Monday, June 29, 2015

I am Princess X by Cherie Priest

After meeting in 5th grade May and Libby make up Princess X, a heroine wearing red Chucks and wielding a katana.  They spend years writing and illustrating her stories but all that ends when Libby and her mother die in a car accident and the Princess X stories are lost.  Several years later May is back in Seattle visiting her dad when she sees a sticker on a light pole that says "I Am Princess X".  May begins investigating and discovers that there is a webcomic about Princess X that is becoming very popular but no one knows who the creator is.  The pictures and references in the comic are things that only Libby would know and May is sure that her best friend is alive somewhere and is using the comic to ask May to come rescue her from The Needle Man.  May enlists her neighbor Trick, an amazing hacker, to help her find Libby but their investigation into the comic begins to have real life consequences.

I've said before that my favorite genre is whatever offers something unique and this one filled the bill for me.  The Princess X comic is interwoven in the novel to advance the story but there's also the gripping mystery/adventure of what's happening in real life.  The pop culture and tech references are fast and furious but totally part of the story, not just added in to make it sound current.  This story offers something different and exciting and I just loved it.  I did feel like the end of the book was less exciting than all the mystery leading up to it but I'm also thinking that I might've felt that way because I was reading so fast that I didn't let it all sink in.