7 out of 10: This book (and hopefully the rest of the series) are so fun to read. I loved it from the beginning. It starts with a letter to the reader from the narrator, Ananka Fishbein, in which she states:
By taking the time to open this book, you've become a member of a very elite group: The Curious. I can't tell you how pleased I am that we've found each other. As you must have noticed, there aren't many of us around.
How can you not love a beginning like that?
Through suspicious and interesting circumstances, Ananka is introduced to a life of adventure when she looks out her window just as a park across the street is sucked into a hole, uncovering an entrance to the Shadow City underneath NYC. She meets a mysterious girl named Kiki Strike and the plot thickens. They form a group, The Irregulars, and decide to map the underground city but end up fighting crime along the way. I love what Ananka says when she is reminiscing on her first decision to go explore the entrance underground she finds and the risk involved:
Looking back, it's hard to imagine what my life might have become if I hadn't thrown an old coat over my nightgown, shoved my bare feet into a pair of furry pink snow boots, and run outside for a closer look. I've found that such opportunities are few and far between. If you miss them- or like most people simply fail to recognize them- there's no guarantee that another chance will ever come your way.