*ahem* SPOILER ALERT! SPOILER ALERT! BEEP BEEP BOOP SPOILER ALERT! SPILLS AND SPILLS OF SPOILS AHEAD. If you have not read books one and two of Maureen Johnson’s Shades of London series then you really shouldn’t be reading the third one, The Shadow Cabinet. Seriously, leave now. I wrote about the first one too, so go find that and read to your hearts content, then read the books in order. I don’t want to tell you how to live your life (I’m lying, I love telling people what to do. Listen to me and it will all be ok.) but you should read these books and you should read them in order. There are cliffhangers! If you don’t read them in order you won’t be hanging off the cliff, you’ll be next to the cliff saying “hmmmm I see what could have happened…well that would have been exciting.” So, basically, keep reading if you’ve read one and two, if not smell ya later, noob.
Since everybody that is reading this right now has read books one and two I’m going to just let this out. WHAT? WHAT? WHAT? *deep breath* ok, so we end The Madness Underneath with Stephen dying (That was painful to type. Also if you didn’t listen to my spoiler alert, I just gave you the ending of the second book…so, there’s that.) and The Shadow Cabinet picks up exactly where it left off. This book was kind of a blur, to be honest. There is a lot going on and a lot of different problems to solve. Which is ok, because Rory is maturing and not as much stuck in her head. If she was as all over the place in this book as she was in The Madness Underneath this one would have been hard to follow. She’s made her choices and is dealing with the consequences. I think, because of some of the poor decisions she made in the last book, she’s a little more cautious but still decisive.
Timeline wise this book is action packed. However, there is a lot of new information that needs to be covered and new characters to meet and this slowed down the action quite a bit. The story happens in about a four day period. A fact which popped up every once in a while and seriously surprised me every time. I always felt like more time should have passed given how much had happened. I don’t think this took away from the book, in fact I think it put the reader more in Rory’s shoes. What she is going through is a tornado of adventure, information, and emotions, and tornados tend to be a little disorienting at times…that’s what I’ve gathered from watching The Wizard of Oz anyway.
From what I understand there will be one more book and I’m very curious to see how it’s put together. There were new characters, organizations, problems, and villains that were all introduced and just beginning to develop in this story so I’m excited to see where they end up, but I’m also worried that with such a complex world and so many elements being introduced all the time, we may lose sight of some of our favorite old characters and plot lines. Since The Shadow Cabinet just came out a few weeks ago I will have a lot of time to think about what could happen next. Which is a real bummer because my anticipation levels are already higher than what can possibly be healthy.