Here's the summary from Goodreads: After her near-fatal run-in with the Jack the Ripper copycat, Rory Devereaux has been living in Bristol under the close watch of her parents. So when her therapist suddenly suggests she return to Wexford, Rory jumps at the chance to get back to her friends. But Rory's brush with the Ripper touched her more than she thought possible: she's become a human terminus, with the power to eliminate ghosts on contact. She soon finds out that the Shades--the city's secret ghost-fighting police--are responsible for her return. The Ripper may be gone, but now there is a string of new inexplicable deaths threatening London. Rory has evidence that the deaths are no coincidence. Something much more sinister is going on, and now she must convince the squad to listen to her before it's too late.
What I Liked: 1) I was glad to see Rory head back to Wexford, after everything that had happened there in the first book. There was a lot more to come from this setting, and I felt like it really tied the first book and second books together. Maureen Johnson has an awesome way of describing her settings without being obvious about it, and I really felt like I was right there alongside Rory because I could visualize everything so vividly. 2) "Secret Ghost-Fighting Police." Seriously. I still love that part of the story. Now that Rory is a human terminus (the ghost killing machine), she has a lot to do. I mean, basically The Shades can't do anything without her. This opened up a lot of different possibilities within the story. 3) Callum. He's my favorite. My sister loves Stephen and wants Stephen and Rory to be together. Psh. Stephen is boring, IMHO. I like Callum. He's the funny, charming one.
What I Didn't Like: 1) Oh, the second book trap. *headdesk* Sadly, this book fell into this trap and stayed there, from beginning to end. It moved pretty slow and was missing a lot of the intrigue and plot elements that I so enjoyed from the first one. Other than something that happened at the very end, it felt like filler. 2) The humor! When I think of Maureen Johnson, I think FUNNY. She's hysterical on Twitter, and there was some awesome humor in The Name of the Star. But it wasn't here in this one. I don't think it needed to be a knee-slapper, but I just was expecting the same level as The Name of the Star.
Overall Thoughts: The Madness Underneath was good. It wasn't as good as The Name of the Star, not as good as I was anticipating. Maureen Johnson has a great way of describing her locations in a way that make the reader feel like they are living the scenes. And I really love some of the characters. I was sad that most of the book fell into that second book trap and felt mostly like filler, just leading up to the final event, and whatever is to come next. So I'm looking forward to the next book, and I have high hopes for it.
My Rating: 3 shots