Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Book Review: The Madness Underneath, by Maureen Johnson

I must admit I'm a bit disappointed in The Madness Underneath. I had high expectations after enjoying The Name of the Star very much.

Rory is sent back to her school in London, hopefully to get her life more back to normal after what happened in The Name of the Star.

So she's back at school, and trying to fit in with her friends. She's feeling overwhelmed because she's so behind in her studies and exams are coming soon. She also reconnects with Stephen, Callum, and Boo, and that's pretty much the only time she feels useful. Although, she's very apprehensive about using her new power over ghosts.

For over half of The Madness Underneath, Nothing. Really. Happens. The paragraph described above takes up pretty much 50% of the book. Eventually, Rory convinces the secret police she works with that even though The Ripper may be gone, there are still dangerous things going on. And then Rory, herself, gets in danger, and the last 25% of the book is really exciting, and a bit sad (even if the whole set-up is based on a stupid, unrealistic decision that Rory makes.) The ending sets us up for the next book quite nicely.

The book is short, and that's to its credit, because if the first half had been, say, 250 pages, instead of the 150 pages it was, I would have given up. As it is, I'm still interested in continuing with The Shades of London series. I just hope for more thrills and action.

Published by Putnam Juvenile, February 26, 2013
eBook obtained from NetGalley
304 pages

Rating: 3/5

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  1. I had the opposite reaction with "Name of the Star" (haven't read bk 2 yet). So my expectations for this one is quite lowered. I still really enjoy Maureen's writing so I'll stick it out and see where it goes.

  2. Couldn't agree with you more! Nothing really happens, and I'm kind of bummed, because I love this world and the characters so much. It feels like this was just a setup for book three. I'm still super excited for book three, don't get me wrong, but I just wish Maureen had done more in this book. Amazing review!

  3. I still haven't read Name of the Star, but I did like her Suite Scarlett series (very different genre!) Too bad about the sequel, but I'm glad you enjoyed the first one. Great, honest review.

    1. Suite Scarlett is very different, and although I've read almost everything else Johnson has written, Suite Scarlett was a DNF. Just didn't think anything ever happened!

  4. Hmm, I can't say I was too excited for this so to here it's an okay read doesn't really change my mind about that. Overall it sounds almost... boring. Thanks for being honest!


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