Saturday, September 14, 2013

Novel Review: The Madness Underneath (Shades of London, #2) by Maureen Johnson

Rating (Out of 5): ~4
Genre: YA Supernatural (Light-Romance)
Publisher: Penguin (Putnam)
Publish Date: February 26th, 2013
Spoilers?: No.

Goodreads Synopsis:

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.

Something Specific:

  • "Funny thing when you don’t get out of the house for a while—you reenter the outside world as a tourist.” (Hardback, pg. 20)
  • "This was failure. Doing all you could and yet knowing that it just wasn’t going to cut it.” (Hardback, pg. 98)

The Cover:

I'm not really a huge fan of this cover/the cover redoes. I'm pretty sure I mentioned it before, but I really liked the original cover for The Name of the Star, and just don't really find these ones pretty. It works, though, it's not horrible to look at, and it definitely fits the story, though.


This series has surprised me, quite a bit, and I like that. Also, the ending on this book? Horrible.
So, Rory goes back to Wexford, as was expected. She gets back to school, and everything just seems very different to her. She’s having a hard time hanging out with her friends, which is understandable given what happened to her and what she’s going through. It’s sad, but understandable. And she meets up with the ghost hunter people again, who are wary and she’s still getting the hang of being around, but who understand her a lot better than her school friends. And she’s getting used to her new-found powers of being able to exorcize ghosts with her touch.
She also starts talking to this councilor, who seems very nice and helpful, but is actually up to something much worse. I expected what happened with her to happen, but it was still interesting and exciting, how it all went down.
Rory is having a hard time, not really know who she is or where she belongs anymore. It’s all fully understandable, and she handles it very well. I like her enough; she’s fun to read, I like her thoughts. She’s not overly smart, but she has good instincts, and she seems like a pretty average teenage girl, in a very good, mature way, even if what she’s going through is not average.
The romance and the relationships were the surprising parts to me. Like the fact that, when she gets home, her friends are open to being with her, but she has a hard time hanging out with them because of what she’s going through. And the fact that the main love interest is not clear from the very beginning—it makes me unsure, but I still really like it. And I like the boy quite a bit, and what happened with him is horrible and I cannot wait to see what happens with him in the next book. I also rather like her ghost hunter friends, and am looking forward to seeing her relationship with them develop. 
The cliffhanger on this book was rather horrible. It was just so mean, and I am really anxious for the next book to come out, so I can see what happens.

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