The Shadow Cabinet by Maureen Johnson
G.P. Putnam’s Sons, 2015
Available: Hardcover, Paperback, Kindle edition, Audio
Secret societies, mass murder, a journey into the land between life and death, and a cataclysmic event that threatens to destroy all of London—The Shadow Cabinet is full of action, intrigue, and answers that are exactly what fans of the Shades of London series have been waiting for.
The third installment of Maureen Johnson’s Edgar-nominated, bestselling series picks up where the cliffhanger ending of Johnson’s last book, The Madness Underneath, left off. Rory Deveaux has the ability to see and destroy ghosts. She and other the other members of the ghost squad, still reeling from the death of Stephen, are on a search for answers. What they discover leads them to an ancient cult, a sinister plot, and a final showdown unlike anything they’ve encountered before.
Fans of conspiracy theories and Illuminati-like, secret organizations will delight in the secrets that are uncovered in The Shadow Cabinet. The ending leaves readers with no doubt that big things are coming for Rory and the rest of the squad.
Johnson’s characters are diverse and captivating. Rory’s offbeat humor and innate ability to find herself in difficult situations makes her a protagonist readers can easily connect with. Narcissistic siblings Sid and Sadie offer a hypnotizing blend of detachment, egocentric affection, and twisted, hilarious interactions that will simultaneously delight and unnerve readers. Johnson’s wit lends itself beautifully to the development of both the storyline and the characters.
The Shadow Cabinet offers ample background for readers who have not read the first two books in the series, without bogging down established fans with an unnecessary retelling of events. This third installment could easily stand on its own as an intriguing read. Recommended for ages 12 and older.
Reviewed by Heather Hurley