Set partly in the virtual world of Stardoll, partly in the real lives of three of its teenage members, the story offers an extra level of interactivity through information-rich animations. These “starry signposts" weave readers through pop culture moments, plot clues, character backstory, clever in-jokes about Stardoll, recommended reading, fashion tips and a whole slew of further playful references.
Nil “Catwedding” Yilmaz spends a lot of her time online playing in an imaginary digital world of pretty, literate, upright, talking animal friends that she has hacked together for herself on the popular avatar website Stardoll.
When her online tea party is accidentally crashed by Stardoll’s famous fashion designer “CocoWilhelmina” a new friendship is struck up.
Enchanted and inspired by her new Stardoll friends – CocoWilhelmina decides to re-conceive of her whole digital fashion line and create a Dickens in Narnia theme—talking animals, Edwardian fashions, monocles, bustles, Helena Bonham Carter, the works. Everything is going swimmingly until disaster strikes in the form of a sudden power outage. The girls are booted out of their amazing online environments back into the real world – Istanbul in a blackout and an island off the Virginia coast being battered by a freak storm.
Things take an even more dramatic and curious turn when Nil starts to see her best friend, Colonel Gattopardo, a talking leopard she invented on Stardoll out in the real world he disappears into the night but leaves behind his monocle which he soon finds out has special powers. In more frightening development Rose finds out her father, a well-known marine biologist, is missing along with his boat ‘The Narwhal’ in the weird storm that is raging.
The friends are joined by a third Stardoll player– a boy named Alister whom Rose meets in an on-line party chat and the three of them soon figure out that there is a mysterious connection between all the strange goings on in the real world and online – Colonel Gattopardo’s monocle, Stardoll, the storm but will they figure it all out in time to save Rose’s missing dad?
Add in some inter-dimensional travel courtesy of string theory, some time-travelling superheroes from the fashion world (with suspicious resemblances to Anna Wintour, Andre Leon Talley and Karl Lagerfeld) and an ancient mythic battle between the forces of light and darkness – and they just might manage it!