The Madness Underneath by Maureen Johnson

Posted by on Dec 27, 2016 in 2016, 4 stars, Book Review, Maureen Johnson | 4 comments

The Madness Underneath by Maureen Johnson
The Madness Underneath by Maureen Johnson

Genre: Mystery, Paranormal Fiction
Format: Paperback
Series: #2 in the Shades of London series
Publisher: G.P. Putnam’s Sons
Publication Date: 2013
Pages: 372
Source: Copy provided by the publisher

The Book:
From the publisher:

A new threat haunts the streets of London…
Rory Deveaux has changed in ways she never could have imagined since moving to London and beginning a new life at boarding school. As if her newfound ability to see ghosts hadn’t complicated her life enough, Rory’s recent brush with the Jack the Ripper copycat has left her with an even more unusual and intense power. Now, a new string of inexplicable deaths is threatening London, and Rory has evidence that they are no coincidence. Something sinister is going on, and it is up to her to convince the city’s secret ghost-policing squad to listen before it’s too late.

My Thoughts:
After following Maureen Johnson on Twitter for years I finally read one of her books. I read the first book in her Shades of London series (The Name of the Star) earlier this year. I was kind of surprised at how much I enjoyed it because it’s not really my normal thing. I have a fairly low tolerance for paranormal stuff and in particular young adult paranormal stuff.

This series, however works for me and it’s due to Maureen Johnson’s talent as an author.

Now that I’ve read the first two books in the series I need to get the third one soon because this one ends on a bit of a cliffhanger.

I enjoy Rory as a great main character and the people she met in the first book are back and just as interesting and complicated. The ‘sight’ that Rory discovered she had in the first book that allows her to see and interact with ghosts has developed into something a bit more frightening. While Rory tries to return to her life at school she soon finds that it is going to be much more difficult than she thought.

Don’t let the Young Adult and Paranormal labels dissuade you because this was just a good and interesting series.

4 stars Rating 4/5

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The Name of the Star by Maureen Johnson

Posted by on Feb 26, 2016 in 2016, 4 stars, Book Review, Maureen Johnson | 4 comments

The Name of the Star by Maureen Johnson

The Name of the Star by Maureen Johnson

Genre: Mystery, Paranormal Fiction
Format: Paperback
Series: #1 in the Shades of London series
Publisher: Speak
Publication Date: 2011
Pages: 372
Source: Copy provided by the publisher

The Book:
From the publisher:

The day that Louisiana teenager Rory Deveaux arrives in London to start a new life at boarding school is also the day a series of brutal murders breaks out over the city, killings mimicking the horrific Jack the Ripper spree of more than a century ago. Soon “Rippermania” takes hold of modern-day London, and the police are left with few leads and no witnesses. Except one. Rory spotted the man police believe to be the prime suspect. But she is the only one who saw him–the only one who can see him. And now Rory has become his next target. In this edge-of-your-seat thriller, full of suspense, humor, and romance, Rory will learn the truth about the secret ghost police of London and discover her own shocking abilities.

My Thoughts:
This book arrived at my house several years ago along with the second book in this series. Unfortunately it was a victim of bad timing. I had recently been through a semi binge of young adult titles and many of them contained paranormal elements. I was a but burned out on the whole genre so I put the books on my shelf and there they sat.

It’s kind of weird that I haven’t read any of Maureen Johnson’s books until now because I’ve followed her on Twitter for ages.

When I committed to making an effort to Read My Own Damn Books in 2016 This book and the sequel were among the unread books on my shelves that I gathered onto an unread books section of my bookshelves. When I asked a few months ago which Maureen Johnson book my friends would recommend this one was suggested by several so it was time to dive in,

I enjoyed the heck out of this book and I cannot wait to read the next in the series. Rory is a great main character and the people she meets along the way are interesting and complicated. The story was fun Weaving historical information from the Jack the Ripper murders along with a present day crime spree made for a little blend of historical fiction, modern paranormal drama, and a decent variation on a police procedural.

While I would have said before reading this that it was not my normal fare I have to adjust my thoughts. It stretched the limits a bit of my typical mystery reading but it did so by being a version of what is exactly my normal fare. Don’t let the Young Adult and Paranormal labels dissuade you because this was just a good and interesting story.

4 stars Rating 4/5

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