Friday, 21 December 2012

Review of The Madness Underneath by Maureen Johnson

Pages: 352
Publisher: Harper Collins Childrens Books
The Madness Underneath (Shades of London, #2)Release: February 2013

Thanks to to Publisher for the ARC copy :)

Plot: When Madness stalks the streets of London, no one is safe...
There's a creepy new terror haunting modern-day London. Fresh from defeating a Jack the Ripper killer, Rory must put her new-found hunting skills to the test before all hell breaks loose...
But enemies are not always who you expect them to be and crazy times call for crazy solutions.

Good Points: The second book in the Shades of London series starts off with Rory living in Bristol and frequently visiting her therapist. Unlike some books where the protagonist simply deals with what's happened as if all they've seen is a fly being swatted, Rory actually reflects the emotions you assume a person would be going through after the ordeal that took place in the first book, The Name Of the Star, which saw Rory investigating and becoming a close victim to the Jack the Ripper Copycat that was terrorizing London.
The emotions are played subtly at first and then the stress builds when Rory returns to Wexford and struggles to cope with the workload and the stress of possibly being the key to the continuation of the group that helped her in the first book.
Other great points were the history and research that has gone into this book, everything surprisingly fit well together and the detail that Johnson has built in creating Rory's world is both descriptive and concise.
Also that ending! Maureen Johnson sure does know how to leave a book on a good cliff hanger and one that I'm sure will leave me hanging by those last pages until the third novel is released.

Bad Points: The book was a little slow. I read this on my Kindle and it was only after the percentage reached around 50% of the book that the real investigation into the murder at the beginning starts to happen. Also although Rory's character was explored much deeper the other characters seem to have been slightly forgotten in this one which was slightly disappointing.

To Sum Up... When I heard that Name of The Star was going to be part of a series I did wonder what direction Johnson was going to take the characters, especially after the seemingly complete ending to the Ripper case focused in the first book which I loved.
On the one hand I think this book does work well in following on from Rory's story although I would have liked a little more involvement from some of the other characters such as Jerome and Jazza and possibly a faster pacing to the book.
However I am extremely happy in the fact that Rory's dialogue is as ever funny and believably weird. The book although being a little too slow for me in its first half definitely redeemed itself in its remaining pages, ending on a cliff hanger that as I've already mentioned will leave you screaming "What the...?"
Oh, quick note- I forgot to mention it's pretty vital that if this is the first time you've heard of this series, read the first book Name of The Star first as this one doesn't really explain the details dealt in it so skipping is a straight no-go here.

Thanks for Reading and make sure to leave any comments you have on the review :)


  1. I have this for my kindle too and haven't started it yet but I think it will be moving up my list. Great review as always :)

    Fiona @

  2. I really want to read this loved the first one.
    Come visit meat:

  3. Oooh, I've really been looking forward to this one! I don't think I'll mind the slow start to this one; the first one kind of started out pretty slowly as well.

  4. I really want to read this series, something I'm going to have to find for my kindle :)

  5. This series looks like one to watch... maybe. I love your blog by the way! If you have time, please check out mine!
    ~ Ruby @


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