Review: The Madness Underneath by Maureen Johnson

Sunday, 17 March 2013

Book: The Madness Underneath (Shades of London #2)
Author: Maureen Johnson
Publisher: HarperCollinsChildrens
Pages: 290 pages
Format: Hardcover

I don't know what I was expecting from this book, but all I knew was that it had to be good since my friend called me in tears after reading it in one night. I now know why tears were shed.

Goodreads Summary

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.
One of my favourite things about Maureen Johnson's writing is that she creates these characters that are so wholly teenagers that it's crazy. I find myself really relating to things that Rory says, and her train of thought. She over reacts to some things, she goes on these crazy tangents, and gets really stressed out. These are the very characteristics that I find in myself, and in the crazy, hormonal girls around me on a daily basis. Rory is a hilarious character who makes me laugh and whom I am now emotionally attached to. She was my favourite thing about this book.
The plot on the other hand, which was fantastic don't get me wrong, took a long time to actually pick up. The Shades of London series is, in my opinion, a very character based story. The story revolves around Rory and her new found powers, not around the ghosts themselves. The last 100 pages of the book was my favourite because it had such a perfect medium of character and plot.

But Maureen Johnson couldn't go one book without making me cry, huh? She, after letting us get to know and feel for these characters, knew exactly which heart strings to pull on. And now I want to shake her and demand the third book right now. But then again, who doesn't?

The Madness Underneath gets a 4/5 stars for me. Can't wait for the next!

-Indigo
@IndigoWayworth

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