Wednesday, March 11, 2015

Shadow Cabinet by Maureen Johnson [Review]

The Shadow Cabinet (Shades of London, #3)3.5 out of 5 Robots!

The Shadow Cabinet by Maureen Johnson

Series: Shades of London #3
Genre: YA Paranormal
Release: February 10, 2015
Hardcover:  384 Pages
Publisher: Putnam Juvenile
My Copy: Purchased
Reviewer: Shannon

Book Summary:
The thrilling third installment to the Edgar-nominated, bestselling series.

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.

(Courtesy of the Publisher)

Shannon's Thoughts:
I honestly thought this was the last book in the series, so when I got to the end I was surprised by how many loose strings were left at the end.  But then I realized there will be at least one more installment, so it now makes a lot more sense!  But, I'm not sure how I feel about it being a 4+ book series, especially given what the main premise now seems to be. 

Here is what I liked:
**I love the overall set up with the ghost squad.  This is my favorite part of the series.  I love all the squad members and how they all come from such diverse backgrounds, but all have the ability to see ghosts, which set them apart from the rest of society.  

**I liked how the squad had to really pull together after losing Stephen.  I also liked Freddie, a new character who becomes fairly indispensable to the team.  She is a convenient plot device since she magically has all the answers and figures everything out, but I enjoyed her nonetheless.

**I like the relationship between Stephen and Rory.  It is sweet.  Both have a lot of baggage, but they help each other through it.  I am definitely rooting for these two.

**Rory also takes a turn for the better.  I remember her being very impulsive and being frustrated over her rash decisions.  But now she realizes she needs to let other people in and starts to work with others.  Not that she completely stops making impulsive decisions, but she definitely plays better with others.

Here is what I didn't like:
**I'm not sure I really like the Sid/Sadie situation.  Something just bothered me about it.  I didn't really like the whole cult scene and I didn't really like reading about Sid and Sadie themselves.  They were irritating.  This is a bit problematic since they become the main focus of the book and will be continue to be the focus in the next book.

**As I mentioned, I was pretty thrown off by this not being the last book.  I’m not sure this series needs to be longer than 3 books.  I have a bit of a conundrum because while I really do like the overall premise of the series, I am not interested on the Sid/Sadie focus.  So I’m not sure I will be back for the final installment.  Actually, that’s a lie.  I probably will be back…but only if it is truly the last book!

**Again, I did not like the “mystery” in the book.  It seems a far cry off from where the series originated.  And this really boils down to personal taste because I am not interested in cultish practices, the 70s, the Egyptian rites, or the twins themselves (I could not handle the way they talked!)  None of this is stuff I like or really would choose to read about.  But I will say it is well constructed, so you may get something completely different from it. 

**Lastly, this book felt looonnggg.  It starts off immediately after the second book (which was slightly disorientating because I couldn’t remember a lot of the details from the previous book) and then hits a huge slump as the team runs around trying to find Stephen.  It doesn’t start to pick up again until the end.

This kills me a little to rate the book 3.5 stars because I think this series overall is great.  I just didn't jive with this book.  A lot of that is personal preference though so take everything I say with a grain of salt!

Other Books in the Series:
0.5 - The Boy in the Smoke
1. - The Name of the Star
2. - The Madness Underneath
3. - The Shadow Cabinet
4. - Untitled (expected publication 2016)

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