The Shadow Cabinet

The Shadow Cabinet

by Maureen Johnson

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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780698171718
Publisher: Penguin Young Readers Group
Publication date: 02/10/2015
Series: Shades of London Series , #3
Sold by: Penguin Group
Format: NOOK Book
Pages: 384
Sales rank: 199,621
Lexile: HL620L (what's this?)
File size: 1 MB
Age Range: 12 Years

About 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. Follow her on Twitter @maureenjohnson.

Read an Excerpt

The room was full of a soft December-morning light, a kind of gentle dove-gray color. Stephen was on the bed. Glasses off. Peaceful. Outside, London rumbled by as it always did and presumably always would.

“Rory, are you sure?” Thorpe said. “Are you sure it worked?”

It was just me, Boo, and Thorpe now. Thorpe was our overseer from MI5, someone I knew very little about except that he was young with white hair. Stephen had always been the one to deal with Thorpe, and Thorpe would make things happen. Security systems would be shut down, records altered, CCTV footage obtained, door opened. But Thorpe did not have our ability, our sight, and there was nothing he could do about what was happening now, in this hospital room.

Callum was gone—he had stormed out when he realized what I had done. Or, what I thought I’d done. It wasn’t like I’d made a choice. There had simply been no time to think of what it all meant.

Stephen had been dead for four minutes.

“I know he’s here,” Boo was saying. “We need to start looking. We do the hospital. We do the flat, both the old one and the new one. And if that fails, we come back here and we do it again. Yeah?”

I’d grabbed Stephen’s hand and hadn’t let go. I was a terminus, and if my theory was right, I had the power to pull him back—not to stop him from dying, but to make him a ghost.

“I mean . . .” Boo paced the side of the bed by the door, unable to remain still. “When Jo woke up, she woke up where she died. Most of them, we find them where they died. Not all of them, but most of them. A lot of them, anyway. Maybe we need to stay here. Or at least look around the hospital. But here? He’d probably come here? I mean, I think it can take a while sometimes?”

No one was listening to Boo.

“Do you know anything?” she asked me, her voice pitching high. “Did you feel something, or . . . ”

It took me a moment to shake myself out of my haze and realize I was supposed to answer.

“I don’t know,” I said.

“Rory, try. Try.”

“Is that a thing?” Thorpe asked. “Can you . . . feel them?”

Rory,” Boo said.

She had broken the seal on my calm, and I felt a surge run through me. I saw it coming, like a big, flat wave off the shoreline, a wall of water about to crash down and take me away forever. I was not going to let that happen.

“Shut up!” I yelled across the bed. “Let me think.”

I had no idea what I was doing. I tried to remember what it was like in those last moments, when they’d told me he was dying, when I’d closed my eyes like this and taken his hand. So I did that. I grabbed his hand, which was warm, but not as warm as it should have been. It was Stephen’s hand, the one I had felt on my face last night, on the space under my shirt, along my belly where my scar was.

When we had kissed. My eyes were closed then too.

No muscle movement. His hand was an inanimate object. I squeezed harder. I tightened my eyes until starbursts appeared behind them.

Stephen. Where are you? Where are you? Where are you?

He had sighed into my mouth when we kissed.

Where are you where are you where are you . . .

There was no answer, no clear echo in my head, no hand gripping mine. I went harder, pushing into my own mind, recalling the very moments before, when it had all happened and his life support had been turned off. There was the whiteness, the rushing feeling, a pushing and a pulling, and a feeling of falling—

Suddenly, in my mind, I was back in Louisiana, standing in my uncle Bick’s bird shop, A Bird in Hand. I was imagining this, of course, but my mind had landed there quite naturally. Uncle Bick was behind the counter in his Tulane baseball cap, sorting a bunch of bird toys. I could smell birdseed.

The birds were allowed to fly free in the shop (he had a series of three doors you came through to make sure they were safe), so there was always a chance that a bird would land on your head. Or, more likely, bird poop would land on your head. I was always a little nervous in there. It never fazed Uncle Bick. Birds almost never pooped on him.

“Here’s the thing,” said the Uncle Bick in my head, “they actually want to be found. They’re not designed for the wild.”

He was talking about parakeets. Uncle Bick had a passion for finding the ones that were lost or released by callous college students, who regarded them as a school-year pet. They sat in the local trees, deeply confused by their situation. My uncle Bick drove around in his truck and rescued them (and got labeled a possible predator by the university security department for lingering by dorm room windows).

Except of course this wasn’t about parakeets. My brain was filtering information, and this was the format it had chosen.

“So how do I find him?” I asked Imaginary Uncle Bick. He pushed the box aside and adjusted his baseball cap.

“Parakeets never go far,” he said. “They’re not used to long flights or heights. They stick close to home. They never meant to leave.”

“I’m honestly not sure if I should be talking to you,” I said to my imaginary uncle. “I’m trying to find Stephen.”

“And I’m not your uncle,” said my imaginary uncle. “I’m your own head, telling you what you already know.”

“What does that mean? I don’t know anything.

“Oh,” said my own brain, “you do.”




From the Hardcover edition.

What People are Saying About This

From the Publisher

Praise for Maureen Johnson’s The Shadow Cabinet:

“Creepy, tense and wonderful: Don't expect to put this down once it's begun—but be sure to begin with The Name of the Star.”—Kirkus Reviews, starred review

“The plot…is among Johnson’s finest and incorporates creepy bits of backstory, fascinating historical asides, and truly ghoulish side characters.”—Booklist

“Heavily laced with humor and genuine creepiness, this well-crafted thriller is a winner.”—School Library Journal

Customer Reviews

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The Shadow Cabinet 4.3 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 6 reviews.
Andrea17 More than 1 year ago
The Shadow Cabinet begins with Boo and Rory trying to find {spoiler}, to no avail. Throne steps in and takes over, making his first priority getting the group to a safe house and concealing Rory's identity. Having run away from Wexley, both her parents and the (normal?) police are attempting to find her. Obviously this is an issue because if Rory is returned she cannot help find Jane and Company, and thus cannot help find Charlotte. Also, Rory adamantly refuses to leave, especially since they don't know where {spoiler} is. After following a lead, because let's be honest Rory isn't going to sit around and dig through paperwork like Throne told her to do, she encounters none other than Jerome and his new friend Freddie. While I wasn't bummed when Rory broke up with Jerome, I'm not his biggest fan, I do like the new role he has taken in her life. He finds himself wrapped up in Rory's new world; both he and Freddie contributing in finding Jane and Co., dealing with the aftermath of The Madness Underneath, and the events that unfold in The Shadow Cabinet. Maureen does an exceptional job of keeping her reader in the story. The pace is fast and didn't slow down to a point where my mind started to wander and doing the dishes didn't sound like a bad idea. While we have moved passed The Ripper, everything in this novel is still connected to him. Because of this one crazy ghost, Rory's life has changed forever. And not just her, but also all of London. We start to see the hidden underbelly of London and learn that some of its deepest secrets actually go a lot deeper than suspected. London is a real place, but the world that Maureen has created is so interesting and involved. It feels real. These characters feel real. Yes, it's a supernatural novel that deals with ghosts, but I never feel like I have to suspend reality to understand what is happening. To me, that's the mark of a great writer. The topic isn't real (depending on who you ask anyway), but the writer makes it feel real. There are ghosts traipsing around London, there are "rocks" that are keeping the majority at bay, there is a young girl who has the power to zap them with her hand because she got stabbed by a ghost emulating Jack with Ripper and the magic diamond made it happen. You see? When I say that it sounds crazy. When Maureen puts it in a book, it sounds legit.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
A great storyline and, I'm hoping it is going to continue! Characterization, plot, action, conversations, cliffhangers, but a good really goooood ending, that leaves room for a bit more, I hope?!
Goldenfurproductions More than 1 year ago
MY THOUGHTS I read an ARC copy of The Madness Underneath back in late 2012. Imagine the pain when I finished that book and came across one of the worst cliffhangers! Of course, it became even worse when the next book, this book, didn't come out until 2015. That felt like ages away to me! I was insanely happy to be able to finally pick up this book and get my answers! This book takes place right after The Madness Underneath left off. Stephen has been pronounced dead and the entire team is searching everywhere for his ghost. Though, at the same time, they are trying to search for Charlotte, Rory's classmate, who has been kidnapped by Jane. Then, they begin to uncover secrets about a cult from forty years ago that included the disappearance and possible murder of many, and Jane was involved. The group has to find Stephen, Charlotte, and figure out what Jane is planning. This book is definitely my favorite so far! I had issues in the beginning, as I realized that I really didn't remember anything about the previous book. I can vividly recall the ending, but other than that? Nope. Thankfully, I wasn't confused very long and a recap of the previous events was sprinkled in to help me!  The main reason why I love this book so much more than the others is probably because I felt like everything was finally becoming together! Also, so much happens in this book! I'm sorry if I'm being vague about this, but I really don't know how to explain everything that happens without spoiling things! But the entire book was very fast-paced and full of so many surprising!  As far as romance, there isn't much romance in this book, which isn't surprising. I kind of wish there was kissing, which is odd considering I usually think the opposite, but I actually was kind of disappointed by this. Oh well! As for the ending, there is no horrible horrible cliffhanger! There is a bit of 'I need to know more!', but there is no cliffhanger like the last one! Yay! IN CONCLUSION I am so happy that I finally got a chance to read this and it has turned out to be my favorite in the series! This book was full of so many twists and it was so fast-paced, I really can't wait for the next book!
bookworm123AB More than 1 year ago
This was an exciting read -- it makes you hope there will be a next one and it will come out soon!
JennMcLean More than 1 year ago
I just finished reading the third installment in Maureen Johnson's Shades of London series, "The Shadow Cabinet". It certainly cleaned up many questions that I was left with from the second book, "The Madness Underneath". I have to say though that I would not read this book as my first foray into the Shades of London series. I think you'd ruin your experience of a really good, strong series if you started with this book.  I read the first two books specifically so I could give an accurate and fair review of Johnson's newest, "The Shadow Cabinet" and I'm so glad I did. If I hadn't taken the time to read the first two, I think I would have been lost for much of this book. I will try to explain where we are in the series without giving away spoilers to those who've never read any of the books yet. Here we go... Rory Deveaux is an American transplant in London who decided to do her last year of high school in a posh boarding school instead of staying in Louisiana with relatives. Rory found she had much to learn, including that she could see ghosts. This discovery made Rory nervous at first, was she going crazy? When she found that she wasn't the only one who had "the sight", Rory set out to learn all she could about her new abilities. Our heroine has been through some major ordeals in the first two books and in this third installment is no different. There are many malevolent people who want to use Rory's skills for their own reasons and she has to learn how to choose her friends carefully. "The Shadow Cabinet" is a good follow through from "The Name Of The Star" and "The Madness Underneath". I found this book to be even more a head long rush into danger. As one reads along there is a huge amount of information to be learned about London, mythology, history and occultism. I found myself unsure what was a product of the author's incredible imagination and what was actual historical fact. I think this shows Johnson to be a terrific writer, to be able to enmesh fantasy and reality so beautifully.  I highly recommend this series and book three is no exception. Although the series is technically a Young Adult selection, it is also a very good and enjoyable read for any adult. I found Johnson's writing to be well plotted and not at all dumbed down. This is certainly a four of five star book and my only complaint was that I wanted the middle to move a little faster because I was so anxious to find out what was going to happen! I think that's actually a mark of a good writer, the reader so wants to get to the answer that they stay up late, forgo sleep and read on until the early dawn just to finish the last page of writing. "The Shadow Cabinet" was a satisfying read but I warn you, I don't think it's done yet, we are left with a "what will happen next feeling" so I look forward to book four, I hope Johnson writes this one quickly.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago