Libby died when she was fourteen.  Her mom fell asleep at the wheel and drove into a river, where they both drowned.  …Didn’t they?

When Libby’s best friend May starts seeing street art from the comic books she and Libby wrote together, she digs deeper and finds a website dedicated to their old hero – but the story has changed.  Now convinced that Libby didn’t die three years ago like she was told, May recruits local hacker Trick to track the website for her.  Their investigation will lead them throughout Seattle, into danger, and – if they’re lucky – to answers.

I Am Princess X is unique in its use of artwork, showing readers what May is seeing on that website, rather than relying solely on verbal explanations.  This format helps drive the plot of this fast-paced novel, and the bold two-tone illustrations help readers connect with a character we don’t meet until the last several chapters.  For the audio version, the author wrote passages to supplant the art, but they leave a little something to be desired.  May is a strong character, believing in the face of others’ skepticism and determined to find out what’s going on, despite the danger she faces as she does so.  Trick is both impatient and intelligent.  Together, they make an engaging duo, and it’s a nice change to see a male-female pair that (spoiler alert!) doesn’t end up in a relationship at the end.  While certain plot points are a little far-fetched, the writing is engaging enough that most readers won’t care.

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