Rated Reads

The Madness Underneath (Shades of London, #2)

by Maureen Johnson

Rated: Mild

After the Ripper events of The Name of the Star, Rory is, understandably, doing a lot of soul searching. To say she’s behind in school is an understatement; in fact, her parents don’t even want her to go back to Wexford. Her relationship with not-quite-boyfriend Jerome is suffering; her connection to the school is tentative, to say the least. In fact, the only thing keeping her going is her place in the ghost squad, and even that’s not a sure thing (her being underage and American). But she does go back, trying desperately to figure out what to do next in her life. Not to mention how to handle her newfound ghost-killing powers (she’d rather just ignore them).

Then people start dying again, and things get Complicated for Rory.

I have to be upfront about this: if it wasn’t for the constant humor and brilliance in Johnson’s writing, the story wouldn’t have been as interesting as it was. It’s very much a middle book in a series; the plot doesn’t get going until nearly two-thirds of the way through. That said, it still kept me engrossed throughout. It’s funny, it’s observant, it’s intelligent, it’s a wee bit swoony, and the ending will catch you completely off guard. In fact, the book is worth reading for the last quarter alone, the setup for the next book that had me both flabbergasted and wishing I could pick up the next right now.

Rated: Mild, for some mild swearing and intense situations.

— Reviewed by Melissa Fox

Melissa Madsen Fox's blogging career began in 2004 when she started Book Nut. Reading, reviewing and book blogging have taken over what's left of her life after being a stay-at-home mom to four rambunctious daughters and wife to a slightly- absent-minded professor of political science.

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  • The Madness Underneath (Shades of London, #2)
  • by Maureen Johnson
  • Rated: Mild
  • Genre: Young adult
  • Reviewer: