Reviews for Empress's Tomb

Horn Book Guide Reviews 2008 Spring
Watsonesque narrator Ananka, mysterious leader Kiki, and their secret society of outrageously precocious adolescent girls return in this inventive but tortuous detective story of NYC crime fighting and international intrigue. Two members, Oona and Betty, develop larger roles; the rest remain regrettably indistinguishable. Ananka's delightful how-to guides, including "How to Appear Mysterious" and "How to Summon a Poltergeist," sparkle with sass. Copyright 2008 Horn Book Guide Reviews.

Kirkus Reviews 2007 September #1
The return of Kiki Strike and the Irregulars has the girls tackling an intricate series of seemingly unconnected mysteries that would baffle average teens. Ananka Fishbein narrates their adventure as the New York City friends venture underground to the Shadow City, but only for a brief visit. More pressing problems are afoot. Oona's father, Lester Liu, wants to end his gangster ways and become legit. Oona is thrilled to connect with her father, but other Irregulars view her joy as betrayal and it threatens to drive a wedge in the girls' camaraderie. Miller stirs up a wicked brew of Taiwanese illegal immigrants, Russian criminals, stolen artwork, a hottie guy prowling the park, angry squirrels, a haunted Victorian mansion and the mummified corpse of an ancient Chinese empress. Leave it to the can-do girls to dig deep for the common denominator to this mix and solve the puzzle. These characters are sassy, spirited and smart, and their adventures will appeal to young readers cut from the same mold. (Fiction. 11-14) Copyright Kirkus 2007 Kirkus/BPI Communications. All rights reserved.

Publishers Weekly Reviews 2007 September #3
In The Empress's Tomb, the second in Kirsten Miller's Kiki Strike series, the Irregulars take on enemies new and old, across and underneath Manhattan; their unexpected encounters take in giant squirrels and an ancient Chinese empress. (Bloomsbury, $16.95 350p ages 10-14 ISBN 9781-59990-047-6; Oct.) Copyright 2007 Reed Business Information.

School Library Journal Reviews 2007 December

Gr 5-8-- The enigmatic Kiki Strike, introduced in Inside the Shadow City (Bloomsbury, 2006) is back, as is her diverse group of girlfriends known as the Irregulars. This time the focus is on Oona and the secrets of her past that place all of the Irregulars in danger. Ananka narrates and again must deal with her parents becoming suspicious about her extracurricular activities. Abandoned as a baby and raised by women from her father's sweatshop, Oona is contacted by her dad, an infamous smuggler and leader of the Fu-Tsang gang, who reaches out to her in an effort to placate the ghost of her dead mother. Under the guise of making up for lost time, Lester Liu presents Oona with expensive gifts and seeks her help in designing a museum installation for his newly acquired Chinese empress mummy. Despite his kind overtures, the Irregulars suspect Liu's motives and worry that Oona is being won over to the dark side. The girls learn that there is a plot to smuggle priceless art out of the museum, but they can't determine if Oona is in on the scheme or is playing double agent. As numerous secrets are uncovered, the girls are not sure who they can trust. The latest tale about these friends is just as thrilling and as much fun as the first. A well-paced plot keeps the momentum while unexpected surprises help round out many of the characters introduced in the first adventure. Ananka again provides would-be sleuths with important advice as she offers detailed instructions such as "How to Take Advantage of the Power of Scent" and "How to Know if Your House is Haunted." A must-have for libraries where the first book is popular and a recommended purchase for collections that could use a good ghost/spy/action/mystery/story.--Danielle M. Margarida, Sharon Public Library, MA

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VOYA Reviews 2007 December
The Irregulars are back in this quirky sequel to Kiki Strike: Inside the Shadow City (Bloomsbury, 2006/VOYA August 2006), in which Oona revealed that criminal mastermind Lester Liu is actually her father. His proclamation that he has reformed and wants to make up for lost time with his daughter does not ring true for the rest of the Irregulars. When they investigate, the teenage sleuths learn that their hunches are correct and embark upon a plan to uncover the truth about Liu. This scheme leads to discoveries surrounding the mummy of a Chinese empress killed centuries ago that is being used as a cover to smuggle valuable original paintings from the Metropolitan Museum of Art. Interestingly and importantly intertwined are kidnapped children, endangered animals, possible ghosts, Central Park homeless, a hint of romance, well-placed humor, and the escape of Kiki and her loyal Royal Guard, Verushka, from those seeking to prevent Kiki's rightful claim to the throne of Pokrovia Again narrated by Ananka Fishbein, the story requires some initial patience as it lays the groundwork for the mystery and fills in for those who missed the first book. Then it quickly takes off on another unusual girl-detective romp through New York City, periodically adding Ananka's witty and relevant chapter-end advice on such topics as how to forge a work of art or when to reveal a secret. Although the conclusion is satisfying enough, it leaves some loose ends to foster anticipation for the next installment.-Diane Tuccillo 4Q 4P M J S Copyright 2007 Voya Reviews.