The next installment in my series about authors I wish more knew about focuses on an author I have loved since early middle school. Kiki Strike: Inside The Shadow City is the first book in a three part series that played an important part in who I grew up to be. The Kiki Strike series follows a group of 6 kick-ass girls fighting crime and having fantastical adventures in New York City, and they are truly incredible.
As a teenager, I wasn’t really aware of just how special the Kiki Strike series was. I knew that I loved reading it, and that the characters were wonderful, but I didn’t really know why. It wasn’t until I was about 18 that I really started to come to terms with what made the character’s and their stories so important to me. The characters within the series are incredibly diverse in almost every way. From their races to their strengths to their life experiences, the girls were all incredibly different, but throughout the books each of them played as important a part in the team as the others. The girls were all genuises, but all in very different ways Following their stories helped teenage me realise that the things that make us different are what make us special, and that the people who mattered were the people who liked you for your quirks and weirdness, rather than despite them.
Kiki Strike: Inside The Shadow City was one of my first introductions to feminism, and with the increasing focus of feminism in society over the last few years, I am amazed that the series hasn’t gotten more attention. It recognises the discrimination and dismissal many females in our society can face, and uses that to its characters’ advantage. The various members of the irregulars show that women can be strong, and more importantly, that we don’t have to give up our femininity or our personality to do so. The characters are real, and complex, and varied, and each of them has a journey to take as they become comfortable with who they are and where they fit within society.
If the amazing characters and strong girl-power messages aren’t enough to sell you on Kirsten Miller and her amazing books, the mystery, intrigue and drama surely will. Miller begins each chapter with a short non-fiction section about some vaguely relevant, fascinating topic, covering everything from underground cities to the best way to cope with a snake bite. These books were some of my favourites as a teenager, and my wodnerfully well-thumbed copy of the first book is one of the oldest in my book shelf. Miller hasn’t been writing much lately, but when she does publish her next book, I will be first in line to read it!
The wonderful character moodboards included within this post were created by http://incjghafas.tumblr.com/