The Darkness Dwellers

Bk. 3. 404p. (Kiki Strike Series). Bloomsbury. 2013. Tr $17.99. ISBN 978-159990-736-9.
Gr 5–8—In this latest installation in the series, the Irregulars, a secret group of girl geniuses, are older and a little wiser. While Ananka Fishbein does the majority of the narration, Kiki Strike (aka Princess Katarina of Pokrovia) and Betty Bent also play major roles. Kiki jets off to Paris, where she is kidnapped by her evil Aunt and cousin. Meanwhile, Betty, armed with a special invention designed to secure Kiki's release, ventures to the City of Lights alongside the headmistress of an exclusive school that turns naughty girls into proper ladies. There, both Betty and Kiki become involved with an underground organization called the Darkness Dwellers, who live beneath the streets of Paris. Meanwhile, back in New York, the other Irregulars are busy cracking secret codes and tracking down the errant sister of Oona Wong. One need not have read the previous books to immediately be drawn into this fun and exciting story. A fast-moving plot and wonderful dialogue keep readers smiling while turning the pages. Chapter endings sometimes offer words of wisdom from Ananka's guidebook on essential skills (e.g., a lady "Knows how to defend herself-in an argument, a sporting match, or a dark alley."). A must-have for libraries that own the first two titles.—Melissa Stock, Arapahoe Library District, Englewood, CO

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