Tuesday, February 26, 2013

The Madness Underneath by Maureen Johnson

Happy book birthday, Maureen Johnson! Today marks the release of The Madness Underneath, the second in Johnson's Shades of London series.

Rory Deveaux is recovering in Bristol after barely surviving an attack by the Ripper. She's ready to return to her school and her friends in London, but it takes some prompting to convince her family. It does help that her therapist has announced it the best road to recovery for Rory - returning to the scene of the incident, that is. Turns out this return has been manipulated by the Shades. See, the Ripper destroyed their last terminus and the division is in danger of being shut down unless they can come up with something quick. After all, what good is a ghost busting cop if he can't bust ghosts? Fortunately for them, Rory has somehow managed to become a terminus herself. With just a touch, she can banish a ghost to wherever it is they go. And her return couldn't have come soon enough. Something weird is happening in London once again and Rory might be the only one who can stop it. 

I think it's safe to say that The Madness Underneath has been at the top of a lot of Must Have lists for 2013, mine included! I adored The Name of the Star. Rory is smart and sarcastic and the combination of mystery/thriller elements and paranormal is one that I always love - when done well. And Johnson definitely does it well. Plus, Johnson's writing style is light without becoming overly frothy. Snarktastically snarky, to be honest: just the right blend of smart ass humor and social observation (extra wonderful in a boarding school setting and via a Louisiana girl, too!).

Strangely, while The Madness Underneath delivered on all counts, the end felt a little flat. It's clear there's more to the story but this felt very much more To Be Continued... than the end of The Name of the Star. Ah, well. I guess it'll be another year before we find out what happens to ... and with the whole ... and if Rory will be able to ... I don't want to ruin it for you!

No comments: