BOOK REVIEW: The Madness Underneath by Maureen Johnson


15721638Title: The Madness Underneath
Series:  Shades of London #2
Author:  Maureen Johnson
Publisher:  Putnam Juvenile
Published:  February 2013
Language:  English
Format:  eBook
Pages:  304
ISBN: 9781101607831



Genre: Mystery, Paranormal, YA.
Average Goodreads rating: 3.88

After her near-fatal run-in with the Jack the Ripper copycat, Rory Deveaux 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 to get back to her friends.

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.



My Rating and General Opinion


After finishing this one I had huge amounts of hatred towards the writer, enough said.

The Writing

The writing was good, I still was thrilled by it and it was hard to stop reading it to center on something else. It was certainly addicting and that’s why I read it in a sitting, well in a couple of sitting but during the same day. Even if you didn’t like what things were turning into, the evolution seemed clear and without much holes.

The Story

The storyline, is where it mostly flunked, at least in my opinion. I saw an evolution of characters and relationships but not much development in the plot itself. As I was reading this book I clearly identified it as a transitional book. Book #1 in the Shades of London could have been a standalone (although it did leave you wanting more), but this one could never have been a standalone because its main purpose was clearly building up the tension and plot for the next book. The world was already out there and in this book we mainly saw the characters, especially Rory, dealing with what happened previously. From her return to London, which was obvious had to happen, to what happened at the end there simply nothing happened, a little mystery here and there but nothing of real importance. With the new character’s approach, I knew something was wrong (although not at the beginning), but I just couldn’t put my finger on exactly what was going on, not almost until Rory did and then it was already too late. Everything happened so fast and without enough explanation, which I guess we will get in book #3, among other things…
And that ending?? Why?? Grrrr… with Rory’s supposed new powers, the idea that this could happen came to me, but I thought the writer wouldn’t do it, not again extending a suffering that didn’t need to be there in the first place… but I guess I was wrong because she went ahead and did it!! I saw this development in their status was meant to happen from book #1 as many of you did I guess, so I am disappointed with the book’s ending.

The Characters

We had some new characters that made their grand entrances, but then some other made their grand departures.
Rory continued being/not being with some kind of minor PTSD, although I found her to be very capable even acknowledging her new status. Still her inner dialogue and her personality in itself continued being as bright and entertaining as ever. Something I loved about book #1 was the relationship between Rory and Jazza, but with the turn that things took on the previous one I knew things weren’t going to come back to were they had been, in that matter I was not disappointed, because even if friendship was indeed there, the chemistry I’ve felt between these two had just dissipated.
Stephen opens up more and what is it that he gains?? Yes, right, that’s it. I saw so much depth in him from moment one, that I wanted to explore him, but we didn’t have enough time for him to evolve in this book and that’s something I’ll regret.
Oh and Jane… she seemed so sweet and harmless… although she had some little unexplainable thing about her.


Even though nothing much happened if you are anything like me you will need to continue with this series only because you’ve grown attached to the characters.


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