Wednesday, May 17, 2017

Shades of London Series by Maureen Johnson

Shades of London Series by Maureen Johnson
Published between 2011-2015
Summary on Goodreads

I wasn’t sure what to expect heading into this series but surprisingly, I really enjoyed it.  It was entertaining, quick to read, the characters were developed enough and the overall pace of the book was good – it had the necessary plot twists and ups and downs to keep the reader engaged.

Rory, the main character in this series, comes from Louisiana and is basically uprooted to London.  There was a relatively vague reasoning as to why – something to do with her parents but basically she’s there now and she enrolls in boarding school (obviously!  Because everyone in England goes to boarding school.).  Things happened and somehow she becomes involved with the Jack the Ripper copycat serial killing.  And this killing just snowballed into more and more sinister cases that is announced as the books continue.  Some part of me really like Rory – I think she was a headstrong girl who was very loyal to her friends and she just wants to do the right thing.  However, I thought she was slow at times.  There were definitely a few incidents when it was so obvious but somehow she couldn’t put two and two together and I just watched her stumble to find an answer. 

The rest of the characters – Boo, Callum, Stephen, Jerome and Jazza – were all great.  I thought they were all well-developed though I was a bit sad to see some of them disappear as the books continued but I guess that was to be expected as Rory moved on with the crazier mysteries.  Out of all of them, I really enjoyed Boo and Jazza the most.  Especially during that short stint when they were all roommates and how much their personalities clashed with each other – Boo being the carefree one and Jazza the studious and cautious one.  I think both of them really helped develop Rory as the main character as well.

The plots between the three books were relatively similar in the way that all of them solve some sort of gnarly mystery and they’re all supernatural/paranormal to the core.  However, I think the second book was definitely the most lacking.  Now that I am reflecting on all three books, somehow I can’t remember much of what happened in the second at all.  And apparently I’m not the only one since I even went on Goodreads to kind of give me a quick refresher and I noticed that all of the other reviews discussed how pretty much nothing went on in the second book.  Yet the writing style and the pace was so well done that you don’t even notice that until towards the end.  Crazy, right?

Despite the lack of the second book – I’m going to consider the second book more as a precursor to the third book – I still enjoyed this overall series/trilogy.  One thing I’m a little confused about though was the fact that the third book ended perfectly to have a fourth book but it’s been 2 years and there’s no sign of an additional book.  So I’m not sure if she’s amping up for one or just gave the series up entirely or what.  So because of that, there’s definitely a huge cliffhanger at the end of the series so if you’re not into that interpretative BS then by all means, do not check this series out.  Otherwise, totally go for it.




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