Book Review: The Shadow Cabinet by Maureen Johnson

The Shadow Cabinet CoverBook: The Shadow Cabinet by Maureen Johnson

Published October 2014 by Putnam Juvenile|374 pages

Where I Got It: I borrowed the e-book from the library

Series: Shades Of London #3

Genre: YA Mystery/Paranormal- Ghosts

What It’s About: 

At the end of Maureen Johnson’s New York Times bestselling novel, The Madness Underneath, Rory, Callum and Boo are reeling from the sudden and tragic death of their friend and squad leader, Stephen. The Shadow Cabinet picks up where readers left off, and now Rory is convinced there must be a way to bring Stephen back. Meanwhile, new dangers arise: Rory’s classmate Charlotte is missing, and Jane and her nefarious organization are clearly planning something big—with Rory as their most valuable asset. Time is running out as the ghost squad struggles to protect London and Rory fights to bring Stephen back.

What I Thought:

I liked The Shadow Cabinet!  I didn’t like it as much as I liked the previous 2 books in the series, but I still liked it!

I think part of why I didn’t like it as much was that I assumed that it was the last book in a trilogy- most YA series are trilogies, and since this was the third one, it kind of made sense to me that this was the last one…except it wasn’t.  I remember reading it, and as I got closer to the end, I really started to feel like it wasn’t really wrapping up things like a last book normally would.  I was surprised to learn that there’s at least one more book after this.  Normally, it’s not something that would affect my feelings towards a book, but it really did in this case.

Still, where things are headed and this ghostly world made so much more sense after reading this one.  Things definitely feel like they’re actually headed somewhere, which is nice, because it was something that I didn’t really get from the first 2 books.  I did find that I had to re-read the previous books in order to actually get into this one, because initially, I had trouble getting into the book.  It is nice knowing that the series isn’t just a bunch of random events that aren’t going anywhere.

Still, it felt really random, and the information we learn in this book…where was that in the other two books? It felt like it missing the creepiness and mystery that the previous books had.  At times, it felt like I was reading a different series, but I think it’s probably because this one is really more of a transitional book than anything else.  It definitely shows a paranormal world much bigger than what I ever expected to see in The Name Of The Star.

My Rating:

3 stars.  I liked it, and what we learned about the book, and it feels like the series is heading somewhere.  But at the same time, it feels like a very different book that isn’t as strong as the previous books in the series.

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