Wednesday, November 23, 2011

The Name of the Star by Maureen Johnson

The Name of the Star
(Shades of London #1)
by Maureen Johnson
Summary from Goodreads:

"The day Louisiana teenager Rory Deveaux arrives in London marks a memorable occasion. For Rory, it's the start of a new life at a London boarding school. But for many, this will be remembered as the day a series of brutal murders broke out across the city, gruesome crimes mimicking the horrific Jack the Ripper events of more than a century ago.

Soon "Rippermania" takes hold of modern-day London, and the police are left with few leads and no witnesses. Except one. Rory spotted the man police believe to be the prime suspect. But she is the only one who saw him. Even her roommate, who was walking with her at the time, didn't notice the mysterious man. So why can only Rory see him? And more urgently, why has Rory become his next target? In this edge-of-your-seat thriller, full of suspense, humor, and romance, Rory will learn the truth about the secret ghost police of London and discover her own shocking abilities."


This book was not something I thought I’d see myself reading; simply because it’s outside my comfort zone. I don’t really read books with ghosts and gruesome murder in it since I’m too much of a scaredy-cat when it comes to stories like that.

Thankfully, The Name of the Star didn’t strike any awfully, nauseating gruesomeness or horror-ish scenes. It’s a little spooky and mysterious, but not something that kept me awake in the middle of the night.

Anyway, I’ve heard of Jack the Ripper before but I didn’t really know any more details other than he’s a killer. Maureen Johnson’s intake of this legend was well enough to help get a few more elaborate details on Jack the Ripper. Although the facts are still murky and I still have a lot of questions in mind. I’d probably get more answers as this series progresses.

Surprisingly, I found the Name of the Star a very enjoyable book to read. It may be on the slow side but the way the plot was executed and all the history behind how this all began was something I very much appreciated. It’s a little scarce on the romance side and I kind of didn’t get the whole Rory and Jerome relationship. I feel like it didn’t count as the romance part since I didn’t get giddy over their make-out sessions. I sort of picture Rory to be better off with Stephen, they seem to have more in common in all this.

So all in all, I really liked this book and anyone who likes paranormal stories and mystery should definitely give this a try. Plus the ending would certainly make you want to read the next book.


  1. I loved this! I really enjoyed the Ripper story - and I also didn't know much about it beforehand. The only problem I had was the motive for the murders which I found was stupid. It's not like they were going to go after him if he didn't start killing. Anyways. Glad you liked it :)

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  2. As she struggles with the social customs of the school, Rory meets Jerome and her roommate Jazza. Rory and Jazza are walking together when the Louisiana native notices the killer; her new friend fails to see anything. Rory realizes she sees ghosts that other people and the cameras fail to notice. She tells the police who assume she is a typical American teen. However, the killer notices Rory as a threat and plans to bury her.


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