Fantasy, mystery, paranormal, young adult

Book Review: The Shadow Cabinet by Maureen Johnson

Title: The Shadow Cabinet (Shades Book 3)
Author: Maureen Johnson
Publisher: G.P. Putnam’s Sons Books for Young Readers
Length: 385, Hardback
Genre: Young Adult, Paranormal, fantasy, mystery
Rating: 4 Folded Pages

Warning: Spoilers in the blurb.

Book 1: The Name of the Star Review | Book 2: The Madness Underneath Review

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.

As much as I loved The Name of the Star I can’t say that the second book or this lived up to how much I loved the first one. I think both of them had sequel syndrome.

I enjoyed the overall plot but I found Rory’s personality to be kind of annoying instead of fun. Don’t get me wrong, I still really enjoyed this book. It just was a bit slower and not as good as I had hoped.

I can’t say much else without spoiling the plot of this book and the first two. I will say that so far I enjoy the series as a whole and can’t wait to get my hands on the prequel.

Fantasy, mystery, paranormal, young adult

Book Review: The Madness Underneath by Marueen Johnson

Title: The Madness Underneath
Author: Maureen Johnson
Publisher: G.P. Putnam’s Sons Books for Young Readers
Length: 384, Hardback
Genre: Young Adult, Paranormal, fantasy, mystery
Rating: 4 Folded Pages

Warning!!: Spoiler for the first book in the blurb. Read at your own risk.

To see my review of the first book in the Shade Series click here.

After her near-fatal run-in with the Jack the Ripper copycat, Rory Devereaux has been living in Bristol under the close watch of her parents. So when her therapist suddenly suggests she return to Wexford, Rory jumps at the chance to get back to her friends. But Rory’s brush with the Ripper touched her more than she thought possible: she’s become a human terminus, with the power to eliminate ghosts on contact. She soon finds out that the Shades—the city’s secret ghost-fighting police—are responsible for her return. The Ripper may be gone, but now there is a string of new inexplicable deaths threatening London. Rory has evidence that the deaths are no coincidence. Something much more sinister is going on, and now she must convince the squad to listen to her before it’s too late.

In this follow-up to the Edgar Award-nominated THE NAME OF THE STAR, Maureen Johnson adds another layer of spectacularly gruesome details to the streets of London that will keep you on the edge of your seat until the very end.

The Name of the Star (the first book in this series) has recently gotten the coveted 5 folded pages from me and I think The Madness Underneath is a pretty solid follow up. I definitely wasn’t expecting most of what happened in the novel.

Once again, Rory completely charms me with her wit and ability to handle what comes at her. I love that we see her struggle with what happened to her and Maureen Johnson does an amazing job at representing and showing mental illness in this novel without all the stigma usually attached.

I can’t talk too much on other points without giving away important details of the first book or this book. But I didn’t really know what to expect from this novel and I definitely didn’t expect what happened in both good and bad ways (bad only because it ripped my heart out).

I do think the novel felt a little disjointed at times and I wasn’t quite sure of the point here and there but I couldn’t put it down and ended up finishing it in two days. It kind of felt like a novella that would tie the third book to the first book but I enjoyed that.

I’ve already started the third book in the series and honestly I’m still loving the world (not unlike our own but it has differences) that Johnson has built.

Fantasy, mystery, paranormal, young adult

Book Review: The Name of the Star by Maureen Johnson

the name of the star

Title: The Name of the Star
Author: Maureen Johnson
Publisher: Speak
Length: 400 pages, Paperback
Genre: Young Adult, Paranormal, fantasy, mystery
Rating: 5 folded pages

New York Times bestseller Maureen Johnson takes on Jack the Ripper in this captivating paranormal thriller!

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.

I’ve done it guys, this is only the third novel I’ve reviewed on this blog that I’ve given five folded pages. It’s finally happened! I wasn’t sure it was ever going to happen but I can honestly say I have nothing bad to say about The Name of the Star.

This was a reread for me. I read it wayyyy back when I first started college. I started it August of 2011 but I’m pretty sure I didn’t finish it until December during break. It feels like forever ago. And it took me ages to finish because I hadn’t realized how intense my classes would be compared to high school classes.

I’m so glad I enjoyed it so much the second time around. There isn’t much to say about the book without revealing spoilers. The characters were awesome, I loved all of them. Even the uptight Stephen. I’m super excited to read the sequel and I hope it lives up to how much I absolutely love this one.

graphic novel, mystery, young adult

Graphic Novel Review: Ms. Marvel Volume 1: No Normal by G. Willow Wilson Art by Adrian Alphona

Ms Marvel graphic novel

Title: Ms. Marvel Vol. 1: No Normal
Author: G. Willow Wilson Art by Adrian Alphona
Publisher: Marvel
Length: 120, Paperback
Genre: Graphic Novel, Young Adult, Mystery
Rating: 3 Folded Pages

Marvel Comics presents the all-new Ms. Marvel, the groundbreaking heroine that has become an international sensation! Kamala Khan is an ordinary girl from Jersey City – until she is suddenly empowered with extraordinary gifts. But who truly is the all-new Ms. Marvel? Teenager? Muslim? Inhuman? Find out as she takes the Marvel Universe by storm! As Kamala discovers the dangers of her newfound powers, she unlocks a secret behind them as well. Is Kamala ready to wield these immense new gifts? Or will the weight of the legacy before her be too much to handle? Kamala has no idea either. But she’s comin’ for you, New York! It’s history in the making from acclaimed writer G. Willow Wilson (Air, Cairo) and beloved artist Adrian Alphona (Runaways)!

Ms. Marvel is a graphic novel that is sorely needed. It features a female lead, who is ethnically diverse with a cast that is just as different. That being said, I just don’t think this graphic novel was for me. I wish I had read this novel when I was still in high school.

Kamala is an amazingly real teenage girl and I think that’s why I’m annoyed with her. I’m no longer a teenage girl and though most times I can relate to them in novels this time I just found her annoying. I know I would have loved this graphic novel had I still been in high school and it breaks my heart that I can’t give it a killer review.

I love how diverse the cast is and doesn’t play heavily into stereotypes. All the teenagers act and feel like teenagers and although I find that annoying I also understand that it’s targeted at teenagers and I think it does an excellent job.

The artwork is also nicely done. I enjoy the simple but colorful style. It feels very classic Marvel and I appreciate that. I like that the traditional garb worn by Kamala’s friend and family is accurate and not exaggerated.

Although I personally didn’t enjoy this, I strongly believe it was mostly because of my age. I hope young girls in middle or high school read this and enjoy it. I wish I had this graphic novel when I was that age because I know it probably would have made a world of difference.