Thanks to Putnam Juvenile for sending a review copy of Maureen Johnson's The Shadow Cabinet. I'm actually 1 book behind in the series (listening to The Madness Underneath), so my friend Kate reviewed the 3rd book in the series for me.
The Shadow Cabinet (Shades of London, Book 3) by Maureen Johnson
Publication date: 10 February 2015 by Putnam Juvenile
Category: Young Adult Paranormal
Keywords: Ghosts, Murder, Mystery
Format: Hardcover, ebook, audiobook
Source: ARC from publisher for review
This review is a hard one to write because I don’t want to give away any of the fun surprises that I got to experience in reading this third installment of the Shades of London series by Maureen Johnson.
I really liked this book. I was attracted to the original book, The Name of The Star, because of its connection to the Jack the Ripper lore and history. The strange thing is, as I have read the follow-up books, I see that the first book was constrained by some of the Jack the Ripper references. Though it did draw some of us readers in, it also added limitations to the world that Maureen Johnson has set up since then; a world I love to visit. With each book, we get a deeper glimpse into the darker side of London’s history--both normal and paranormal--making London a full-fledged character in the books.
In The Shadow Cabinet, the squad must come back from a shattering upset to continue the search for Charlotte and to stop Jane’s evil plans. A few odd bookshop keepers and a set of twins that don’t seem to play by any rules give Rory a run for her money. However, the “bad guys” aren’t the only ones to receive a boost in their roister. Rory’s additional backup arrives from an unusual and unlikely source.
For those readers looking for romance, there isn’t much I can give away except to say that this book does a good job of staying away from the love triangle push and pull that can be found in a lot of Young Adult titles. Though the romance may be seen as a bit lacking to some, the development of the team’s relationships and the supernatural lore more than makes up for it. There are references not just to the old world lore of the English Isles, but Greek mythology as well. As the story continues to unfold, we see just how psychedelic London got in the early '70s as well as glimpse the ghostly culture of its past and present.
Faced with ancient rites and modern day codes, Rory must wade through the fog and haze wherever it may lead, to save her friends, herself, and the whole of England. What is a girl to do when the odds are against her, but there is no way to turn back?
While I enjoyed the twists and surprises of The Shadow Cabinet, it is also a nice set-up to the fourth and final book in the series. I can’t wait to see how this one ends.
I'm giving away either THE SHADOW CABINET in hardcover OR THE NAME OF THE STAR and THE MADNESS UNDERNEATH in paperback or audiobook (winner's choice).
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