few days immersed in the Shadow City, hungry ghosts, Chinese gangsters, giant squirrels and the enigma that is Kiki Strike.

Kiki Strike, leader of The Irregulars, a motley group of very talented 14 year olds, once again finds herself up against vicious Russian gangsters being directed by her arch nemeses, Livia and Sidonia Galatzina, as well Chinese gangster Lester Liu. This chapter in the Kiki Strike saga revolves around secrets and the damage caused by keeping them too long.

As in the first Kiki story, the writing is hip and the characterizations crisp, with a plot that stretches the boundaries of belief but makes you believe nonetheless. I keep hoping for a Kiki Strike movie, but would be satisfied with something on Adult Swim. Edgy girls will love this and so will their post-punk moms.


Lately, I’ve had pretty poor luck picking out good stuff to read. I’ve started and stopped a bunch of books lately,which makes mad because I hate wasting time on crummy stories. Here are two that really disappointed me…

Eye of the Crow: The Boy Sherlock Holmes, His First Case by Shane Peacock. I have long been a Sherlock Holmes fan — Conan Doyle’s stories — read ’em; Basil Rathbone films — seen ’em, own ’em; Jeremy Brett PBS series — the best ever. So, I always pick up new books about the Great Detective, especially if they explore a new facet of Holmes’ character. Some are excellent, like Laurie King’s Mary Russell series. Some are good, like The Case of the Missing Marquess. Some are okay, like The Italian Secretary by Caleb Carr. And some, like Eye of the Crow, are not so good. Shifting tenses, poorly constructed sentences, an incongruous lifestyle for the young Holmes character, along with a muddy plot made me start to skim the text after the first three chapters. This story is akin to really bad fan fiction, and I worry that, based on the title, this is the first in a series. Too bad really, because this book has one of the best covers I’ve seen in awhile.

Bitter is the New Black : Confessions of a Condescending, Egomaniacal, Self-Centered Smartass,Or, Why You Should Never Carry A Prada Bag to the Unemployment Office by Jen Lancaster. This was recommended on another blog I read and I was really looking forward to reading it. However, I was only a few pages into it when I started having flashbacks to my early days at The Hifalutin’ College Up North and the spoiled, wealthy prep school girls who probably grew up to be just like Jen. I had to stop reading when I started thinking about Lacoste, Ann Taylor, docksiders without socks, and Christmas in the Swiss Alps. Shiver runs up spine. I wonder whatever happened to the spoiled rich girl from Boston who stole an amethyst ring out of my room second semester? I’m sure she probably carries Prada.

Hankering for Some Big Girl Books

I’ve been reading lots, and I mean *lots* of childrens and young adult books lately, and I’m in need of a good book for Big Girls. I’m waiting for Bitter is the New Black, recommended over at Canned Laughter, but  I need something now.  Any suggestions? C’mon all your RPL & MCLS readers…give me sumthin good!