Friday, August 14, 2015

Shades of London Series - by Maureen Johnson

My rating: 

Since I'm behind on writing reviews, I'm going to cheat a bit and review this series as a whole. I actually checked out the first book, The Name of the Star, without realizing it was part of a series. I had just heard that it was a young adult book about Jack the Ripper, and put it on my to-read list.

The Name of the Star was actually a lot different than I was expecting. Without really knowing anything about the book other than it featured Jack the Ripper I was thinking historical fiction. The modern day setting was a surprise, but a pleasant one. I really enjoyed Rory Deveaux as the main character because she comes across as a very normal teen and very believable as a realistic character. Even when she becomes involved the mystery surrounding the Ripper murders, she still worries about the boy she might like and trying to pass her classes. The supernatural aspect also made this book a lot of fun and was a twist on the copycat killer plot line that I haven't read before.

The second book, The Madness Underneath, picks up as Rory is recovering from the attack by the Jack the Ripper copycat. She's forced to see a therapist even though she can't actually tell them that she can see ghosts, or that it was actually a ghost that attacked her. Eventually though, the Shades (the group of ghost hunters Rory's friends belong to) are able to pull some strings and get her back to school in London. My only complaint about this book is that not much happened in terms of the plot. All the characters were still great, but once Rory got back to Wexford I was expecting more to happen.

Even though the second book wasn't as great as I expected, I feel like The Shadow Cabinet more than makes up for it. After the cliffhanger ending of the previous book, we jump straight into the action as Rory tries to figure out how to find the ghost of one of her friends. Nobody even knows if Rory's theory worked, and maybe the ghost they're all looking for doesn't exist. Rory's school nemesis, Charlotte, is still missing after being kidnapped by Jane and her cult of followers. It also seems like they might be covering up the mass murder of ten people over forty years earlier. This book is just one surprise after another and the ending is no exception. Unfortunately for me, I read the first book thinking it was a standalone, then moved onto the second thinking I was getting into a trilogy. Now I have to endure the long wait for a fourth book.

Even though these weren't the necessarily the best books I've ever read, I'm still going to give the series a 5 paw rating just because of how invested in them I became. All three books had me staying up all night just so I could get to the end without having to take a break and it's been awhile since I've stayed up all night to finish one book, much less three in a row.

No comments:

Post a Comment