The Madness Underneath by Maureen Johnson

The Madness Underneath by Marueen Johnson


  • Title: The Madness Underneath
  • Author: Maureen Johnson
  • Publisher: Harper Collins
  • ISBN: 9780007432271


*Waves*So. yeah, it’s over 2 weeks since my last post. 😳 I suppose, that’ll teach me not to be smug about having a weeks worth of posts every again!

Thankfully, my reading has mostly not suffered the same slump, so if I can keep the procrastination at bay, I should have a few reviews to post over the coming weeks.

First up is one I read back in January, and as it is fast approaching its release date, is the most pressing of those reviews to get out there, so here are my thoughts on The Madness Underneath by Maureen Johnson. (Please assume there will be spoilers for both The Name of the Star and The Madness Underneath.

It was only when I had finished The Madness Underneath, that I fully appreciated it;  we didn’t get the lighter start of The Name of the Start with Rory travelling to a new country, meeting new friends, and discovering Wexford (& London) that drew us in to the series.

I wouldn’t say it’s a darker start, but it is a more difficult one for Rory, missing her friends and feeling a little stifled by her worried parents, she is struggling overcome her attack and it’s ramifications.

Even when she returns to Wexford, things are very different, the Shades are facing being disbanded, and are reluctant to accept the belief that what happened to her months ago are linked to the current events, and despite trying, she just can’t seem to get her life back to what it was, and leads to her making some choices that may (if you’ll excuse the pun) come back to haunt her…

So what was my problem as I was reading the book? Well I really enjoyed the mystery and the shiver inducing horrors of the The Name of the Star, and as I was reading it, this part of The Madness Underneath didn’t seem as strong, although there was still plenty of chills, horror and gore to *ahem* enjoy! 😉

It was only when I finished the book that I understood that the story in The Madness Underneath is as much if not more about Rory dealing with the fallout from the events in The Name of the Star, than it is about the mystery.

And it was only when I’d picked myself up from the ending that I realised just how well Mareen Johnson had crafted Rory’s second story. So many 2nd books in a series, fall into the trap of ‘more of the same’ and allow the fallout from earlier events to fade out as new ones take over, that’s not the case in this one as they are still affecting Rory’s actions even as the denouement slams you in the gut.

Oh and the ending? Well this is my tweet from a few seconds after finishing:

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. 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.


Buy: The Madness Underneath by Maureen Johnson

My copy of The Madness Underneath by Maureen Johnson was provided by the publisher (Harper Collins via @netgalley) for review purposes




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