The Madness Underneath
by Maureen Johnson
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
February 26th 2013
by Putnam Juvenile
After her near-fatal
run-in with the Jack the Ripper copycat, Rory Devereaux has been living
in Bristol under the close watch of her parents. So when her therapist
suddenly suggests she return to Wexford, Rory jumps at the chance to get
back to her friends. 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.
follow-up to the Edgar Award-nominated THE NAME OF THE STAR, Maureen
Johnson adds another layer of spectacularly gruesome details to the
streets of London that will keep you on the edge of your seat until the
very end. —from Goodreads
I honestly feel there is no way to write a review on this book without referring to THE THING which is very spoiler-y, but I am going to try.
The Madness Underneath is the sequel to Johnson's 2011 The Name of the Star, which was very good! The Madness Underneath was good, but not quite as good as the first, which was about a copycat Jack the Ripper murderer in present-day London — lots of history, mystery, and thrills. And ghosts!
I definitely recommend you pick up a copy of the first book! Though, having read the sequel so long after reading The Name of the Star, I was a little fuzzy on the details, and I was too impatient to re-read before starting this book, so I can say with relative certainty that it can stand alone.
Overall the story was decent, though the characterization was a bit weaker than the first book, which is odd, because the focus was placed more so on the characters' inner struggles than the actual crime/mystery. I think this is the only aspect of the story that was lacking. Maureen Johnson did a really very excellent job writing Rory's PTSD (if it was that) and anxiety. Having gone through a similar bout of anxieties about school (without any paranormal fatal injury), I was able to connect with the character very well, almost to the point where it was painful to read. This was personal, but I think any reader will be able to really get in her head.
So if you like ghosts and a really strong sense of setting (way to make me want to move to London, MJ, the weather is HORRIBLE there), I definitely recommend this series. Hopefully Book 3 will be even better!
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Labels: 4 stars, ghosts, maureen johnson, Review, YA