Friday, February 15, 2013

Up and Coming: The Madness Underneath by Maureen Johnson

The Madness Underneath by Maureen Johnson

Release date: Feb 26, 2013

Rory had a very strange year last year at Wexford Boarding School in London. To know the full extent of the weirdness, you'd have to read The Name of the Star, (see our review here) the first book of the Shades of London series. Suffice it to say that it included a lot of eighteenth century Jack-the-Ripper-style murder in a twenty-first century setting. There was also some crime solving and several near death scrapes. All in all not exactly what her parents were thinking when they pictured her getting a British cultural experience.

Because of all this, her parents are not exactly thrilled at the idea of sending Rory back to Wexford this year. But, when her therapist recommends returning her to her "normal routine" they can't help but cave. So Rory is back with her friends at school, the boy she likes and the Shades, the team of young British crime-fighters who Rory fell in with during all the Ripper Madness. It's like she never left.... except that it's not. Rory's experiences have left her changed, both emotionally and otherwise.

Her grades are falling and she's feeling that she's getting more and more distant from her school friends. When the Shades find a new way to use Rory, it just seems like too much. Who can she turn to? Who will truly understand all the madness that's going on right under everyone's noses?

In 2011 The Name of the Star was one of this blog's favorite books of the year. This second book keeps up the spooky atmosphere and believable urban fantasy vibe that the first book had going on. Now that I'm two books in with these characters, who are very easy to get emotionally involved with, I had to read with one hand over my eyes, was everyone going to be okay? If you are also a fan of Jazza, Stephen, Boo and Callum, you too may find yourself madly reading page after page, trying to ward off the creepiness from the characters you care about. I warn you in advance, This is a book with a lot of action and a lot of unanswered questions.... We need that third book quickly!

The Madness Underneath is a second book that is delicious but will still leave you starving for more when you finish it.

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