The Shadow Cabinet by Maureen Johnson

Posted 16 March, 2015 by Heather in Blog, Book Review, Heather, Heather Book Review / 8 Comments

The Shadow Cabinet by Maureen JohnsonThe Shadow Cabinet by Maureen Johnson
Series: Shades of London #3
Published by Putnam Juvenile on February 10, 2015
Genres: Death & Dying, Fantasy, Ghost, Kidnapping, Mystery and Suspense, Paranormal, Thriller, Thrillers, Young Adult
Pages: 384
Format: Hardcover
Source: Bought
Buy on Amazon
4.5 Stars

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.

I love Maureen Johnson, and The Shades of London series is a great series full of ghosts, thrilling chases, and mysteries to solve. But the wait for this third installment just about killed me at nearly two years. Even though The Shadow Cabinet picks up right where The Madness Underneath left off, I struggled to remember exactly what had happened, except for the giant, evil, game-changing cliffhanger that the second book had ended on.

The Entire Team Isn’t Dealing Well With Tragedy…

When one of the ghost extermination team was lost at the end of the second book, Rory unwittingly used her terminus powers when they died. Now they think that person might be a ghost, so Rory and the rest of the team want to scour the city looking for them. But the man in charge of their secret group, Thorpe, knows that getting Rory into hiding from the cult leader Jane who tried to kidnap her is their first priority.

Rory’s drowning in grief, but doesn’t have time to wallow…

What I love most about Rory is that while most girls would curl up and go comatose after all that she’s been through, she just wants to get right back out there and try to do something about her situation. She still maintains some of her weird sense of humor, and brings up her weird relatives from Louisiana and even more strange places and things that happened back when she lived in the states. These parts of the book really lightened some of the heavier parts of the book up. But she does still go off on her own to try to solve things her way, and boy, does she find trouble every time. They still have to find where the cult leader Jane has taken Rory’s former classmate Charlotte, and time is ticking down.

Cults, Secret Societies, Conspiracy Theories…

The Wexford boarding school is a thing of the past in this book, and I liked not having to read about it. Rory’s ex-boyfriend Jerome does come out to help them find Charlotte, and he brings a new character with him to hunt down the missing Rory. Freddie definitely knows her ancient history and conspiracy theories, but she certainly didn’t think that any of it would be true. Their ghost seeing abilities definitely come in handy during these investigations, otherwise they might never find the answers that they seek.


Rating 4.5

I give The Shadow Cabinet a 4.5 ouf 5. New villains are introduced in the form of twins that may or may not be able to live in Rory’s plane of existence, and they are definitely one of the more enjoyable parts of this book that I look forward to reading more of in the next installment. The budding romance between Rory and head ghost nabber Stephen is a rocky road, and I won’t spoil it–but I really enjoyed the parts where they were finally together and happy. This one ended on another doozy of a cliffhanger, so hopefully the wait won’t be as long for the fourth book.



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I'm a PhD chemist who loves sarcasm, music, and books-paranormal, mystery, thriller, suspense, horror, and romance. Most of my free time is spent at the martial arts studio these days--whether practicing Combat Hapkido or reading books while watching my son's Taekwondo classes, or even working up a sweat with Kickboxing for fun. Goodreads

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8 Responses to “The Shadow Cabinet by Maureen Johnson”

  1. I love the sound of this series more and more with each new review I read 🙂 I’ve put the first book on my list – now I just have to decide between formats. Maureen Johnson is such an accomplished story weaver I’m really embarrassed that it took so long for me to add this to my list. Bad, bad me! A very considerate and comprehensive review 🙂
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    Heather 3/16/2015

    Definitely check this series out, Ramona, but this third book ends on a cliffhanger too. I think there’s supposed to be one more book to wrap things up.

    My favorite Maureen Johnson books are the Little Blue Envelope series. If you haven’t read those, you should definitely look into them. Great contemporary series. 🙂
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