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Monday, September 30, 2013

NICOLE'S REVIEW: The Madness Underneath by Maureen Johnson

Title: The Madness Underneath
Author: Maureen Johnson
Format Acquired: Hardcover
Publication Date: February 26 2013
Publishing House: Putnam Juvenile
ISBN: 9780399256615
Source of Copy: Fully Booked


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.

(Image and information courtesy of Goodreads; Summary lifted from actual book)


After suffering the aftermath of her ghostly encounter in the first book, Rory's back at home seeing a therapist and watching as her mom and dad tip toe carefully around her. But is that really what Rory wants? Even she doesn't know. So when her therapist suggests she head back to London, Rory agrees at the chance to get back to school, her friends and maybe, hopefully her life.

Truthfully, I wasn't that much a fan of the first book and I'm not exactly sure what possessed me to pick this one up. I'm glad I did though because I found myself actually liking Rory, she's spunky, funny and a whole lot lost. I like her character better in the second book; she's not as annoying.

Rory gets into a little trouble in this book, what with her new powers  - mainly being a human terminus - and the odd influx of ghosts around the city plus the increase in strange and sudden deaths. She's betting that something big is going on and she has to find a way to convince Stephen and his secret ghost fighting squad to believe her. 

What I did find lacking was Rory's lack of interaction with her friends. I mean yeah I get that she just dropped in in the middle of a school year but shouldn't there have been at least some meaningful interaction? I was never a fan of Rory and Jeremy's relationship and I still am not. But there are some interesting developments in this book that I was hoping for but never really expected would happen and this makes me a very, very happy girl. And as much as I'd like to give you guys hints and stuff, I won't because that would spoil the whole surprise.

In the second installment of the Shades of London series, Rory gets into more shenanigans, gets kicked out of school, fights a few ghosts and loses one person she holds dear. That's not all of it though, she finds herself ensconced within a strange cult of people who see ghosts like her and has to find a way to stop them and their dastardly deeds because they're clearly crazy and someone's got to do something about it.

Do I suggest you pick this one up? Yes, yes and yes. It's a totally fun read and is sure to entertain. 




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