Read Inside the Shadow City by Kirsten Miller Online


Life will never be the same for Ananka Fishbein after she ventures into an enormous sinkhole near her New York City apartment. A million rats, delinquent Girl Scouts out for revenge, and a secret city below the streets of Manhattan combine in this remarkable novel about a darker side of New York City you have only just begun to know about… ...

Title : Inside the Shadow City
Author :
Rating :
ISBN : 9781599900926
Format Type : Paperback
Number of Pages : 400 Pages
Status : Available For Download
Last checked : 21 Minutes ago!

Inside the Shadow City Reviews

  • Jennifer Wardrip
    2019-05-19 11:30

    Reviewed by Carrie Spellman for TeensReadToo.comPretend you live in Manhattan, across the street from a little park. Now pretend you wake up one night and the park has sunken into the ground and left a big hole. Wait, it gets weirder! Pretend you see a mud-covered creature climb up out of the hole using a rope, and it waves at you. What would you do? If you're twelve-year-old Ananka Fishbein, you sneak out of the house and climb down the hole. Once down the hole, you might find a secret room. (I say "might" because I'm not sure which park you're imagining, but for the sake of argument let's assume you live across from the same park.) In that room you would find a trap door that leads to what appears to be a never ending hallway of closed doors. This, my friends, is the Shadow City. The Shadow City is entirely underground. No one knows how far it runs, how many rooms there are, or even where it all leads. Most people don't even know it exists, except for Ananka, and the mud-covered thing that waves like British royalty. Ananka has about a million questions about the Shadow City, the mud creature, and the new girl in school that no one has ever seen before, the one and only Kiki Strike. Who is Kiki Strike? She's not about to tell. But she has put together an amazing assortment of girls. The Irregulars are misfits, borderline delinquent, unappreciated, Girl Scout rejects, and they've never met until Kiki came along. Ananka is curious and courageous, and has access to a vast peculiar library that her parents call home. Luz Lopez is a mechanical genius, she can design pretty much anything and make it work. DeeDee Morlock is a chemistry whiz, explosives and poisons are her specialties. Betty Bunt is a master of disguise who hasn't been seen, as herself, in four years. Oona Wong is the best hacker and forger in Manhattan. Kiki Strike is, well, Kiki; no one ever seems to get around to figuring out why or what she's masterminding. Together these girls will explore, map, and ultimately control the Shadow City. I loved this book! After awhile, you get so wrapped up in the intrigue and adventures you forget, like the rest of the girls, to ask why all of this is happening. It's exciting, confusing, and completely absorbing. I didn't want to put it down, and my sister kept getting mad at herself for falling asleep while she was reading, even though she was completely exhausted. One of the most fun parts of this book, aside from the story itself, are the interesting and surprisingly useful lists at the end of each chapter. They include things like "How To Take Advantage of Being a Girl," "How to Catch a Lie," "How to be a Master of Disguise," and "How to Kick Some Butt." It also includes information about other underground cities, various New York City landmarks, and more. KIKI STRIKE is definitely geared towards girls, but far from too girly for a boy to appreciate. The story, while complete in and of itself, is still a bit open-ended. I hope that means we get to see more adventures from Ananka, Kiki, and the rest of the Irregulars. Kudos to Kristen Miller, and can I join?

  • Jennie
    2019-05-04 10:47

    Take a group of renegade girlscouts dressed as ninjas, an exiled Eastern European princess, some opium dens and theives liars, a horde of old, an entire city located underneath New York City's subways, and millions of murderous rats. Holding it all together is the very mysterious, and possibly dangerous, Kiki Strike. But who is this Kiki Strike? Is she a Defender of the Innocent? Or an International Assassin? Or possibly a Kung-Fu movie star?This is an exciting and, well, just plain awesome adventure that features a group of girls kicking ass and taking names. Most wonderful. My favorite is the end of each chapter, which offers helpful hints on such things as how to best follow someone, how to lie, how to spot a fake diamond, how to disguise yourself and how to escape from kidnappers.

  • Ni
    2019-04-24 10:56

    This is now one of my favorite books! This book is brilliant. It's a good read for tweens and teens. This superspy really kicks butt! This group of smart, loyal, sly girls make a great team. One of the best books I have ever read. I think everyone who loves a good mystery should read it.

  • Marita
    2019-04-23 05:46

    So I liked it, but there were some flaws that made it just ok. I assume it aspires to be a book about geeky girls who empower themselves to explore an underground city and save NYC. It falls short in my opinion. The girls may be empowered and brilliant in a singular sense, the "Irregulars" are not an empowered group of women on any level. They are negative and shallow even. I just couldn't stand by when the narrator is told to only have one cookie by a friend because she would be cuter if she lost a few pounds. Then the narrator uses all her money to buy new designer clothes and doesn't eat that second cookie next time. Gross. Why does this have to be the norm for girls. Why can't we just be geeky and enjoy another cookie? Anyway. It was fun to discuss in book club and reflect on my teen years, but over all. ehh.

  • Richard Due
    2019-04-29 11:45

    A worthy read if ever I've met one.There is so much to recommend this book that it is hard to know where to begin! I wanna be a girl scout! I want to be dangerous! I want to be an irregular!!! I knew almost immediately what great hands I was in; Kirsten Miller's rapid-fire and hilarious mind is stamped on every single page. But it was when I was halfway through the book (and out in the weeds as far as the mystery was concerned) when I realized I was up against a mystery as formidable as one from Agatha Christy. I love good mysteries. Don't get me wrong, I like stories where I can see the ending coming a mile away. When I first saw Star Wars, and that Death Star showed up on the screen? Yeah, it didn't take more than a few seconds to know exactly how THAT was going to end. But, to be midway through an entertaining read, and NOT know where the author is taking me? That is not only rare, but wonderful! And I learned all kinds of stuff I never knew! And about subjects I never thought I would learn things about! :)Thank you, Kirsten Miller, for setting Kiki Strike loose upon the world. I will never walk the streets of New York City and look them the same way again. Now where did they hang those pirate heads? Let me get out my maps!I can't wait to read book two (which I purchased before I even finished the first one), but now I'm off to either book 2 in the Sisters Grimm series, or Lemony Snicket's Ersatz Elevator. Somebody got a coin I can flip?

  • Samantha
    2019-05-03 11:42

    This book is very interesting! Some parts went over my head (aka could forget about). It was detaily. There was a lot of action and mystery though. I liked it and there is a sequal too! I hope if you read it you like it too!

  • Samantha Louise
    2019-05-10 05:43

    This review can also be found on my blog, NovelWorldUnfurled. I go through phases. Every year or so, I have this phase where I want to be a spy/detective/explorer/adventurer. It lasts anywhere between two weeks to two months on average, and started when I was nine-years-old and continues annually to this day, so you can imagine how I see myself when I am in this state of mind (a combination of Indian Jones/James Bond/Katniss Everdeen/Eowyn/Kiki Strike/Black Widow/Lyra Belaqua).I go all out. To "what time is it?" I respond in military time ("Café on 32nd St. @ 1200."). I buy juice cartons I wouldn't normally buy just so I can make a periscope. Rear view spy sunglasses are worn 24/7, even when I'm sitting inside my house. I sit clad in black clothes with a notebook at a local café, soaking up all the gossip or observing in hopes of catching something suspicious, something that may require the uncanny wit of Samantha the Super-Spy.What can I say? I was born a dreamer and it hasn't been beaten out of me just yet.And books like Inside the Shadow City set off that explorer/detective/spy spark in me prematurely. I mean, it's the story of a seemingly regular girl named Ananka befriending the mysterious Kiki Strike, who seems to have no past. They then, assemble a super-sluth group of girls: DeeDee the chemist, Luz the engineer, Betty the master of disguise, and Oona the document forger and lock picking expert, and call themselves "The Irregulars."And then the adventures begin. And boy, oh, boy, you won't be able to predict the outcomes of this adventure. Or the middles. Well, maybe the middle, but definitely not the end. :)And all of the important characters in this book were female as well, and that makes me so excited! Because they were brilliant and active in the adventure, and weren't the stupid, one-dimensional kind you sometimes get in YA and children's literature where the girl is either sweet, lovable (in a traditional sense) and somewhat passive, or super-pushy and cold and kick-ass. The Irregulars all had a back story, and while some of their stories weren't revealed, I'm sure I'll continue to learn about each member of the Irregulars in the next book of the series, The Empress's Tomb.I loved that Inside the Shadow City doubled as a non-traditional tour guide for the historian interested in strange happenstance and dark pasts in all of us (well, me at least, but I may have an unhealthy fascination with Manananggals, hobo signs, Alcatraz, headhunters, cannibalism, and secrets that some of you may not delight in). Author Kirstin Miller gives the reader a bit about the historically criminal underworld of New York City. But I won't go into that. Too much to say. I'll be posting on those tasty bits, as well as the author (she is interesting), within the next week.I also loved that most chapters ended with tips on being a good spy/detective: How to Follow Someone…Without Getting Caught; How to Prepare for an Adventure; How to Tell a Lie; How to Be a Master of Disguise; How to Plan an Escape Route; and so on. I mean, this is valuable information that Kirsten Miller is giving us, people! :)Ah. To dream. Isn't it wonderful that books egg us on to dream and imagine things? I love a book like that and Inside the Shadow City will get you to do exactly that. I'm sure I'm not the only one that's gone through the "I want to work for the CIA" phase. For some of you, this book will remind you of that feeling in a nostalgic way. For those of you like me who are older but haven't outgrown the phase, be prepared to feel the sudden urge to go on an adventure.

  • Karen Syed
    2019-05-15 08:45

    The Shadow City has lay beneath the streets of Manhattan for quite some time, virtually forgotten by all--well, almost all. Kiki Strike, has a secret, and a mission, actually, it's a secret mission and she needs the help of a very select few. This is when she hits the local Girl Scout troops to recruit her genius band of "Irregulars."Ananka Fishbein and friends are in for a revelation when they team up with Kiki. With espionage in her blood and an overload of courage, Kiki leads this group of girls into the Shadow City, a former have for thieves, pirates, and all kinds of undesirables. But there is much more to Kiki strike than meets the eye.This story gets you from the very begging and doesn't let you all. Days later I am still sitting around thinking about the interesting mix of characters and how Kirsten Miller weaves them into this cohesive band of "sister." There are so many books out there that keep girls wondering what they're capable of, but Ms. Miller makes no bones about using her words to tell girls all over the world that they don't have to sit back and take it...whatever it is. Plenty of action, intrigue, and deception make this a book well worth the time invested for readers of any age. And don't be fooled, it's not just for girls. Boys, you can read it too...unless you're afraid!

  • Miriam
    2019-04-24 04:52

    I am not in the intended demographic for this book, but I don't think I would have liked it even when I was younger. First of all, it takes too long (over 100 pages) before any real adventures start happening, and when they do they are underwhelming. I am perfectly willing to hang in for the long haul if the author is using the space as needed to develop characters, world-build, or set up a complicated plot -- none of which happens here. The characters are fairly two dimensional: I didn't find them sympathetic or their genius abilities believable -- the only way in which they seemed realistic to me is that they are indeed bitchy and mean like I recall middle school girls being. Everything happened too easily: for instance, you cannot sneak into a high-security facility by dressing as a cleaning lady. And if Miller didn't care about realism, fine, but then don't waste the reader's time by going into pages of detail about it. Basically, this book would have been okay at half the length, but as it stands is too big a waste of time for very little gratification.

  • Rebecca McNutt
    2019-04-27 06:36

    This book is so cool, it starts off slightly boring but it's sort of if Coraline were mixed with that 2006 animated film 'Flushed Away', featuring an underworld of New York City and mysterious, unique characters. The cover illustration and inside map of the city was really great, too.

  • Ellen
    2019-05-17 10:56

    Delinquent Girl Scouts, spy stuff, adventure, espionage, readers, .... This book hit all my interests! There is now a need for way more than the one copy I have as all my Girl Scouts want to read it and all my students want to read it. Special thanks to the person who put it in the Little Free Library in Leander. We love it!

  • Melissa ownsbey
    2019-05-06 12:44

    i didnt really care for the cover itwas boring to mebut the back of the back is what made me saythis might be goodand it was awesomehilarlois funnylots of actionthose misfit girl scoutswho dressed like ninjaskicked butt

  • The FountainPenDiva, Old school geek chick and lover of teddy bears
    2019-04-19 08:31

    Kiki Strike is the just the type of MOXIE heroine I'm always looking for. Smart, fearless, resourceful and just all around cool! The narrator Ananka is amazing and makes me smile--reminds me of how much fun being a curious and daredevil girl can be. It's been so refreshing to read about an angst-free kick-butt heroine and real girl friendships.What I really love about this book is that author Kristin Miller actually understands the basic fact that setting a novel in a cosmopolitan and diverse city like New York means that the characters should reflect that diversity. NOTHING irks me more than a supposed "urban fantasy/adventure" novel in which everyone seems to be predominantly white. To authors: set your novels somewhere like Fargo if you want racial homogenity, NOT Los Angeles, Seattle or San Francisco!Kiki's cohorts, a group of disaffected Girl Scouts--The Irregulars--are girls from various backgrounds with some very interesting "hobbies". Betty Bent is a mistress of disguise who prefers to be someone else rathet than herself (but for very interesting reasons); Luz Lopez is the mechanical wizard who probably owns a shirt that says I VOID WARRANTIES; Dee Dee Morlock wears dreadlocks and is a chemistry genius who doesn't mind blowing things up; Oona Wong hacks into computers and forges documents just because it's fun; Ananka Fishbein is the queen of books and libraries.There's danger, a horrid private school with its own snobby princess who is more than she seems, loyalty, lots of comedy and some really good advice for planning escape routes and even how to foil a kidnapping (and the advice is serious). Kiki is a mystery and all The Irregulars have pasts and presents that make them real and sympathetic while cheering them on. And though this is a series for YA, I know a lot of us adults would enjoy the world of Kiki Strike and wish we had friends as awesomely cool as The Irregulars.

  • Gretchen
    2019-05-15 12:39

    I really liked the beginning of this book--it got me hooked pretty quickly. I like the author's style of writing; it really kept things moving along. If possible, I would have rated this book a 3.5, but I rounded up. There were 2 things that kept me from rating it higher. First, I didn't feel like the book spent enough time actually "inside the Shadow City." A huge chunk of the book was spent outside the Shadow City, and the quick passage of time in the middle of the story (2+ years) interrupted the flow for me. Second, and I may be sensitive, was the completely negative attitude toward anything school related in this book. Not one teacher could have recognized the talents of one of these girls and fostered them? Not one class that taught one of them something necessary for their adventures? Not one book in the library? Not one weird janitor who knew something about the seedy history of NYC?Spoiler: One last issue: If Kiki is allergic to pretty much everything, how is it she can live off of cafe au laits? One of the main ingredients is milk, which which seem like it would be dangerous to someone with multiple food allergies. Oh, well. Maybe they were soy.I definitely felt like this book was a love letter to NYC, and it made me think fondly of the Underground Seattle tour.

  • Jesica
    2019-05-06 04:41

    Staying at a friend's house, my daughter borrowed this from my friend's daughter, who really liked it. Turns out my friend, the mom, had read it too. Well, after my daughter read it, she sweetly asked me to read it so we could talk about it. And I really, really liked it, too and not only for the mother-daughter bonding it created.Kiki Strike lives out every girl's fantasy, if every girl is a native New Yorker who is dazzled by her own city's mystery and elegance. When I was a little girl, I had a recurring dream that there was an elegant ballroom, decked out in cream and blue, with a cream grand piano, underneath the staircase of my New York City public school. This book speaks directly to that dream - that there is a beautiful mysterious world underneath the world we know and that, as twelve year old girls, it belongs exclusively to us.Yes, the adventures are entirely improbably for twelve and fourteen year olds and they drink enough coffee to give any adult heart palpitations. But that's part of the fun. Imagining oneself as a hero at an improbably young age and knowing way way more than any of the adults about what's REALLY going on. Super fun. Like Harry Potter if you're an urban, bookish, proto-hipster girl. Or want to be. Or used to be.

  • Andrea
    2019-05-10 11:28

    Ananka is yearning for a life of excitement, but she doesn't realize it until it the morning she looks out her window to discover a sink hole in the park outside her window and the secret room that lies beneath. Before long she is discovering a secret city with Kiki Strike and a highly talented group of girls called the Irregulars. The girls seem unstoppable until an accident occurs that leaves them doubting the motives of their fearless leader and causes a split. When girls across the city begin to go missing, the Irregulars must ban together to save the day.I picked this book up on a whim while visiting a book store in Bay St. Louis. For a book that I chose based on the cover, I couldn't have been more pleased. This adventure tale moved quickly and kept me entertained the whole time. I loved the strong young women and the interesting setting. I'm looking forward to getting my hands on the second book in the series.

  • Samara
    2019-05-05 08:29

    This book for me, was a different genre- so it was interesting reading it. Ananka Fishbein- a high school student at an all girls school in New York city lived what some people might call a rather boring life. Until she meets Kiki Strike. A rebellious girl who befriends Ananka and other girls. They lead a more exciting life. (I'm trying not to spoil anything :D) I found the begining a bit boring,and I really wanted to get past it. Being persistent, I kept reading it. I got torwards the middle, and began to fall in love with the book. It was great, and it seemed very exciting and I found myself saying in my head, "I wanna do that it sounds fun!" and then starat daydreaming about the life it would so exciting to live. Torwards the middle of the story I was like, "Oh this is getting pretty good..." then at the end, my mind was blown. I was like, "Oh wow...Oh my gosh.." I loved the ending and the story over all. Great book.

  • Melliott
    2019-05-14 05:36

    I almost gave it four stars. Probably 3.5. I liked it a lot, but did I REALLY like it? Hmmm. I enjoyed the history, and the cleverness, and the camaraderie of the girls, but the plausibility factor, or should it be the implausibility factor, tripped me up a few times. It's cute. It's a fun read for the age range (which I would put at 11-15). The end-of-chapter instructions by Ananka on how to be and do stuff were what almost put it up to a four-star rating. The test for me is, if there are sequels, do I immediately want to go get/read them or not? On this one, I'm sure they are equally as cute, funny and clever, but I probably won't seek them out. But I would definitely recommend this book to a middle-schooler!Update after a second read, three years later: I upped it to four stars. I still feel pretty much the same about it, but I don't think I sufficiently appreciated, first time around, what progressive advice Ananka is giving to her readers.

  • Boatgirl
    2019-04-27 04:39

    I wish this book had been written sooner. If it had been available when I was younger, the path of my life might have been completely different. Kiki is a modern heroine for any girl who feels a little hampered by the ordinary.Part story, part how-to guide, for anyone interested in being a spy, getting away with the unthinkable, and making the most of what you've got. From now on, it will be a book I give to girls of my acquaintance so they will grow up with good role models.The very concept was fascinating (a hidden system of Victorian-era tunnels under New York City and the modern girls who rediscover them) and artfully described. If you're interested in the idea of urban exploring, it'll suck you in. Plus, if you've ever been a teenage girl, the very real bitchiness of the villains will strike a nerve.I'd love to read a sequel.

  • Flora
    2019-04-30 10:39

    This could have been so, so, so great. A group of girls venture into the "Shadow City" underneath New York City, discovering secret abandoned speakeasies, dancehalls, catacombs, and tunnels -- a dream come true for passionate urban explorers like me. Unfortunately, the author loses faith in the intrinsic interestingness of the concept and whips up an unsatisfying -- and unevenly written -- scenario involving espionage, ransom kidnappings, and secret royalty. It would have been perfectly sublime to read about these five twelve-year-old girls wandering plotlessly underground. Oh, well. Five stars for the idea, definitely.

  • Heather
    2019-05-15 05:40

    So, I might be willing to give this a 2.5 because of the idea, but since I can't it's a 2. The idea behind this book is great! A secret underground city in New York explored by independent, quirky young girls? Could be really cool, but I think Miller fell short. Her characters were pretty flat, unlikeable, and stereotypical. I was disappointed by the description and depth of exploration in the Shadow City. I also think the underlying story with Kiki was not even close to developed enough. I was not invested in her or the narrator. Too vague overall. The story ended up being too much like the description of Kiki...almost transparent. Bummer!

  • MJ
    2019-05-06 12:55

    This review for both this book and Kiki Strike: the Empress's Tomb.Ooooo I like these mysteries for some reason. The story is told from Ananka’s viewpoint. She’s a poor student living in New York city with perpetual student parents who basically pay her no mind and attending a girl’s school for gifted, mostly very rich, students. Then one day something interesting happens—The ground collapses across the street from her apartment building and she see’s a gnome-like being exit. Ananka herself explores the hole and discovers an empty (except for rats) underground city. Mystery and new friends follow.

  • Jessica
    2019-05-04 11:43

    Kiki Strike and the Irregulars will teach you how any seemingly ordinary young girl can become an ace detective! In addition to the central mystery (which is itself fascinating with unexpected twists and turns) the book is full of information about New York City's history and dark secrets, and advice on how to tail suspects, disguise yourself, learn basic self defense and essential first aid! Such a fun book!

  • Michelle
    2019-04-22 07:31

    What a fun read! I wish this book was around when I was 11. Mostly, this is a mix between a James Bond and Nancy Drew novel. But, the narrator, Ananka, adds tips on topics like disguise, surveillance, and "how to kick some butt". I was so drawn in that I thought, momentarily at least, that I could personally escape a kidnapping plot or trail someone without getting caught. Kiki, Ananka, and the gang of girls are tough and smart. Sidney Bristow, just a few years younger.

  • Whitney
    2019-05-06 07:30

    Much better reading for young adults than The Disreputable History...this novel doesn't make any false claims of feminism. Instead it describes the disreputable history of girls who are not solely interested in the dealings of the boys around them. Instead of denouncing all the feminine atributes of their school mates, Kiki Strike and her pals use their femininity to their advantage.

  • Christie Angleton
    2019-04-19 04:51

    I adored this book for so many reasons, namely the all-girl cast of brilliant, heroic, and selfless characters. Finally, girls are getting all the glory and saving the day! However, I could have lived without all the talk about "pot bellies" and "baby fat." Come on, ladies. Isn't it time we cared more about the brains in our heads than the pounds on our bodies?

  • Kayla
    2019-05-15 05:28

    The starting was incredibly boring. So boring in fact that I put the book down and didn't pick it back up for 2 months. But I'm glad I did because it turned out to be one of my favorite books. There are plots twists and suspence and lovable characters and mysteries and I just love it.

  • Angelicalkiwi
    2019-05-01 08:31

    A totally awesome thrilling book that kept me wanting to keep reading it until I found out what the conclusion was.. Probably wouldn't mind rerereading it-Kiki Strike was an awesome book

  • Lucy
    2019-04-30 12:55

    So good! Very mysterious. Great plot line.

  • Ketelen Cruz Lefcovich
    2019-05-17 06:41

    Re-read in October 2011.