Book Review: The Shadow Cabinet
By: Maureen Johnson
Published By: Putnam Juvenile
Publication Date: February 10, 2015
Source: Purchased by Reviewer
Audience: Young Adult - Paranormal
The Madness Underneath ended on a HUGE cliffhanger. I was on pins and needles as I anxiously awaited this installment in the Shades of London series. Sadly, other novels clamored for my attention, and this one had to patiently wait. I promised myself that in October or November I would crack this baby open and dive back into Rory's story. This one picks up almost immediately after its predecessor ends. The mess has certainly hit the fan and its unclear how Rory will pull herself together or how the team will move forward. This is a good place to stop reading if you are behind on this series. It's impossible for me not to spoil the other books and discuss this one. You have been warned.
My heart was shattered when Stephen has his accident in The Madness Underneath. This novel begins with the chaos of the aftermath of his accident. It appears that Stephen has died and Rory is positive that he will return as a ghost. The team spends a large portion of the novel hunting for Stephen, but things get more odd when they discover that death may not work exactly as they had always thought. I won't speak more on this strand, but I was shocked and intrigued by the direction that Johnson chose to drive this literary train.
This novel focuses also on the story of Sid and Sadie, a pair of twins with a sadistic need to defeat death. The pair was involved in a gruesome ritual in the 1970's that will impact Rory's experiences in the modern world. I enjoyed seeing how all of these pieces fit together.
One of my favorite things about this series is the setting. London is the perfect place for ghosts to exist. I think of London as being a gray and somewhat dreary place throughout most of the year. In many ways, reading about London reminds me of my time living in Seattle. I feel that I would love this European city as much as the Pacific Northwest one. I am also attracted to the vast amount of history in London. All of these factors make the setting in this series immensely attractive to me.
I was slightly disappointed that this novel focuses more on Stephen, Sid, and Sadie than hunting ghosts like the previous novels. There are ghosts, for sure, but it seems they take a backseat to everything else that is happening. Death, conspiracy theories, and mystical stones dominate this story. It's enjoyable, but felt like it was heading in a different direction than the previous novels.
A fourth book in this series is on Goodreads, but there are no details yet. I am interested to see what will happen next for Rory and the other members of the crew. I highly recommend this series to all paranormal fans.
One Last Gripe: There was almost too much happening in this one from time to time. I found some elements to be more interesting than others.
Favorite Thing About This Book: I liked the historical components and learning about the purpose of the Shadow Cabinet.
First Sentence: The curtains at 16 Hyssop Close hadn't been opened all day.
Favorite Character: Rory
Least Favorite Character: Jane
The thrilling third installment to the Edgar-nominated, bestselling series.
Rory and her friends are reeling from a series of sudden and tragic events. While racked with grief, Rory tries to determine if she acted in time to save a member of the squad. If she did, how do you find a ghost? Also, Rory’s classmate Charlotte has been kidnapped by Jane and her nefarious organization. Evidence is uncovered of a forty-year-old cult, ten missing teenagers, and a likely mass murder. Everything indicates that Charlotte’s in danger, and it seems that something much bigger and much more terrible is coming.
Time is running out as Rory fights to find her friends and the ghost squad struggles to stop Jane from unleashing her spectral nightmare on the entire city. In the process, they'll discover the existence of an organization that underpins London itself—and Rory will learn that someone she trusts has been keeping a tremendous secret.