Thursday, March 21, 2013

Review ~ The Madness Underneath ~ Review

The Madness Underneath (Shades of London, #2)Title: The Madness Underneath
Author: Maureen Johnson
Series: Shades of London #2
Publisher: Putnam Juvenile
Publication Date: Feb 2013
Source: eBook from NetGalley
Rating: 3 stars

~ The Scoop from Goodreads ~

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.


Forewarning: There may be spoilers from the FIRST book in the series. But I can guarantee no spoilers for this book. :)

Color me semi-sad. The color... gray. And that's my reaction to this book. I'm sad because I wanted oh-so-much to like it more than I did. I hadn't heard much about it, and I liked the first one (albeit probably not as much as I had hoped as well). I guess I was hoping this one would leave me waiting and wanting for more. Alas, it did not. Like the time my car was stuck in the snow in my driveway and I kept hitting the gas trying to get out... I kept waiting for the story to propel forward.

We start with Rory after the Ripper incident, the one that nearly killed her. She's healing, physically and emotionally. (Now, I've never been knifed, so to speak, but I have had a cesarean, and they cut you open for that. It seemed to me that Rory was moving normally awfully quick for someone who was sliced open and left to bleed out. That was a minor distraction to me.) She's in therapy but she can't address the real issue. She can't tell anyone about her new sight nor can she talk about what really happened in the bathroom back at Wexford. All of that makes sense.

With her new role as a terminus, however, her being away from the Shades is not conducive to their work. She's the only person that can make the ghosts go away. So her therapist is manipulated into suggested Rory return to Wexford. There's a lot of filler about her return; she's failing most, or all, of her classes (not a shocker). She has an insignificant relationship with a boy. Insignificant in the fact that it does nothing, really, to move the plot along, except maybe help her realize just how not "normal" her life. But did she really need a boyfriend to tell her the fact that she can evaporate ghosts now makes her life not "normal"?

Overall the story didn't pick up for me until maybe the last quarter. That's when things really started happening for me. Most of it was fairly predictable (in the fact that I said, aloud, "Really? You didn't see that coming? C'mon!"). There was a bit of a shocker at the end that I was really impressed with.

I will read the next installment, but I won't be rushing to get my hands on it. I was left with a lukewarm feeling with this one, so who's to say how I'll feel about the next one when it comes around.

Have you read this one or the first in the series? What'd you think? If you haven't, do you think you will some time?


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