I have really mixed feelings on The Shadow Cabinet by Maureen Johnson. I really thought this was a trilogy and I’d be wrapping a series. Not only is this not a trilogy but it has the typical Maureen Johnson cliffhanger ending. In a way this sort of set me up for failure but it wasn’t an entirely bad situation.
On the other hand I got something that I had really hoped was true so it seems like a reasonable trade off. Even if things end up being more complicated because of it. The Shadow Cabinet was a bit harder for me because everything and everyone was so splintered. I spent a lot of it fearfully hoping things were going to work out.
I honestly feel like Rory really knew who she was in this book. In the first two books she was trying to figure out who she was in the world. In The Name of the Star she was a Southern American girl in London and in the The Madness Underneath she was trying to figure out where she fit in among the Shades.
There is a lot that happens in The Shadow Cabinet. I loved how Johnson tied her book back to mythology. It was truly a pleasant surprise. I’ve really enjoyed how she has tied history and strong beliefs to the plots in each of these books. Jack the Ripper in The Name of the Star was exactly what I needed for a great hook. The Shadow Cabinet was a bit of a goose chase all across London and so much detail was used. This book went pretty quickly for me and I enjoyed my trip through it.
Truthfully, for me, the series really could have been wrapped here. It’s been years between publication dates so I’m not sure how realistic a publication of book 4 is. It kind of stinks knowing that there is more to the story and we may never know it. Without getting spoilery the ending isn’t 100% satisfying but it is enough for me.
I listened to the audio of this for about 4 hours on a trip to IL and back home. The narrator does a great job representing Rory as a Southerner. I’ll continue to hope for book four but content myself with Johnson’s new works.
Leave a Reply