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The Madness Underneath: Book 2 (The Shades of London) Hardcover – February 26, 2013


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The Madness Underneath: Book 2 (The Shades of London) + The Name of the Star (The Shades of London)
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Product Details

  • Age Range: 12 and up
  • Grade Level: 7 and up
  • Lexile Measure: 650L (What's this?)
  • Series: The Shades of London (Book 2)
  • Hardcover: 304 pages
  • Publisher: Putnam Juvenile (February 26, 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 039925661X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0399256615
  • Product Dimensions: 8.3 x 5.9 x 1.3 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 14.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (80 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #564,415 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From 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, NYα(c) Copyright 2011. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

From Booklist

Rory might have escaped death at the hands of a Jack the Ripper copycat in The Name of the Star (2011), but the experience has left her with the skill of a terminus: the ability to dispatch ghosts from our plane of existence. In an attempt to reclaim her former life, Rory returns to boarding school, where she and her friends at a clandestine British government ghost squad stumble upon evidence that the remains of an old psychiatric hospital, right beneath the school, is stirring up otherworldly activity. The propulsive thrills of the Edgar Award–nominated first volume are largely missing here. The hospital idea, a juicy one, never galvanizes into a strong plotline, and Rory’s goals as a supernatural operative feel vague. Thankfully, Johnson’s handling of the normal problems of teenhood—boys, school, and so on—is agile, humorous, and real. Many of Rory’s constant jokes fall flat, but, hey, that’s realistic, too. The best news? The final 50 pages roar back to life with a turnaround so creepy it bolsters confidence in the next volume of the Shades of London series. HIGH-DEMAND BACKSTORY: Johnson is one of YA lit’s perennial favorites, and an author tour will help keep this series on many must-read lists. Grades 8-11. --Daniel Kraus

More About the Author

Maureen Johnson was born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Like a lot of people who end up writing books, she was always reading. This paid off in the end, but also resulted in her not playing any sports, so she is spectacularly uncoordinated, and is easily injured by harmless household objects, like endtables.

She studied writing and theatrical dramaturgy at Columbia University. Before she could spend all her days writing, Maureen served up hamburgers in the company of mad scientists and talking skeletons in New York, tended bar in Piccadilly Circus, nervously worked alongside live tigers in Las Vegas, and once got mixed up with the entire cast of a major West End musical.

Maureen lives in New York City, and when she is not writing, spends her time in a relentless pursuit of the perfect cup of coffee. If you know where it is, get in touch with her at once.

Customer Reviews

Ever since I read The Name of the Star, the first book in this series, I've been eagerly awaiting the sequel.
Kayla
I really love that direction that Maureen Johnson took with The Madness Underneath, because it really does change the direction of the story.
Chandra Haun
After a slow first half, the book becomes a bit too rushed and then ends very abruptly with a plot choice that made me wince.
Angela Hathaway

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

16 of 17 people found the following review helpful By KVB99 on February 28, 2013
Format: Hardcover
This is a sequel to the Name of the Star (TNOS), but it doesn't have quite the same sizzle as TNOS. The story picks up with Rory in Bristol in therapy and lingers there a bit too long. This story needed a strong start right out of the gate, like TNOS, but it flounders, treading water for several chapters in Bristol, where not that much happens. Finally Rory does return to Wexford, but not really. Rory never really re-integrates in Wexford and we don't see that fun interaction with her Wexford circle of friends like we did in TNOS, IMO a big let-down. Also, Rory is now this big ghosty terminus, but there is surprisingly little ghosty encounters here. So, too little Wexford and too little ghosts. These were two big legs of the stool that made TNOS such a fun read. What we have in place of this is a rather weird cult story that develops rather late in the book. The cult thing was not developed very well and I found it to be rather laughably implausible and uninteresting. And then there's the ending. Initially I didn't like it at all, but having slept on it I'm not going to ding the book for it. It's not the way I would have ended the book, but I can see that this is a legitimate direction for the story to take. On the plus side, Rory continues to be a very engaging character and the author's sassy writing style really brings Rory to life. My gripe is with the tepid story in which Rory is placed.
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Jen @ The Bevy Bibliotheque on September 6, 2013
Format: Hardcover
I was excited when I pre-ordered The Madness Underneath. There were two big reasons for this. 1) I loved The Name of the Star and was excited to see where the story went next.

2) ...it came with kick-ass stickers.

Stickers aside, I was relieved to find that my anticipation had not been for nothing. Maureen Johnson's voice in Rory is just as fresh as ever. I wanted the girl to be my BFF from time to time because... well, I suspect Rory is secretly a Tumblr user when she explains her reason for doing something with "Because Stephen."

The Madness Underneath is not QUITE as spooky or fast-paced as The Name of the Star. The sense of danger isn't as omnipresent because there's a little less mystery about the killings. The Madness Underneath is more about Rory finding her own path, while still being a hilarious ghostbuster.

One thing I appreciate with Maureen Johnson's series is that, when we have swoony times, it's not all about the ONE TRUE LOVE thing. I mean, don't get me wrong, I love those books too, but Johnson seems keenly aware of reality in that her characters as teenagers and likely will not be with the first person they date forever.

BUT in regards to OTP happiness, never have my emotions swerved so quickly in 180 degree-type turn. One minute I'm overjoyed, the next, I was SCREAMING. And then the book ended. Because I think perhaps Maureen Johnson practices reader torture in her spare time.

To sum up: I loved this book, but lord am I WAILING over the end. I need a support line to call.
- See more at: [...]
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Valerie J. Anderson on April 17, 2013
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
This is the second book in the series and I enjoyed as much as the first --so much so that I'm looking forward to the next volume--great pacing and action, the heroine is eminently likeable and the premise of the stories stands out in a sea of mediocre YA supernatural themed novels. Bravo!
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful By mindy silver on March 8, 2013
Format: Kindle Edition
How can the next book not be out already? I could not stop reading this book!!! Maureen Johnson knows exactly how to stick an emotional knife into you and twist it so it hurts the most. But god was this book good
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By GKSTcoach on December 6, 2013
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I am enjoying this series so much I can't wait for each new installment! I want book three....when, oh, when will it be coming out?
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Laura007 on September 22, 2013
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
10/10, would wholeheartedly recommend this series (and this author in general). I can't wait for the third book!

L S
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By kirstyv on September 9, 2013
Format: Hardcover
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 returns 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!
This was given to me as a review copy, but this has had no influence on my opinion.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By E. Steadham on July 10, 2013
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Love love loved this book! THE THING was crazy and I can't wait for the next one to come out!
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