Google+ YA Romantics: Just Finished Reading ... The Madness Underneath by Maureen Johnson

Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Just Finished Reading ... The Madness Underneath by Maureen Johnson

The Madness Underneath (Shades of London #2)
by Maureen Johnson
Published by Putnam Juvenile
on February 26, 2013

Source: e-ARC from the publisher via NetGalley. My FTC disclosure is to the right of this post, on the sidebar.

Connect with the author: website : blog: Twitter.




Summary (adapted from Goodreads:) After her near-fatal run-in with a copycat Jack the Ripper, Rory Devereaux has been living in Bristol under the close watch of her parents. When her therapist suddenly suggests she return to Wexford, Rory jumps at the chance. But Rory's brush with the Ripper touched her more than she thought possible: she's become a human terminus, with the power to eliminate ghosts on contact. She soon finds out that the Shades—the city's secret ghost-fighting police—are responsible for her return. The Ripper may be gone, but now there is a string of new inexplicable deaths threatening London. Rory has evidence that the deaths are no coincidence. Something much more sinister is going on, and now she must convince the squad to listen to her before it's too late.

My take:  Do you enjoy the following: ghosts, boarding school stories, Maureen Johnson's twitter feed, and books that take place in London? If so, then you should definitely try the Shades of London series.

As The Madness Underneath opens, Rory is stuck living with her parents, who are eager to keep her safe after her close brush with death in book one. When they finally allow her to return to school, she's thrilled to be reunited with her roommate Jazza, her hook-up buddy Jerome, and her special friends Stephen, Callum and Boo. Even though the culprit in book one is no more, there's a new murder right near campus that seems to have a supernatural element. Rory finds she has a new talent. As the synopsis discloses, she can kill ghosts on contact. She also discovers something interesting about her boarding school --shades of Buffy and the Hellmouth!

That's pretty much all that happens, plot-wise. As I was listening to The Name of the Star on audio to refresh my memory before I started The Madness Underneath, it struck me that these books move at a leisurely pace rather than thriller-y one. To enjoy them, you have to slow down and enjoy the journey: the quirky details about London, the boarding school stuff, and Rory's humorous asides about her eccentric relatives in the South. In The Madness Underneath, Rory isn't that involved in Wexford life, but there's plenty of London atmosphere and spooky stuff. There are also a couple of new characters, one of whom raised a huge red flag for me, and I was right: Person to Beware. Then at the end there's a "finally" moment, and right on top of that, a "what????" moment. What? I was really not expecting that. I will definitely be reading the next book!

EDITED to add: Heidi @ Bunbury in the Stacks says that there was a change to the ending in the finished copy. What??

RE-EDITED to add: I have checked this out. Yes, the ending is a little more expanded upon in the finished copy. But it's not a completely different ending. If you want to know more, just email me.

Interested in this series? Book one, The Name of the Star, will be part of my Freebie Friday giveaway this week, so be sure to stop by!

This series also had a cover change. What do you think? On the far left is the original cover of The Name of the Star, in the middle is the UK version, and on the end is the new US cover.


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34 comments:

  1. I was so proud of myself for being suspicious of that person. I really wish there had been more plot movement (I feel like The Name of the Star had more) but that ending was so killer (haha) that I will definitely be back for book 3!

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    1. Funny!
      And now Heidi @ Bunbury in the Stacks says that they changed the ending in the finished copy. And my library still has it "on order."

      If someone finds out the new ending, please email me ASAP!

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  2. I'm pretty excited about The Madness Underneath! I agree with you (at least about The Name of the Star) that it's not a fast paced thriller at all but more of a leisurly thriller.

    I also like the new cover design. I think the UK one is too creepy, and the orginial US one makes me think historical.

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    1. I don't think any of the covers are quite right….

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  3. I'm really looking forward to reading this one ... I may need to reread the first book, but that's okay. :) AND I think my favourite cover is the middle one. I'm not too sure about the new covers ... but they are kind of intriguing.

    I'm curious about this ending! Guess I should read it soon! :)

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  4. I'm listening to TNotS on audio right now and I agree about the pacing. I think, sometimes, that slowing down helps with the world building....

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  5. You know I have been looking forward to this one:) Sounds like it worked okay for you, which is good because I read a pretty negative review of it yesterday that has me a little worried.

    But did you say Buffy and the Hellmouth?? YES!

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    1. As Heidi says below, that isn't really a main part of the plot …. yet.

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  6. I tried reading some of the first book but I didn't really like it. I really want to like this series though because it sounds so interesting! I think I might give it another shot. Great review!

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  7. not really sure which cover I prefer, I have the middle one :) Not going to read all of your review cause I really need to get this one read! not sure i'm looking forward to that 'what????' moment though :)

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    1. It's a shocker. But now I'm wondering about the change in the ending (see below)

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  8. I loved the first book, and was eh with the second, but it did leave me hanging enough that I'm ready to read on! And honestly, I liked the original cover best. I hate when they change to covers that I don't like. Great review

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    1. The ending was … whoa. And now I'm wondering if they changed it (see below)

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  9. I'm glad to hear a positive review of this one, though everyone keeps saying that there isn't a ton going on in this plot wise. Hopefully, it will help me to know that ahead of time. I really like what you said about the pacing - you're right, you have to enjoy Rory's humor and quirkiness to like these books. I just want more Shades, especially Stephen so I'm glad for that! I was less interested in the boarding school stuff. I read on another review that the end has been changed from the arc. Do you know anything about that? I'm interested to hear whether that's true, and if it is indeed different.

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    1. It's definitely a positive review in the fact that I think if you liked the first book, you will like this one. I liked them both.

      Thanks for the heads-up about the change in the ending, Lauren (and Heidi, below.) Now I am SO curious.

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  10. Yeah...I didn't feel like much happened in this one at all, which disappointed me. I wanted it to be more creepy and ghostly, but was kind of let down...like the whole Hellmouth type thing NEVER WENT ANYWHERE. Ugh.

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    1. The first book didn't have tons of stuff happening beyond the Ripper murders. Maybe this book needed more murders???

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  11. I'm not thrilled with the cover change. It's now a bit meh.

    I liked the ending of the first book and I'm excited to see how she is going this new gift. Endings with a 'WHAT?' moment are great, I can't wait to find out what the surprise was.

    Mel@thedailyprophecy.

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    1. Well, now I'm nervous that it got changed! Or maybe I'll be happy!

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  12. Awesome review. I like leisurely paced books once in a while, its a good break from everything else. Her special ability intrigues me. I have to say, almost skipped over this one due to the cover, but loved the review.

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    1. I agree -- I get tired of books where everything happens so fast that I'm like …. what??

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  13. I'm not sure if this series is for me. or maybe not right now. Leisurely paced books make me lose interest pretty quick these days but maybe later when I'm in the mood for that type of read.

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    1. It depends. If you love Maureen's humor (I do) then I don't think you'll mind the pacing.

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  14. oh wow a total change for the ending? isn't that a bit drastic to do from an ARC to a finished copy? even though the ARC is still up on net galley?

    I listened to the audio book of the first book and I just wasn't impressed at all. I mean like you said, the pace was so slow but it is a murder mystery! how can the pace be slow? I am not going to read the second book because it seems like the author follows the same trend.

    great review,
    - Juhina @ Maji Bookshelf

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    1. It's unusual to do that, but not completely unheard of. I need to go to Barnes and Noble. Like NOW.

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  15. I really liked the first book...I love Ripper lore, morbid as it may be. I really need to make time for this one. Maybe another one to add to the audio pile. Thanks goodness for audio...it's the only way I'll ever catch up. :) And now I'm doubly curious since you say the ending changed. What the what? That's big!

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    1. Well, this book does not have the Ripper lore, so maybe that's why some people were unhappy. I have to say I wasn't crazy about the audio on book one. The narrator read Rory's internal monologue in a regular American accent and her dialogue with a Southern accent. It was odd.

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  16. Okay... the sequel sounds kinda... well, boring, to be blunt. But paranormal thrillers are rare, so I think I'll still read it. I already have the first book, and okay, I'll admit Jack the Ripper is intriguing. ;) And personally, I like the original US cover. Really creepy, in a good way- well, I suppose the new covers are good too, but they just won't match with my copy anymore. :( The UK cover just creeps me out. And not in a good way!

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  17. Very interesting. I didn't read the first one, but I do like boarding schools and ghosts, to an extent. I'll add it to my tbr.

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  18. MJs twitter feed is the reason I first picked up her books. She is so funny. I can't wait to get to this one (this week, I think). And for once, I'm glad they changed the covers... the first one was so cheesy!

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  19. I was so unimpressed by this, I'm not sure if I want to continue reading the series or not. I'm also not a fan of the leisurely pace either.

    Also, yay for realising certain characters were creepy!

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