Book Review: The Madness Underneath by Maureen Johnson

Title: The Madness Underneath (Shades of London #2)
Author: Maureen Johnson
Genre: YA/urban fantasy
Date Read:
15/02/2016 – 16/02/2016
Rating: ★★★

madnesscover

After finishing The Name of the Star, the first book in the Shades of London series, I immediately went to the library to pick up the next book. While this one certainly isn’t as strong as the first, I still found it a really enjoyable read.

After dealing with a direct attack on her life, Rory is in therapy and her parents are incredibly protective, but she wants to go back to Wexford. She can’t talk to anyone about her experiences, and would rather just get on with things. Eventually she gets her way, but she’s falling behind at work, not really sure how much she actually likes her boyfriend, and really wishes she could figure out what to do with her new-found ghost-extermination ability.

Maureen Johnson has a really engaging writing style, which is probably lucky, because it meant that it took me 150 pages to realise that nothing really happens in this book, and even then, I still wanted to keep reading it. It was more like a whole book of world-building, I guess, with only some slight character development for the already existing characters and the introduction of some new ones.

Usually when I write reviews I do a paragraph on the world-building and a paragraph on characters, but there’s really not much to say here that I didn’t already say in my review of The Name of the Star on Friday. We really get little else about Rory or the other central characters, and the final chunk really seemed to be just setting up for the third book. Rory makes some really poor choices at times, though I can see why a person in her position may think they seemed like good ideas at the time. I really disagreed with a choice she made right at the end, though that choice in particular leads to events that are going to be important in the third book.

Having said that, these are fun characters to be around, and enough did happen to make a book (though only just). I’m now onto the third one, and I’m hoping it will pick up again.

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