Friday, May 8, 2015

Book Review: THE SHADOW CABINET by Maureen Johnson

Things I think you might need to know about this particular review:
1.     Yes, I recently binge read FIVE Maureen Johnson books, and I have no problem admitting that!
2.     This review is for the third book in the Shades of London series, The Shadow Cabinet and while it isn’t my FAVORITE in the series, the series overall deserves a hearty I LOVE THESE BOOKS!
3.     Once again we have that dicey situation where I have to tell you about this book, and this series, without GIVING AWAY ANY SPOILERS! Dang, I hate that responsibility! So, I will skirt around that issue, while telling you in very GENERAL terms why these are fun books to read.

Here’s the official synopsis, from Goodreads:
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.

The Shades of London series is a fun paranormal with a historical twist. Because that’s what I like to write, it doesn’t get any better than that as far as I’m concerned! UNLESS IT IS MAUREEN JOHNSON WRITING IT!

She is so very funny in real life, and her humor shines through in these books. Plus, the character development is fantastic. The protagonist, Rory, is a smart, courageous, sometimes sassy girl—I LOVE that! She’s a ghost hunter—a member of a squad of ghost hunters—, and by this third book she has a special power that allows her to, uh, assist ghosts on their way to the next realm should that be necessary. As you read the books you come to feel like you know the rest of the cast of characters. And in this book there is a new character that I LOVE—an intelligent, kickass female who could have a series of books of her own, should Ms. Johnson ever decide to do that.

The second book in the series ended with a cliffhanger to end all cliffhangers and I don’t know how people who read Book Two, The Madness Underneath, when it first came out were able to wait for the third book. Seriously. Fortunately, before I started Book Two I read that there was a cliffhanger and I ran out and got this new book before I finished the second one. I STRONGLY suggest you do the same if you’re about to start reading this series from the beginning.

The first two books have a little romance in them, so some kissing, but there’s little or no kissing in this third book. I know some readers have been unhappy about that. But I didn’t say that there’s no romance or wishing to kiss, just no actual kissing.

VERY PERSONAL ADMISSION WARNING:  This is the first book that I’ve read that’s had ghosts in it for a couple of years. I’ve always loved ghost books, until I had a little ghost issue of my own, and I swore off them for a while. My resident ghost has been quiet for a few months so when I picked up the first book in the series, The Name of the Star, I was feeling comfortable enough to start reading something with a ghost. So glad I did—I loved the ghosts in these books, both the good and not-so-good.

Now go start reading Maureen Johnson’s The Shades of London series!

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