Pub Writes

About the publishing Industry, editorials, and reviews

The Madness Underneath by Maureen Johnson

Posted by Caitie F on April 3, 2013

Title: The Madness UnderneathMadness Under
Author: Maureen Johnson
Hardcover: 304 pages
Pub Date: Feb 26, 2013
Publisher: Putnam Juvenile
Rating: ++++

Summary from publisher:

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.


I loved the first book in the series, so I was really excited to read more of Rory’s story. While it was good, I much prefered the first book. That isn’t to say I won’t read the next one, Rory is a great character and ghosts are awesome. It just wasn’t as good.

I did love that everything that happened in the first book still affected her. Not only physically because of the scar (which mentioned often as a teenaged girl would think of it often), but also her mental state. It was hard for her to be certain places or think about what happened. It made her trauma feel more real and made her feel more real too.

I can’t say too much about the parts that bothered me because I don’t want to spoil anything for you is you haven’t read it yet, but what it comes down to is that I think the book was too short. Things felt rushed. I wanted to know more about Jane and those around her. I wanted more with the Shades. I wanted more with her schoolmates.

And I wanted her to do her homework. That was VERY stressful for me. I hated getting behind when I was in school and watching her get behind really bothered me. I wanted to yell into the book and tell her to just write that paper and read those chapters already! I am sure that won’t bother that many other people though.

Overall, it was another great book and I look forward to the next book in the series!



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