Tuesday, 28 May 2013

The Madness Underneath by Maureen Johnson

Title: The Madness Underneath
Author: Maureen Johnson
Published by: Harper Collins
Publication date: 28th March 2013
Pages: 304
Genres: Young Adult
Format: Paperback
Source: Review copy from the publisher
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Surviving a near fatal attack by a ghostly killer will leave its mark.

Seventeen-year-old Rory Deveraux has painful scars and deadly new powers at her fingertips.

But without her secret ghost-fighting squad she feels brutally alone.
She's lying to her boyfriend, failing in class and, worse still, Rory fears that a terrifying horror stalks the streets of London.

The main character is called Rory and we start the book where she is in therapy, we don't yet know what's happened to her. She goes to boarding school in London and it becomes clear that her trauma was caused by a violent ghost who wanted something she had but all was not as it seemed as Rory was a member of a ghost-hunting team. The encounter Rory had with the ghost has given Rory a gift and she becomes invaluable to her team.

The main character Rory was like-able enough. She was quite funny at times, and she was also determined and very brave. I found it confusing that she is American because the book is set in modern day London and I didn't understand why she was in England (although that may have been explained in the first book in the series, which I haven't read.) Her past wasn't clear to me and I didn't really know much about her life.

I found it hard to imagine her school, because I've never been to boarding school and unfortunately I personally don't think it was very well described.

The plot was very interesting - good, but complicated! There are ghosts in it, but I wouldn't say it's scary. Some parts were really hard to believe and the ending isn't particularly happy. Also, the dialogue kept changing between accents e.g some characters were American, one was Scottish and the rest were British. That made it a bit difficult to read, but that's just my opinion!

The book left on a cliffhanger. It finished like there should be a book after it (again, I'm not sure if there is one). However, overall I quite liked it and I give it a rating of 3.5/5. I know I would have enjoyed it a lot more if I had read the first book beforehand. It's a very intriguing story! I recommend it to readers - girls aged 13+ because it is a pretty complex story and female oriented.

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