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

Book 2 of 3 in the Shades of London Series

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The Madness Underneath: Book 2 (The Shades of London) + The Name of the Star (The Shades of London) + The Shadow Cabinet (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: 384 pages
  • Publisher: G.P. Putnam's Sons Books for Young Readers (February 26, 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 039925661X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0399256615
  • Product Dimensions: 5.8 x 1 x 8.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 14.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (85 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #75,685 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

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 was just a little angry at how this book ended; I know it's meant to be a cliffhanger, but I feel like it could have been done a little gentler.
Andraea J. Wildes
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

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 10 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 Val 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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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Jude on September 24, 2014
Format: Paperback
~4/5

[More of my reviews are available on my blog, Geeky Reading, to which there's a link on my profile.]

This series has surprised me, quite a bit, and I like that. Also, the ending on this book? Horrible.

So, Rory goes back to Wexford, as was expected. She gets back to school, and everything just seems very different to her. She’s having a hard time hanging out with her friends, which is understandable given what happened to her and what she’s going through. It’s sad, but understandable. And she meets up with the ghost hunter people again, who are wary and she’s still getting the hang of being around, but who understand her a lot better than her school friends. And she’s getting used to her new-found powers of being able to exorcize ghosts with her touch.

She also starts talking to this councilor, who seems very nice and helpful, but is actually up to something much worse. I expected what happened with her to happen, but it was still interesting and exciting, how it all went down.

Rory is having a hard time, not really know who she is or where she belongs anymore. It’s all fully understandable, and she handles it very well. I like her enough; she’s fun to read, I like her thoughts. She’s not overly smart, but she has good instincts, and she seems like a pretty average teenage girl, in a very good, mature way, even if what she’s going through is not average.

The romance and the relationships were the surprising parts to me. Like the fact that, when she gets home, her friends are open to being with her, but she has a hard time hanging out with them because of what she’s going through. And the fact that the main love interest is not clear from the very beginning—it makes me unsure, but I still really like it.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Heidi on March 22, 2013
Format: Hardcover
Rory is trying to push away the memories of that terrifying night when she confronted the modern day Jack the Ripper. Unfortunately, the long slashing scar across her abdomen is a constant reminder. Rory is trapped in Bristol with her parents and her therapist, but she longs to return to London and reunite with Jazza and Jerome as well as her ghost hunter friends, Stephen, Callum and Boo. She recently discovered that something else happened that night, and Rory somehow has become a human terminus and she is now able to eradicate ghosts. Unexpectedly, Rory's therapist urges her to go back to Wexford and attempt to slip back into her former life. Can Rory return to London and regain her former life?
What I Liked:
*I liked that this one picked up right where the first book left off. We catch up with Rory as she is battling Post Traumatic Stress Disorder and trying to make sense of her new ability. This book focuses mainly on Rory's discovery of herself and finding her path. Will she pick up her studies and lead an ordinary life, or will she chase ghosts? It is a difficult decision and I enjoyed watching her grow as she tried to work everything out. I was also pleased to see that she retained her snark and that once again we are treated to plenty of off the wall Rory stories. I personally think that Rory needs to take a trip home to Louisiana so we can meet some of her zany relatives.
*The romance, as I thought, goes in the direction that I was expecting. It does take the entire book to get there, and then it just bursts forth unexpectedly, but I just knew who Rory was going to end up with. I am, however, in agony now wondering if book three will have a fully developed romance. Don't worry if you think there is a love triangle, thankfully, there is not.
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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.

Amazon Author Rankbeta 

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#99 in Books > Teens
#99 in Books > Teens

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The Madness Underneath: Book 2 (The Shades of London)
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