Review Blog

Mar 11 2015

The shadow cabinet by Maureen Johnson

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The shadow cabinet by Maureen Johnson
Shades of London Bk 3. Hot Key Books, 2015. ISBN 9781471401800
(Age 14+) Recommended. Mystery. Thriller. Ghosts. Rory feels all alone. Stephen has been taken from her and Charlotte her classmate is missing, taken by the same people who tried to kidnap her. She has left school and is now an important weapon in the secret government unit that Stephen was involved with. There is danger in London and something called The Shadow Cabinet seems to hold the key to the mysteries that Rory needs to uncover.
Johnson sets a crackling pace with ghosts in Highgate Cemetery and strange supernatural occurrences and cults. Her opening chapter is set in December 1973 and relates the diabolical ritual that the twins Sid and Sadie, assisted by Jane have instigated. This sets the tone for the novel and the themes of life and death for the remainder of the book permeate the story.
Sid and Sadie would have to be among the scariest characters that I have read about in YA fiction and take this story into the horror realm which will delight fans of Johnson, who has been voted Queen of Teen in the UK and who certainly writes relatable characters. Rory continues to grow as she faces new challenges and Callum and Boo persist in intriguing and making the reader want to find out their back stories. With the introduction of Freddie who has been communicating with Stephen and following him around London, Johnson provides the reader with interesting information about the Shadow Cabinet and the rites that Sid and Sadie may have been involved with. For fans of the series Johnson has provided Stephen's backstory, The boy in the smoke, at the Wattpad website.
This is an enjoyable read and fans of the series will be anxiously waiting the climax in the fourth and last book.
Pat Pledger

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