Double Review: The Name of The Star and The Madness Underneath by Maureen Johnson

The Name of the Star (Shades of London, #1)

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 originally read The Name of the Star back in December or January or something stupid amounts of books ago, but I haven't read it for review and ended up never putting a review up for it. Reason I am doing a review now is because I received The Madness Underneath for review and would hate to put my review for that up without reviewing book #1. So these are going to be kind of mini reviews for them both.

I wasn't expecting to enjoy The Name of the Star as much as I did, simply because I hadn't enjoyed 13 Little Blue enveloped by Johnson. But I ended up really liking it, it was a very pleasant surprise. I guess I really liked Rory; she's funny, random, clever and at times incredibly stupid as well, I loved it! I also really liked all of the other characters - Jazza was a great friend and I loved how different she was from Rory, the dynamics were awesome, I did also really like Jerome though not as much as I would have wanted for a possible romance.

The story was well written and fun, as well as being an awesome murder mystery it's also the story of Rory trying to discover herself in a new country. There are a few twists in the book and frankly I wasn't too sure about them to start with, but they worked and as soon as I put the book down I was excited to read #2!

The Madness Underneath (Shades of London, #2)

When madness stalks the streets of London, no one is safe…

There's a creepy new terror haunting modern-day London.
Fresh from defeating a Jack the Ripper killer, Rory must put her new-found hunting skills to the test before all hell breaks loose…

But enemies are not always who you expect them to be and crazy times call for crazy solutions. A thrilling teen mystery.

The Madness Underneath picks up a few weeks after The Name of the Star and the beginning is pretty mundane as Johnson is introducing us to what has happened in the gap between the books, pretty soon though it all picks up and there is a new mystery to be solved by Rory and the gang. I was worried that this would make it pretty samey to the first book, but thankfully this book takes a different route and manages to shock the readers again. In my opinion, this was actually better than the first book!

Rory now knows about her ability, but she is still coming to terms with what it means for her. I really liked Rory in this book as she seemed a lot more grown up than in The Name of the Star. The character that really changed for me here though is Stephen - he became one of my favorite book boys really quickly and I just fell in love with him. We don't get as much of Jazza and Jerome and gang in this book, but the other characters were just as good.

And that ending!!! Maureen Johnson has driven me into a pit of despair and panic, I really cannot WAIT to read the third book! 

The Name of The Star was released September 29th 2011 and The Madness Underneath was released March 26th 2013 by Harpercollins Children's Books (UK)
The Name of the Star was received via swap
The Madness Underneath was received from the publisher in exchange for an honest review

1 comment

  1. I am really unsure whether to read this book! :/ I could have bought it at the book fair for my school, but i pushed it back. But now that I've read your review, I am convinced to read this! It makes my opinions what I thought it would be totally different than how it is. ^^

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