2/6/13

The Madness Underneath, by Maureen Johnson (with ARC giveaway!)

I very much enjoyed The Name of the Star, the first book in Maureen Johnson's Shades of London series.  It's the story of a southern girl, Rory, who comes to London for a year in an exclusive boarding school--only to find herself menaced by of a truly creepy killer who is recreating the murders of Jack the Ripper.   Rory begins to realize that there is more to the murders than meets the eye, because it turns out that Rory can see ghosts...and ghosts are involved.  She's not alone in that ability, and is recruited by the small unit (3 young people) of London's police force who are responsible for handling the ghostly crimes of London--but will Rory be able to help them track down the murderer, or will she end up dead herself?  And in the meantime, there's the whole culture shock of life at a British boarding school....

The Madness Underneath (Putnam, Feb. 26 2013)  begins as Rory has more or less recovered physically from the knife wound she got at the end of book one.  Her parents agree to let her return to school....but it's not exactly going to be a peaceful end of term experience for her.  For one thing, she has a new, unique, ability--her touch can dispel ghosts--and since the devices that were able to do this all got destroyed in Book 1, she is the only actual weapon the small police ghost force has to work with.  Her place within that force is uncertain, as Stephan, the leader of that team, is reluctant to recruit her and swear her to a life of secrecy and lies...

But when faced with murderous spirits, and a plot by some very sinister folks indeed to capture Rory and use her for their own ends (this was a slightly odd plot, a bit jarring), there's no way for her to just sit quietly at school and worry about her homework....

Though there are many creepy and exciting goings on, this isn't a book full of non stop action.  I myself like this--non stop action gives me a headache.  Instead, there is lots here about Rory as a person, struggling both with her feelings (toward boys and toward her new ability), and struggling academically.  I must confess I became so worried about her academic struggles that I wanted to flip to the end to see if she flunked out or not.   But then I got interested in the actual plot of ghosts and mysteries and bad guys, and since it was becoming all too clear that Rory was doomed academically, I was able to focus on what was actually Happening.

But oh, Maureen Johnson, why did you have to give me that one full voltage scene of beautiful romantic tension only to snatch it away from me?

Courtesy of the publisher, I have an ARC of The Madness Underneath to give away (US only); please enter by next Wednesday, Feb. 13, at midnight!  It's my first rafflecopter giveaway; I hope it works. Edited to add:  It didn't work.  For one thing, it made me answer the question "What makes you smile" which did Not make me smile and for another it gave extra entries for following rafflecopter on twitter.  So I am going back to --Please enter by leaving a comment that includes some way to reach you!

27 comments:

  1. I hate rafflecopter.

    But I really want to read this book!!!

    musingsofbibliophile@gmail.com

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  2. Apparently the big news at ALA this year was that Soho Books has a teen mystery imprint... I'm glad to see more mysteries, because I am struggling so hard to actually define what I THOUGHT was a mystery - and it's apparently not. I haven't read the first of this series, and am looking forward to getting around to it when I, in disgust, fling this alleged-mystery-I-am-writing from the door.

    I'm heartened that you liked this book; I'm kind of over Jack the Ripper redos.

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  3. I loved the first book--can't wait to read #2!

    I'm with you, Tanita--more mysteries is a good thing.

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  4. Don't enter me in the contest because I have an ARC too. But I wanted to see what you thought of this because I wasn't sure about this. Thanks for the great review that's making me want to read this.

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    1. I hope it doesn't disappoint! I have sort of a feeling that book 1 has a somewhat broader appeal...but I liked this one too.

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  5. I'm not at all sure if I know what makes a book a mystery--this one, for instance, has bad things being done and you don't know whose doing them until the end, which I guess makes it a mystery, but it isnt' actually all about Solving things. So I dunno.

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  6. I already have a digital copy of this preordered, but I cannot wait to get my hands on it! Glad to see that you liked it!

    msraborn@gmail.com

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  7. I really did love the first one. I would definitely love to see more ya mysteries set in fun cities like London, etc. Looking forward to reading this soon!

    acchattaway@gmail.com

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  8. Sounds like another great book from Maureen! Somehow I didn't wind up with an ARC, so I'd love to read it for BooksYALove!

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  9. I loved the first one...not sure what I'll think of this (2nd books are always nervewracking), but I definitely want to read it!

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  10. I have an e-galley copy of this (and I LOVED the first book!), but I'd also like a hardcover for my collection. Please enter me - and I think you know my email address.

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  11. I hardly ever enter giveaways, Charlotte (because it's not like I am short on books to read). But I am quite keen to read this one, so please add me to your list. Thanks!

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  12. I am interested to read this and find out what happens to Rory.

    Thanks!

    hg195 at yahoo dot com

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  13. I loved the first one so much and cannot wait for the second!

    shelleydwi at gmail dot com

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  14. I loved reading about Jack the Ripper when I was younger, and I have been meaning to pick up The Name of the Star for ages. Maybe winning the second will help inspire me?

    PS I LOVE that your contests are always so easy to enter. No like me on facebook; tweeting; etc necessary. Awesome :)

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    Replies
    1. Oh good--I try to keep them easy. I thought rafflecopter would be even easier, espec. for people entering via Google reader, but it was not to be...

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    2. And I bet you'd enjoy The Name of the Star!

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  15. SO excited to read this book!

    pubwrites (at) gmail (dot) com

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  16. I am so excited for this book!!!

    AmethystDaydreams at zoho dot com

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  17. Looking forward to this! skerrysc[at]gmail[dot]com

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  18. Thanks so much for the chance to win! I loved The Name of the Star and can't wait to read this one.

    broke(dot)book(dot)bank(at)gmail(dot)com

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  19. Thanks so much for the amazing giveaway!! :D

    iliveforreading AT hotmail DOT com

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  20. Thank you very much for this exciting giveaway. Maureen is a wonderful author, her books always make me smile and happy to have a great book to share with friends and family. I cant wait to read this book!

    Have a great night!

    Lasha | (arudd908@gmail.com)

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  21. Evil Rafflecopter!Thanks for the giveaway! writtenrhapsody(at)gmail(dot)com

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  22. Aw, I'm sorry it didn't work for you. :(

    I can't wait to read this! She's such an amazing author! I love her books :D

    Books and good characters always make me smile. (:

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  23. Oh, and my email, sorry. animefreak902(at)yahoo(dot)com

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  24. I want to read this so badly.
    scastle05@gmail.com

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