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Literature / Kiki Strike

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The Kiki Strike books are a series of action/mystery/adventure books written for young adults by Kirsten Miller. They center on Ananka Fishbein, a teenage bookworm whose curiosity leads her to discover an underground city with a troop of delinquent Girl Scouts, known as the Irregulars.

There are three books out: Kiki Strike: Inside the Shadow City (2006), Kiki Strike: The Empress' Tomb (2007), and Kiki Strike: The Darkness Dwellers (2013).


Tropes Used:

  • Acquired Poison Immunity: One of Dee Dee's concoctions gives you this.
  • Badass Bookworm: Anaka eventually grows into this.
  • Beneath the Earth: The Shadow City, of course. The website demonstrates all the research that went into making it viable. The third book moves to the catacombs of Paris.
  • Boarding School of Horrors: In the second book, Ananka's parents threaten to send her to one if she doesn't get her grades up. It's a lie to scare her into doing it. In the third book, Amelia Beauregard's Institute is notorious for destroying a girl's individuality.
  • Brutal Honesty: Why the girls often think Oona is rude.
    • Leads to Big Ego, Hidden Depths: Oona honestly didn't realize that people see her as mean and rude until Ananka pointed it out to her—Oona truly felt that she was just being honest.
  • Delinquents: Luz makes illegal weapons, Oona's a forger and master computer hacker, and Kiki is a thief. And they're Girl Scouts.
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  • Everybody Knew Already: In the third book, Ananka finds herself falling in love with Betty's boyfriend, Kaspar—or she at least thought she was falling in love with him. When Ananka finally confesses, the other Irregular reveals that they already knew Ananka had a crush on Kaspar—at first, Ananka assumes that Iris told them, but Luz, Oona and Dee Dee point out that Ananka didn't really do anything to hide the she had a crush on him, so it wasn't really that hard for them to figure it. Ultimately, Ananka gets over her feeligns for Kaspar and presumably starts going out with a guy named Hector, who, as described by Oona and Iris, is essentially a male version of Ananka.
  • Evil Princess: Sidonia.
  • The Fellowship Has Ended: In the first book, after solving the drug-smuggling ring in the Shadow City, the gang sells the patent to an invention they use to explore the city, split the profits, and (for the most part) go their separate ways. Kiki later reunites them to help her stop Sidonia.
  • Girl Scouts are Morally Ambiguous: Or, at the very least, far too fond of illegal and/or questionably-legal activities to fit in well, which is why Kiki seeks them out at the beginning of Shadow City.
  • Gratuitous Princess: The first book notes that there are so many deposed Eastern European princesses that no New York City high-class social circle would be complete without one.
  • Mineral MacGuffin: The ring Kiki has to steal in the first book.
  • Mysterious Past: It's hard for Ananka to tell who or what Kiki is because she won't let on.
  • Obfuscating Stupidity: Oona pretends not to understand English so she can spy on her salon-goers' secrets.
  • On One Condition: Ananka received an inheritance she's not allowed to spend on anything other than educational fees.
  • Perfect Poison: Death by chocolate allergy...almost.
  • The Plan: Sidonia. Kiki pulls one over on her.
  • Scholarship Student: Subverted. At her school, where the students are split into "scholarship girls" and "wealthy girls", Ananka is the outsider, because one of her relatives left the family money that can only be spent on education and nothing else. Ananka is neither rich (outside of the education fund) nor a good student, though her low grades are because she's bored.
  • Secondary Character Title: Kiki Strike is the Waif-Fu-practicing leader of the Irregulars, but protagonist Ananka narrates.
  • The Snark Knight: Oona switches on and off with Ananka.
  • Truth Serum: Inverted in that said chemical actually just makes you seem trustworthy, which makes people more inclined to give you the truth. It can't force people to tell the truth.
  • Waif-Fu: Kiki is the size of a young child and can take out grown men.

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