The Shadow Cabinet by Maureen Johnson, published by Hot Key Books on 5th February 2015
Grieving, shaken, and feeling very much alone, Rory's life as a member of the Shades of London has changed irrevocably. It's only been a matter of hours since Stephen was taken from her, possibly for ever. Her classmate Charlotte is still missing, kidnapped by the same people who tried to take Rory. Rory is no longer a schoolgirl haplessly involved in the dealings of a secret government unit. She is their weapon in a matter of life and death.
With hardly a moment to think for herself, Rory is back to work. Charlotte must be found -- as must Stephen, if he is even out there. Lines must be drawn and forces rallied. Something is brewing under London, something bigger and much more dangerous than what has come before. The Shadow Cabinet holds the key to everything, and it is up to Rory to unravel its mysteries before time runs out...
‘The Shadow Cabinet’ is the third book in the Shades of London series. I thought this was the concluding part but judging by the ending, there is still more in store for Rory and co. I do think that the overall storyline could have been wrapped up in three books but Maureen Johnson obviously has more twists and turns up her sleeves.
The story picks up after the events of ‘The Madness Underneath’, with Stephen in hospital and Rory expelled from school. Things begin to get very strange as she starts to unravel the truth about what is going on beneath the streets of London. It was strange not seeing Rory at school and actually I missed that a lot in this book. I always enjoyed seeing her trying to maintain a normal school life with her newfound abilities and I felt that this offered an air of reality about proceedings. It took a bit of getting used to not having that feature as part of this instalment. At the same time, I did enjoy following Rory through the streets of London and visiting some very familiar landmarks.
Now, it’s a long time since I read the previous books in this series, so I felt like I needed a recap at the start and that’s just what I got. That helped to ease me back in and caught me up with everything I needed to know about the plot and the characters. I will admit that I got a little lost at times with some of the paranormal elements of the story but Maureen Johnson did a good job of steering things back on track and sucking me back in again.
Lots of terrible things happen in the book and the characters don’t always get what they want but I think this is reflective of life in general. It also helped to keep me on the edge of my seat because I had no doubt that just about anyone could meet a sticky end if the plot called for it.
The ending packed a real punch and definitely left me wanting more. I honestly have no idea what will be thrown at the characters next but it's exciting waiting to find out.