Saturday, May 25, 2013

Book Review: The Madness Underneath by Maureen Johnson

The Madness Underneath (Shades of London, #2)
Title: The Madness Underneath
Author: Maureen Johnson
Series: The Shades of London #2
Publisher: Putnam Juvenile
Publication Date: February 26, 2013
Length: 290 Pages
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After her near-fatal run-in with the Jack the Ripper copycat, Rory Devereaux has been living in Bristol under the close watch of her parents. So when her therapist suddenly suggests she return to Wexford, Rory jumps at the chance. But Rory's brush with the Ripper touched her more than she thought possible: she's become a human terminus, with the power to eliminate ghosts on contact. She soon finds out that the Shades—the city's secret ghost-fighting police—are responsible for her return. The Ripper may be gone, but now there is a string of new inexplicable deaths threatening London. Rory has evidence that the deaths are no coincidence. Something much more sinister is going on, and now she must convince the squad to listen to her before it's too late.
In this follow-up to the Edgar Award-nominated The Name of the Star, Maureen Johnson adds another layer of spectacularly gruesome details to the streets of London that will keep you on the edge of your seat until the very end.
The Madness Underneath did not have the same creepy factor that The Name of the Star did, but it has a level of suspense all its own. From the beginning to the SHOCKING ending, The Madness Underneath takes the Shades of London to a new level. Rory wants to be around those that actually know what happened to her, but the only people that know are the Shades. They seem to want nothing to do with her, until she discovers that the tragic attack has turned her into the impossible, a human terminus. She has developed the power to eliminate ghosts with a single touch. While this puts her in a unique position to help the Shades, it also puts her in danger.

Rory is recovering from the nearly fatal attack of the Ripper copycat, and her parents refuse to allow her out of her sight. At the secret request of the Shades, Rory returns to London and Wexford, but she does not feel connected to the school. . Rory does not know how to get back into the rhythm of her life before the attack, and feels very out of place. This leads her to start lying to everyone she cares about, and failing school. Rory soon realizes that something else maybe happening around Wexford, and it may have something to do with her. As mysterious deaths start to happen around Wexford, Rory starts to suspect more than just coincidence.

I really love that direction that Maureen Johnson took with The Madness Underneath, because it really does change the direction of the story. When I first started the book, I really thought that ghosts no one else could see would be the most dangerous, just like The Name of the Star proved. In The Madness Underneath, it shows the danger of the unpredictable human element. I know that some of the reviews I read before diving into this book did not think the story lived up to the thrill of the first one. I will admit that the suspense and creepiness were not as potent in this book, but it still took the story to a new level of crazy. I can appreciate that, and with the events of The Madness Underneath, I can only imagine where the next Shades of London book is going to take us.

The events of The Madness Underneath are setting things into motion. I think that the third installment in this series is going to blow the first and second one out of the water. The ending has also left me with so many questions that I cannot wait until The Shadow Cabinet is released.

**Unabridged Bookshelf received this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review** 

1 comment:

Pamela DuMond, D.C. said...

Looks interesting. I'm going to have to read the first one. Thanks!

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