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The Madness Underneath (Shades of London Series #2)

The Madness Underneath (Shades of London Series #2)

4.1 40
by Maureen Johnson, Nicola Barber (Read by)

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Don't miss this New York Times bestselling sequel to the Edgar Award-nominated THE NAME OF THE STAR!

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


Don't miss this New York Times bestselling sequel to the Edgar Award-nominated THE NAME OF THE STAR!

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.

In this 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.

Editorial Reviews

School Library Journal - Audio
Gr 7 Up—In Johnson's sequel (2013) to The Name of the Star (2011, both Putnam), Rory is still recovering from an attack by the murderous Ripper and trying to reconnect with her friends and school life. But she can't seem to get back on track and is drawn to her old relationships with the Shades, the city's secret ghost-fighting police, and especially to Stephen who seems more distant and colder than ever. When she discovers that she has become a terminus, perhaps the only one remaining and thus of great value to those who want to help ghosts leave this world permanently, she knows that her life will never be the same. Nicola Barber easily moves between Rory's exaggerated Southern drawl (used to charm and befuddle classmates, teachers, and anyone else she needs to con) and her sincere adult voice as narrator and co-conspirator to the Shades. She also skillfully deals with a large supporting cast, individualizing each character's voice and intentions, including would-be boyfriend Jerome, roommates, teachers, a Scottish therapist, a confused mad man charged with murder, and a friendly counselor whose intentions are not what they seem. Listeners will be drawn into Rory's confusion and frustration as she tries to decide whom she can trust and what her role should be. The cliff-hanging conclusion, with friends in danger and much unresolved, will leave fans eagerly awaiting the next installment.—Edie Ching, University of Maryland, College Park
From the Publisher
Praise for THE MADNESS UNDERNEATH (Book Two in the Shades of London series):
A New York Times Bestseller!

“Creepy, clever and ambiguous second volume in the Shades of London series . . . As always, Johnson wields words with a supple facility that keeps those pages turning. The London minutiae are utterly engaging, the villains satisfyingly weird and numerous. And there is kissing.”
“Rory’s internal monologue sparkles with the wit that Johnson’s fans (and most of Twitter) will recognize, which is plenty entertaining. The second half will satisfy readers’ craving for what they came for—Rory’s investigation of London’s latest ghost crimes—while laying tragic groundwork for the next book.”
“Johnson’s sharp wit is ever-present, and her heroine is the perfect blend of snark and teen anxiety.”
Praise for THE NAME OF THE STAR (Book One in the Shades of London series):
Nominated for the Edgar Award!
“A gorgeously written, chilling, atmospheric thriller. The streets of London have never been so sinister or so romantic.”
CASSANDRA CLARE, #1 New York Times bestselling author of The Infernal Devices and The Mortal Instruments series
“This book made me want to give up everything, move to London, and fight ghosts.”
HOLLY BLACK, New York Times bestselling author of the Curse Workers series
“An unputdownable thrill ride that will leave you gasping, laughing and dreaming of London.”
ALLY CARTER, New York Times bestselling author of the Gallagher Girls series and Heist Society
“Johnson uses a deft hand, applying the right amount of romance and teen snarkiness to relieve the story's building tension. Departing from her previous works, she turns paranormal on its head, mocking vampires and werewolves while creating ghosts that are both realistic and creepy. A real page-turner.” 

“Readers looking for nonstop fun, action, and a little gore have come to the right place.”
“Johnson fearlessly takes readers from . . . a cool innocent-abroad-with-iPod story to supernatural thriller. The tension ramps up exquisitely among cups of tea, library visits and the London Underground. The explosive ending is genuinely terrifying but never loses the wit, verve and humor that Rory carries with her throughout.”

VOYA - Etienne Vallee
In this second book of the Shades of London series, Aurora, who goes by Rory, is in Bristol. She is slowly recuperating from the stab wound the ghost known as the Ripper dealt her. Her hardest task, however, is therapy. Seeing ghosts but being unable to talk to others about her ability makes conversation difficult. The ghost-hunting group engineers her return to London and to her private school. She is reunited with her friends and finds a strange therapist. With her ability growing, Rory must decide how she fits in the world and how her newfound ghost-vaporizing ability should be used. Readers not familiar with The Name Of The Star (Putnam, 2011/Voya October 2011), the first book in the series, will find themselves lost at the beginning. Though Johnson provides some background information, the attention is focused on the present and the character development of Rory and her questioning of the future. The plot is uneven and moves slowly. It is only in the last fifth of the book that the nemesis is revealed, and the ending feels flat, leaving the reader wondering what will happen next but not necessarily looking forward to the next installment. Consider this a good purchase if the first book was well received. Reviewer: Etienne Vallee
VOYA - Ema Whipple McKie
The connection between characters is distant in this novel. Even the "almost boyfriend" Rory skirts around in the beginning is removed. The friendship between the Shades (Boo, Callum, Stephen) and Rory is more defined. Finally, toward the end, there is one scene of in-depth emotion. Topics such as substance use and kidnapping may not be appropriate for youth under age thirteen. Though The Madness Underneath is not set in recent years, it is modern and written in a way that will not be too deep nor too shallow for the entertainment of a young adult audience. This book is reminiscent of the Septimus Heap series. Reviewer: Ema Whipple McKie, Teen Reviewer
School Library Journal
Gr 7 Up—This continuation of the series opens as Rory is recovering from a brutal attack by a ghost mimicking Jack the Ripper's grisly murders. She is persuaded by her therapist to leave the family's Bristol home, return to her London boarding school, and resume a normal life. However, life will never again be "normal" for Rory. She discovers that she is a "terminis" and has the ability to permanently extinguish ghosts. The British squad of those with the ability to see ghosts and monitor their activity recruits her help to investigate an unexplained death near campus. It appears that an evil force is moving through the underground, causing death and destruction. The opening chapters bring readers up to date, recapping previous events and characters and, in the process, revealing the plot in The Name of the Star (Putnam, 2011). The action picks up considerably in the final chapters. Readers will remain on the edge of their seats as the leader of a cult that follows the ancient Eleusinian Mysteries drugs and kidnaps Rory, hoping to use her extraordinary powers to defeat death. Johnson's sharp wit is ever-present, and her heroine is the perfect blend of snark and teen anxiety. Rory finds romance, but is it destined to end? Readers will anxiously await the final installment in the series to learn the fate of this Eleusinian cult, and to find out if a girl who can annihilate ghosts has a future with one very hot guy.—Barbara M. Moon, Suffolk Cooperative Library System, Bellport, NY

Product Details

Brilliance Audio
Publication date:
Shades of London Series , #2
Edition description:
Product dimensions:
7.12(w) x 6.50(h) x 1.00(d)
Age Range:
12 - 17 Years

Read an Excerpt

I wasn’t going to be able to cope with many more of these sessions.
I like to talk. Talking is kind of my thing. If talking had been a sport option at Wexford, I would have been captain. But sports always have to involve running, jumping, or swinging your arms around. You don’t get PE points for the smooth and rapid movement of the jaw.
Three times I week, I was sent to talk to Julia. And three times a week, I had to avoid talking to Julia—at least, I couldn’t talk about what had really happened to me.
You cannot tell your therapist you have been stabbed by a ghost.
You cannot tell her that you could see the ghost because you developed the ability to see dead people after choking on some beef at dinner.
If you say any of that, they will put you in a sack and take you to a room walled in bouncy rubber and you will never be allowed to touch scissors again. The situation will only get worse if you explain to your therapist that you have friends in the secret ghost police of London, and that you are really not supposed to be talking about this because some man from the government made you sign a copy of the Official Secrets Act and promise never to talk about these ghost police friends of yours. No. That won’t improve your situation at all. The therapist will add “paranoid delusions about secret government agencies” to the already quite long list of your problems, and then it will be game over for you, Crazy.
The sky was the same color as a cinder block, and I didn’t have an umbrella to protect me from the dark rain cloud that was clearly moving in our direction. I had no idea what to do with myself, now that I was actually out of the house. I saw a coffee place. That’s where I would go. I’d get a coffee, and then I’d walk home. That was a good, normal thing to do. I would do this, and then maybe . . . maybe I would do another thing.
Funny thing when you don’t get out of the house for a while—you reenter the outside world as a tourist. I stared at the people working on laptops, studying, writing things down in notebooks. I flirted with the idea of telling the guy who was making my latte, just blurting it out: “I’m the girl the Ripper attacked.” And I could whip up my shirt and show him the still-healing wound. You couldn’t fake the thing I had stretching across my torso—the long, angry line. Well, I guess you could, but you’d have to be one of those special-effects makeup people to do it. Also, people who get up to the coffee counter and whip off their shirts for the baristas usually have other problems.
I took my coffee and left quickly before I got any other funny little ideas.
God, I needed to talk to someone.
I don’t know about you, but when something happens to me—good, bad, boring, it doesn’t matter—I have to tell someone about it to make it count. There’s no point in anything happening if you can’t talk about it. And this was the biggest something of all. I ached to talk. I mean, it literally hurt me, sitting there, holding it all in hour after hour. I must have been clenching my stomach muscles the whole time, because my whole abdomen throbbed. Sometimes, if I was still awake late at night, I’d be tempted to call some anonymous crisis hotline and tell some random person my story, but I knew what would happen. They’d listen, and they’d advise me to get psychiatric help. Because my story was nuts.
The “official” story:
A man decides to terrorize London by re-creating the murders of Jack the Ripper. He kills four people, one of them, unluckily, on the green right in front of my building at school. I see this guy when sneaking back into my building that night. Because I’m a witness, he decides to target me for the last murder. He sneaks into my building on the night of the final Ripper murder and stabs me. I survive because the police get a report of a sighting of something suspicious and break into the building. The suspect flees, the police chase him, and he jumps into the Thames and dies.
The real version:
The Ripper was the ghost of a man formerly of the ghost policing squad. He targeted me because I could see ghosts. His whole aim was to get his hands on a terminus, the tool the ghost police use to destroy ghosts. The termini (there were actually three of them) were diamonds. When you ran an electrical current through them, they destroyed ghosts. Stephen had wired them into the hollow bodies of cell phones, using the batteries to power the charge. I survived that night because Jo, another ghost, grabbed a terminus out of my hand and destroyed the Ripper—and in the process, herself.
The only people who really knew the whole story were Stephen, Callum, and Boo, and I was never allowed to talk to them again. That was one of the conditions when I left London. A man from the government really had made me sign the Official Secrets Act. Measures had been taken to make sure I couldn’t reach out to them. While I was in the hospital after the attack, knocked out cold, someone took my phone and wiped it clean.
Keep quiet, they said.
Just get on with your life, they said.
So I was here, in Bristol, sitting around in the rented house that my parents lived in. It was a nice enough little house, high up on a rise, with a good view of the city. It had rental house furnishings, straight out of a catalog. White walls and neutral colors. A non-place, good for recuperating. No ghosts. No explosions. Just television and rain and lots of sleep and screwing around on the Internet. My life went nowhere here, and that was fine. I’d had enough excitement. I just had to try to forget, to embrace the boredom, to let it go.
I walked along the waterside. The mist dropped layer upon delicate layer of moisture into my clothes and hair, slowly chilling me and weighing me down. Nothing to do but walk today. I would walk and walk. Maybe I would walk right down the river into another town. Maybe I would walk all the way to the ocean. Maybe I would swim home.
I was so preoccupied in my wallowing that I almost walked right past him, but something about the suit must have caught my attention. The cut of the suit . . . something was strange about it. I’m not an expert on suits, but this one was somehow different, a very drab gray with a narrow lapel. And the collar. The collar was odd. He wore horn-rim glasses, and his hair was very short, but with square sideburns. Everything was just a centimeter or two off, all the little data points that tell you someone isn’t quite right.
He was a ghost.
My ability to see ghosts, my “sight,” was the result of two elements: I had the innate ability, and I’d had a brush with death at the right time. It was not magic. It was not supernatural. It was, as Stephen liked to put it, the “ability to recognize and interact with the vestigial energy of an otherwise deceased person, one who continues to exist in a spectrum usually not perceived by humans.” Stephen actually talked like that.
What it meant was simply this: some people, when they die, don’t entirely eject from this world. Something goes wrong in the death process, like when you try to shut down a computer and it goes into a confused spiral. These unlucky people remain on some plane of existence that intersects with the one we inhabit. Most of them are weak, barely able to interact with our physical world. Some are a bit stronger. And lucky people like me can see them, and talk to them, and touch them.
This is why in my many, many hours of watching shows about ghost hunters (I’d watched a lot of television in Bristol) I’d gotten so angry. Not only were the shows stupid and obviously phony, but they didn’t even make sense. These people would rock up to houses with their weird night-vision camera hats and cold-spot-o-meters, set up cameras, and then turn off all the lights and wait until dark. (Because apparently ghosts care if the lights are on or off and if it’s day or night.) And then, these champions would fumble around in the dark, saying, “IF SPIRITS ARE HERE, MAKE YOURSELVES KNOWN, SPIRITS.” This is roughly equivalent to a tourist bus stopping in the middle of a foreign city and all of the tourists getting out in their funny hats with their video cameras and saying, “We are here! Dance for us, natives of this place! We wish to film you!” And, of course, nothing happens. Then there’s always a bump in the background, some normal creaking of a step or something, and they amplify that about ten million times, claim they’ve found evidence of paranormal activity, and kick off for a cold, self-congratulatory brew.
I edged around for a few minutes, taking him in from a few different angles, making sure I knew what I was looking at. I wondered what the chances were that the first time I came out and walked around Bristol on my own, I’d see a ghost. Judging from what was going on right now, those chances were very good. A hundred percent, in fact. It made a kind of sense that I’d find one here. I was walking along a river and, as Stephen had explained to me once, waterways always have a long history of death. Ships sink and people jump into rivers. Rivers and ghosts go together.
I crossed in front of him, pretending to talk on my phone. He had a blank stare on his face, the stare of someone who truly had nothing to do but just exist. I stared right at him. Most people, when stared at, stare back. Because staring is weird. But ghosts are used to people looking right through them. As I suspected, he didn’t react in any way to my staring. There was a grayness, a loneliness about him that was palpable. Unseen, unheard, unloved. He was still existing, but for no reason.
Definitely a ghost.
It occurred to me, he could have a friend. He could have someone to share this existence with. Something welled up in me, a great feeling of warmth, of generosity, a swelling of the spirit. I could share something with him, and in return, he could help me as well. Whoever this guy was, I could tell him the truth. He was part of the truth. No, he didn’t know me, but that hardly mattered. He was about to get to know me. We would be friends. Oh, yes. We would be friends. We were meant to be together. For the first time in weeks, there was a path—a logical, clear, walkable path. And it started with me sitting on the bench.
“Hi,” I said.
He didn’t turn.
“Hi,” I said again. “Yes, I’m talking to you. On the bench. Here. With me. Can you hear me?”
He turned to look at me, his eyes wide in surprise.
“Bet you’re surprised,” I said, smiling. “I know. It’s weird. But I can see you. My name’s Rory. What’s yours?”
No answer. Just a wide, eternal stare.
“I’m new here,” I said. “To Bristol. I was in London. I’m from America, but I guess you can tell that from my accent? I came here to go to school, and—”
The man bolted from his seat. Ghosts have a fluidity of movement that the living don’t know—they remain solid, yet they can move like air. I didn’t want him to go, so I bounced up and reached as far as I could to catch his coat. The second I made contact, I felt my fingers getting pulled into his body, like I had put them into the suction end of a vacuum. I felt the ripple of energy going up my arm, the inexorable force linking us both together now, then the rush of air, far greater than any waterside breeze. Then came the flash of light and the unsettling, floral smell.
And he was gone.

What People are Saying About This

From the Publisher
A New York Times Bestseller

“Creepy, clever and ambiguous second volume in the Shades of London series . . . As always, Johnson wields words with a supple facility that keeps those pages turning. The London minutiae are utterly engaging, the villains satisfyingly weird and numerous. And there is kissing.” —Kirkus Reviews
“Rory’s internal monologue sparkles with the wit that Johnson’s fans (and most of Twitter) will recognize, which is plenty entertaining. The second half will satisfy readers’ craving for what they came for—Rory’s investigation of London’s latest ghost crimes—while laying tragic groundwork for the next book.” —Publishers Weekly

"Readers will remain on the edge of their seats. . . . Johnson’s sharp wit is ever-present, and her heroine is the perfect blend of snark and teen anxiety." —School Library Journal

Raves for Maureen Johnson and The Name of the Star, the first book in the Shades of London series
“A gorgeously written, chilling, atmospheric thriller. The streets of London have never been so sinister or so romantic.” —Cassandra Clare, #1 New York Times bestselling author of The Infernal Devices and The Mortal Instruments series
Johnson “turns paranormal on its head . . . realistic and creepy. A real page-turner.” —SLJ
“An unputdownable thrill ride that will leave you gasping, laughing, and dreaming of London.” —Ally Carter, New York Times bestselling author of the Gallagher Girls series and Heist Society
“Johnson proves again that she has the perfect brisk pitch for YA literature, never overplaying
(or underplaying) the various elements of tension, romance, and attitude. [A] cut above.” —Booklist
“This book made me want to give up everything, move to London, and fight ghosts.” —Holly Black, New York Times bestselling author of The Curse Workers series
“Clever, scary, little-bit-sexy . . . . supernatural thriller. Will have readers madly eager for the next installment.” —Kirkus Reviews

“Suspenseful and utterly absorbing.” —The Horn Book

“[R]eaders looking for nonstop fun, action, and a little gore have come to the right place.”—Publisher’s Weekly

Meet the Author

Maureen Johnson (www.maureenjohnsonbooks.com) is the author of nine young adult novels, and is contributor to two short story collections, including the New York Times bestselling Let It Snow.   Maureen lives in New York City. 

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The Madness Underneath 4.1 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 40 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I am a fan of the author's work to begin with and really loved the first book. I think this book is a great sequel in that it takes the story on a turn that I did not see coming. I've read the editorial reviews where they think the beginning is slow because of the detail about Rory's therapy, but I think that, admittedly not having gone through the experience of a ghost nearly killing me, a person would be horribly traumatized and would not emerge from said experience being 'cool' with the world. I will say that the ending first goes in the direction I have been wanting, then turns abruptly into the ending I most feared after finishing Name of the Star. Overall, well worth reading and I can't wait for the next book!
Sarah_UK1 More than 1 year ago
(Source: I received a digital copy of this book for free on a read-to-review basis. Thanks to HarperCollins Publishers and Netgalley.) This is book 2 in the ‘Shades of London’ series, and picks up a couple of months after the end of book 1. **Warning – some unavoidable spoilers for book 1 ‘The Name of The Star’** Following Rory’s encounter with the ‘Jack the Ripper’ copycat in book 1, she’s been recovering at her parents rented home in Bristol, and seeing a therapist 3 times a week, even though she can’t tell her therapist what really happened in London. Rory’s discovery that she seems to now be a human Terminus means that she knows she has to go back to London though, and she has to try and find Stephen, Boo and Callum and explain to them what has happened. Finding herself sent back to ‘Wexford’ Boarding School in London, Rory finds herself concentrating less on her studies, and more on finding the spook squad, and busting some more murderous ghosts. How long can Rory continue neglecting her studies though? Can Charlotte’s strange therapist help her too? How long can the ghost busters continue without a working Terminus? And how does Rory feel about her possible future as part of their squad? This was a great sequel to ‘The Name of The Star’, I loved Rory, I loved the atmospheric nature of the story, and the ending was so sad it made me cry! Rory is quite damaged by her previous experiences in London, and it’s taking her a while to work through things, especially seeing as she now has no one that she can confide in. She knows that she needs to go back to London, but it’s more because she needs people she can talk to, rather than wanting to go back to school. It’s really easy to relate to Rory in this respect, because she really is doing her best to recover from her trauma, and she seems to know better than anyone what she needs, even if it’s not what everyone else thinks that she needs. It was good to go back to Wexford and catch up with all of Rory’s old friends though, especially when she managed to get back in contact with Stephen, Boo, and Callum. It was obvious how much they all needed each other, and even though Rory wasn’t ready to jump straight back into the job, she was able to focus on important things, and help when she was really needed. She even put extra effort into trying to solve a murder which wasn’t necessarily unsolved, and kept an eye out for things resembling what happened during her own attack. There was a small hint of romance in this book, but it was very, very slight. The main storyline was concerned with Rory’s recovery, and the new ghostly murders happening in London, and it flowed really well. I liked how it wasn’t the same storyline rehashed, and I liked how all the characters had been changed by what had happened in book 1. The ending to this book was a big shock though! Something totally unexpected and sad and shocking happened which I really wasn’t expecting, and it even made me cry! It’s obvious that there will be another book after this one, but how Rory will recover from this newest tragedy remains to be seem, I can only assume that she will be even more damaged in the next book than she was in this one which is really sad. I really want to read the next book now though! Overall; a great ghostly/paranormal YA murder mystery. 8 out of 10.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Disappointed!!! Loved the first book but I feel cheated with this one. This book contained no real "story" just a bunch of plot points for the future books. Slow start, no dialog with supporting characters a terrible ending sealed it's fate.Even the cover was a let down. I won't be looking for future books in this series. If i could get my money back i would
Anonymous 11 months ago
I didn't like this one quite as much as the first one just because I missed the secondary characters--I felt like they didn't get as much screen time. BUT I continue to think that Rory is great and I can't wait to read the next one.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I picked up Maureen Johnson’s The Name of the Star on a whim. I’d read some of her slightly lighter fare, and since I was on a paranormal/books taking place in Europe kick at that point, I thought I’d give it a shot. Though I enjoyed the majority of the book, it was the ending that made my eyes bug out, that had me ranting to one of my roommates while she attempted to make herself dinner. Since then, I’ve been looking forward to The Madness Underneath. With a title like that, I wasn’t sure what to expect. Possibly some insane ghosts, or maybe insanity on the narrator’s part due to the aftermath of Star’s events. What I ended up finding was a mixture of neither and both. Rory spends much of the story trying to cope with the results of the first book’s revelation, and trying to figure out what her new ‘normal’ is now that whatever old normal she’d known is gone. As the summary forewarns, she ends up back with the ghost-hunting shades when new killings threaten the London neighborhood near her school. And that’s about where the summary ends. I spent most of the book waiting to find out how these new ghosts were appearing and what their motives were, and though some of the answers were hinted at or implied, I have a feeling we’re in for plenty more shockers when book three comes out. There’s not too much I can say about the two biggest twists of the story, if only because I’m not a spoilery sort of person. What I can say is that I had a hunch about one—although not how bad things would eventually become—and absolutely didn’t see the other coming at all. If the end of Star led to incoherent vocalizations, then the end of Madness stunned me speechless. Part of me had been waiting for something to happen, but the other part had no idea who would be victimized or how it would go. The Madness Underneath in no way suffers from ‘middle book syndrome.’ As soon as I turned the last page, I wished the third one would appear on my desk. In lieu of spoilers, what I will say is this: If you thought the Ripper ghost was terrifying, just wait until these villains show themselves. I’d recommend this, but I also recommend you read it in a crowded place.
MissPrint More than 1 year ago
Mostly Coherent Review: The Madness Underneath (2013) by Maureen Johnson is the second book in Johnson's Shades of London Quartet. It takes up very closely where book 1, The Name of the Star, left off. I'm not even going to summarize this book because it is essentially unintelligible if you haven't read The Name of the Star. That's just the way it is. As such, this review is much more off the cuff than my usual postings. (I also have a theory that the Shades of London series should really be a trilogy with the content of this book spread between book one and book three, but that's a different matter.) I was very conflicted about this book because I really loved the start of the series and was excited to see what happened next. Then I read the book and . . . now I don't know what to feel because not much actually happens in The Madness Underneath. There are red herrings, there is moping and panic about school. There is not enough of my beloved Stephen. And then the book kind of ends without resolving anything--except confirming that everything is ruined forever. There is a very satisfying thread with Rory coming back to herself and learning to be strong in the wake of injury. But that is dampened by having to slog through scenes of the most unsatisfying book relationship in the entire world between Rory and Jerome. I don't like being held hostage by a series with cliffhanger endings and unresolved plot threads. Which is exactly what Johnson delivered in The Madness Underneath. And yet, I so loved the start of the series and I am still so fond of Rory's narrative voice that I'll probably continue with the series despite my extreme frustration and distress. I've read books where worse things happen and everything works out in the end but my faith in Maureen Johnson was sorely tested by this book. Sorely. Tested. If you too were deeply upset by the ending of The Madness Underneath, Maureen Johnson has a handy "therapeutic" post for readers on her Tumblr. First Thoughts: So . . . strong beginning, draggy middle where ostensibly nothing is happening. Then that ending? That ruined everything for all eternity? I want to be heartbroken but I'm just kind of furious and not sure I even want to continue with the series? Nothing even makes sense anymore. And I know I had faith when Lorne was beheaded on Angel and that worked out. But this is really pushing it and feels more like when Fred was possessed and killed off. Just saying.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Love the book
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Paperback_Princess More than 1 year ago
This book was absolutely maddening. I really enjoyed how great the first book was, it was an original idea, and put a totally new twist on ghosts. I had to wait to actually write this review because I was super frustrated by the ending, and that severely tainted my view of the book. I really enjoyed getting back into Rory's world. One of the things that I loved about the first book was the totally unique set of characters and how they all interacted. I loved Stephen and Callum and Boo and Jazza, all the crazy named people that wandered in and out of Rory's life. I was glad that she was able to return and call back into the swing of things with everyone including back in with the Shades. Its actually been very hard for me to write this review. I read it back in February and was so angry when I finished it that I really needed to sit with it and think on how it made me feel, and now that time has indeed passed, I find that I still really enjoyed the book and I am looking forward to the third book in the series. This one had so many great twists and turns and even the new story line of the ghosts made it worth while. I did feel that the big bad in this particular book was a little too easy to pin point. It was obvious from the introduction that this character was up to no good and that added somewhat to my frustration at this book when I finished it, but I have to hand it to Johnson, she isn't catering to what her readers will what to read, she is writing for her characters even if it leads to things that they do not want to happen. Like Boo getting thrown in front of a car in the first book. Either way, I am eagerly awaiting the third book and cannot wait to get my hands on such a delicious book once again.
Andrea17 More than 1 year ago
I love The Name of the Star. Maureen knows how to keep her audience entranced and on the edge of their seats. Girl kept it up with The Madness Underneath, the only difference being that I wasn't freaking out until the last few chapters of this novel. The Madness Underneath has a slower plot than The Name of the Star, but it is no less engaging. With The Madness Underneath Rory is dealing with aftermath of being stabbed and almost killed by the Ripper. I got the feeling through her narrative, that Rory is (more or less) essentially mentally and physically able to handle the situation. One of the scenes I really enjoyed is when Jazza goes into the bathroom with Rory where it all happened and Rory states it's "just a bathroom." This scene alone speaks to the strength and courage of her character, that she is able to walk into the bathroom where she almost died and not be deeply affect. However, despite her desire to return to the pre-Ripper time in her life, Rory's school work is suffering. She had not kept up on assignments during the month she was gone, is unable to catch up, and must continue to lie to those she cares about. Unlike its predecessor, here we are dealing more with Rory's personal struggles more so than with a murdering ghost. I enjoy this look into Rory's personal struggle. Not that I'm glad she's struggling, but we get to know her more on a personal level. When she realizes that perhaps Wexford isn't the place for her, she has a hard time accepting that and becomes desperate to find somewhere she does belong.  It it not until the later half of The Madness Underneath that we truly get into the nitty gritty of the mystery at hand and we're back to the familiar suspense found in The Name of the Star. It was at this point that I found the novel impossible to put down. I'm talking, I was reading it while cooking dinner and, since it'd be rude to read during dinner, stared at it until everything was cleaned up and I could once again pick it up. As it stands, I should've listened to everybody who reviewed this novel and waited until we were closer to The Shadow Cabinet's release date. The ending - OMG! That is one of the best, or worst depending on how you look at it, cliffhangers I have ever read. I'm at a loss for words on how to respond to the ending. The Madess Underneath is a great follow up to The Name of the Star. Rory has become a favorite character of mine and Maureen is a wonderful author. She knows how to weave stories to keep you guessing, shocked, thrilled, and in the end, utterly destroyed. That last bit sounds like a bad thing, but it's not. I cannot wait to see how she concludes this wonderful trilogy and I cross my fingers that the release date isn't pushed back again.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I can't wait to read the next book.
KimberlyT More than 1 year ago
One of the few books that doesn't suffer from "2nd book syndrome". I enjoyed this as much, if not more, than the first. Excellent read!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I read this bok in litterally five hours. I was captivated with ever beautiful word written. I cried at the deaths, felt light with the kisses. Maureen Johnson has gor a wonderful talent that is constantly demonstrated throughout this book.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Dazzlamb More than 1 year ago
If you read my review of THE NAME OF THE STAR then it surely doesn't surprise you that I didn't want to wait a second to start its sequel right after turning the last page. From the beginning THE MADNESS UNDERNEATH sets a slightly different tone than THE NAME OF THE STAR. For instance this second part of Rory's story is not as gruesome and bloody as the Jack the Ripper muderer that had his claws terrifingly close around Rory's neck in the first book. With Rory uncovering the origin of new ghost occurrences around Wexford, a new kind of psychological tension slowly seeps into the story and through the cracks that once contained the restless patients of a psychiatric unit. Rory is a character that I could easily imagine being friends with. She's very independent, got a great sense of humour, keeps on babbling about funny things that come to her mind and she's got a strong intuition for what is right and wrong. I found myself enjoying and soaking up all the interesting little facts Rory researches in relation to the mysterious death in a bar near Wexford. The story wasn't as profoundly supported by such curious details as the first book's case which I guess has to be owed to the popular and widely discussed phenomenon that's immanent to Jack the Ripper. Rory's life has not nearly returned to normal and she's still trying to deal with her newfound gift, a gift she was left with after a Ripper imitating ghost failed to kill her. But the ghosts are as present as ever and suddenly Rory is of high interest for the group behind the ghost hunting unit of our friends Stephen, Callum and Boo. Facing new missions and mysteries around all kinds of ghosts, the four grow together and form an unbeatable team. I also really appreciated and savoured the time Maureen reserved for Rory and Stephen to get to know each other better and learn to love the little quirks about the other. I rooted for Stephen since the middle of THE NAME OF THE STAR and was hoping for Rory to fall for him, so you can imagine the grin on my face every time these two got some quiet investigative time together. Life would be too easy if we all could be just friends, so of course there is another group interested in Rory's talents. I wouldn't have minded if the story had countinued with ever new ghostly murder cases and no additional hostile group suddenly appearing and wanting Rory to join their cult. I thought THE MADNESS UNDERNEATH didn't house as many surprising turns as its predecessor and I mostly guessed what was going to happen until I came to the last thirty pages or so...and the final chapters became a major mood killer! I was so ecstatic one moment, and royally pissed the other! Readers will probably be wondering, how Maureen Johnson could let happen something like that. Right now I can't think of a statisfiable outcome or solution to what we all had to witness! At one point someone in THE MADNESS UNDERNEATH tells a story and Rory says that she feels like her absorption into the story was total. When she wrote this book Maureen Johnson surely knew that her stories had the very same effect on its readers. And as always the frequently asked question: Why do we have to wait another year for the next book in the series? 4,5/5 ****/* THE MADNESS UNDERNEATH – A terrific and dazzling new shade of YA! The new crime cases of this sequel might not have fascinated me as much as the original Jack the Ripper murders of THE NAME OF THE STAR, still I couldn't resist the psychologically strong pull of this new SHADES OF LONDON. I fear this series will continue to have me in its killer grip. And doesn't the third book, THE SHADOW CABINET, sound too spooky and nightmarishly good to be true?
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
To whom may conern: may rate and review on underneath. I really adoere this books. I give five star.
kirstyviz More than 1 year ago
In The Madness Underneath, the second Shades of London installment, the reader finds Rory in Bristol with her parents still recovering from the vicious attack which almost left her dead at the end of The Name of the Star. However,Rory now discovers she has been left with new powers, and when it is suggested she return to Wexford she agrees, unaware that Stephen, Callum and Boo need her help. I found The Madness Underneath slower than The Name of the Star as I felt Maureen Johnson develops her characters, particularly those of Stephen and Rory, and obviously the plot line is less gritty, though still shocking. Although the first book was about Jack the Ripper I felt this story was darker because of the intent of the group involved and Maureen Johnson has now left Rory in a difficult position at the book's end, so I very much look forward to reading Shades of London #3. This is a book for anyone who has read The Name of the Star!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Amazing book! Story was a but weaker than the first book but it was still very good. Leads you on to the next book and makes you willing to wait! Great read!
angelus1753 More than 1 year ago
Different from, but just as good as, The Name of the Star. Johnson does a great job of keeping the reader interested, and gasping in shock. I definitely yelled at the book trying to get the character's to notice some of the goings-on. Definitely does not disappoint, and I can't wait for the final installment in the series.