The Madness Underneath: Shades of London Review

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The Madness Underneath: Shades of London Review:

By: Claire Rankin


“There is no normal. I’ve never met a normal person. The concept is flawed. It implies that there is only one way people are supposed to be, and that can’t possible be true. Human experience is far too varied.” 
― Maureen Johnson, The Madness Underneath


Maureen Johnson’s stunning world of intrigue in London return in the The Madness Underneath: Shades of London. Published in 2013, two years after her processor The Name of the Star: Shades of London, Maureen Johnson brings us back the Rory Deveaux’s world of ghost hunting and secrets. So hold onto you hats kids!


After the events of the The Name of the Star: Shades of London leave Rory with scars, both inside and out, and her parents not believing London is safe for their daughter Rory is getting cabin fever. If she stays with her parents any longer she will burst, not to mention she is behind on weeks’ worth of school work from Wexford. Through good fortune, as well as some clandestine pressure from the government, she is allowed to return to school and her friends. That is until people begin to mysteriously die once again.


Rory returns as frustrated with her parents as she is everyone else she has to lie to. Boo is still as wild as ever though she and Callum have even more disagreements about how to behave towards the ghosts they must encounter since Rory’s actions in the first novel. Stephen has an added complexity as well. He allows Rory to be involved more and seems to be loosening up around her, while Jerome and Jazza are having the opposite reaction to all her deception. The villainy in this novel culminates with abduction and a car crash while the climax is something no one would probably have guessed.


Maureen Johnson has brought back her beloved characters in a stunning sequel. While not as driven as the first novel, The Madness Underneath does bring readers into a whole new place with its characters while leaving you with questions you need to have answered.


Listen to what others had to say:


“Rory’s internal monologue sparkles with the wit that Johnson’s fans (and most of Twitter) will recognize, which is plenty entertaining. The second half will satisfy readers’ craving for what they came for—Rory’s investigation of London’s latest ghost crimes—while laying tragic groundwork for the next book.”— Publishers Weekly


“Readers will remain on the edge of their seats. . . . Johnson’s sharp wit is ever-present, and her heroine is the perfect blend of snark and teen anxiety.”— School Library Journal


“A gorgeously written, chilling, atmospheric thriller. The streets of London have never been so sinister or so romantic.” — Cassandra Clare, #1 New York Times bestselling author of The Infernal Devices and The Mortal Instruments series


“An unputdownable thrill ride that will leave you gasping, laughing, and dreaming of London.” —Ally Carter, New York Times bestselling author of the Gallagher Girls series and Heist Society


The Madness Underneath: Shades of London can be purchased at Amazon, Barnes and Noble, and other bookstores. If you have read its precursor and enjoyed it, then please grab a copy of the sequel. If you are new to the series, I hope you enjoy! Happy reading all! 🙂

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