Monday, February 11, 2013

The Madness Underneath by Maureen Johnson

3/5 Stars

The Madness Underneath
Author: Maureen Johnson
Publisher: Harper Collins
Publication: February 26, 2013
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The Madness Underneath begins shortly after Rory’s run in with the ripper. She is on the mend and back in Bristol with her parents. Life in Bristol is none too exciting though and when a chance to return to London comes about Rory quickly takes it. Only London and Wexford aren’t the same as when she left and with radio silence from the Shades life is becoming sort of maddening.

In this book we get to know Rory a little better and learn more about the Shades and how they are surviving without the technology to get rid of ghosts. I liked that Rory really struggles with balancing school life, the shades, and dealing with what happened between her and the ripper. Too often YA heroines are portrayed as just coasting through school even after a terrible tragedy. Rory doesn’t coast she isn’t just an instantaneous straight A student and I liked that she has to deal with that.

There were a couple things I didn’t like about this book. I had a harder time relating to Rory in this novel then in the last one. It may have been that in The Name Of The Star there was more of a driving action and in this novel it was very character based, but I kept getting annoyed with Rory. She didn’t take her first therapist seriously, ignored her parents and her Wexford friends, and she trusted all the wrong people. I also found her back home Louisiana stories (that were cute in the first novel) kind of annoying. Maureen is a hilarious person, if you’re not already following her on Twitter you really should, but I kept wishing Rory would quit joking around and get down to business rather then trying to be funny when her thoughts were so dark.

Because Rory continually got on my nerves it was the supporting characters that shined in this novel. I really liked Boo, Callum, and especially Stephen. At first I thought Stephen was kind of a wet blanket with no personality but as I got to know him and read more of his back story I came to really like the guy and admired what a strong leader of the Shades he is.

Overall, The Madness Underneath was a good read but it suffered from second book syndrome the novel is all transition and buildup to an ending we won’t see until book 3. I kept wishing something more would happen and when something finally did happen we were left on a terrible cliffhanger. I have a feeling all of this buildup will pay off though and book 3 will totally rock!

Thank you Netgalley and Harper Collins Children's Publishing for allowing me to read an advanced readers copy of The Madness Underneath.


  1. Aw, sorry this one suffers from second book syndrom, but glad you overall liked.
    Happy reading,
    Brandi @ Blkosiner’s Book Blog

  2. I agree that Rory's stories were seeming more and more exaggerated in this book!

    Thanks for linking in Hot Off the Presses :)

  3. Oh no! Second book syndrome. I already wasn't blown away by the first book. It was overall good. I'll probably read this one but won't rush out for it.

  4. I have a feeling that Rory is the kind of character that I'd hate. She sounds immature.
    I don't know if I'd like this book, that cover is beautiful though.

  5. It is so frustrating when the second book doesn't live up to the first one! It is even worse if you have waited forever for the second book just for it to not be so great :( Hopefully book 3 will make up for it though!