Wednesday, February 27, 2013

The Madness Underneath by Maureen Johnson [ARC REVIEW]

TITLE: The Madness Underneath
            (Shades of London #2)
AUTHOR: Maureen Johnson
PUBLISHER: Putnam Juvenile
PUB DATE: Feb 26 2013
Summary from Goodreads:

"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.

In this follow-up to the Edgar Award-nominated The Name of the Star, Maureen Johnson adds another layer of spectacularly gruesome details to the streets of London that will keep you on the edge of your seat until the very end."


A disappointment.

I’ve thought highly of this series from the first book, The Name of the Star. I thought it was fresh and intriguing. I was really eager to see Rory’s story continue on, and so I immediately requested the advance copy of book two, The Madness Underneath, on NetGalley.

The Madness Underneath starts off with a quite motivating scene where Rory discovers that the event that occurred at the ending of The Name of the Star wasn’t a fluke. So I thought: Oh… apparently we’re not going to beat around the bush here. Yay!

Well that’s about as much excitement I got for the first half of the book. For the most part, it just dragged on. Even worse is to witness how awfully talkative Rory could be. She keeps mumbling a lot of things in her head and it’s incredibly annoying! I know that she experienced something traumatic and it takes time to recuperate from that but the coping mechanism of talking nonstop and talking nonsense– ugh! Please stop! It’s killing me!

Several times I thought that the talking has finally stopped, but then she goes at it again a few pages later. Oh my goodness! Yes, Rory you talk a lot, we’ve established that for a thousand times now, move on already! 

The length of her coping stage was way too much. Like I said, the first half of the book covered up on watching Rory think about the near death experience, talk about her scar, assess her feelings for Jerome, sit and mope, and talk, talk, talk. Now I don’t mean to be insensitive but the lengthily detailed sulking and doing nothing isn’t worth half an entire book to be discussed, right?

Even Rory had the same idea: “You can’t curl up on the sofa and deny life forever. Life is always going to be a series of ouch-making moments, and the question was, was I going to go all fetal position, or was I going to woman up?” – Thank you, Rory, please follow your own advice. Like, right this instant!

Now let’s talk romance. Is it just me or does anybody else feel like Jerome and Rory have seriously no chemistry at all? Why are they even together? I’ve said from book one that Rory is better off being with Stephen instead. So maybe that’s the idea of it? Oh well, at least that was established perfectly.

When I finally got to the exciting parts (thank goodness!) I was just as pissed off in the end as I was during the start. That was one crappy ending! Seriously? You do that to the one character I actually like? I know I found Rory annoying but you think you could’ve given this girl a break?!

(You probably won’t get this if you haven’t read this book or the first, but I just had to react). From how it’s laid out, Rory is a terminus therefore even if she does find Stephen, there won’t be anything for them, and they can’t be together because the moment she touches Stephen all her efforts would go to waste!

The Madness Underneath is the typical middle book cliché; where they tend to drag on to give leeway for suspense to be watched out for in book three. By then I wonder, is it worth reading after this one?

*Thank you, Putnam Juvenile and NetGalley for the copy of The Madness Underneath.

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