Krista Reviews: Maureen Johnson -"The Name of the Star"


Book summary

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.

A much anticipated novel from Maureen Johnson, I held high hopes of seeing her venture into supernatural mystery. I knew from previous books that this author can really keep the reader’s interest and has very relatable to characters. I am very excited to say that she does not disappoint!

It took me some time to get into the book; there was a lot of filler about the main character, her family, her life and the new school she was attending. As this is the first in a trilogy, it made more sense to me to have the extra details in there to set up the whole series. I started to really get into the story about halfway in, when we see the Ripper set his eyes on Rory.

I felt that Rory’s character kind of holds back and I hope to see her open up and become stronger throughout the series. But she is definitely brave and you will find yourself rooting for her. As Rory delves deeper into the Ripper mystery and her connection to it, the story becomes more intense and gripping. I was pleased to see that the murder scenes are not too shy on the details. You get enough info that you can picture the scene, but not make your stomach turn.

I have to give major props to all the details and research that went into this story. It was very appreciated and noticeable. I really enjoyed the addition of ghosts and the secret ghost police. The combination of real life with the supernatural worked well. The thing I appreciated the most, from the beginning of the story, was the lack of drama and gossip. The characters were so reasonable when it came to student interactions. I was just not ready to read another book that had over the top drama with a new girl, in a new country, at a new school. I know you have all heard that one before! This story takes it to a level where sometimes it’s just normal that people can get along, even with a whole new list of social rules to follow.

Even though I have yet to read all of her books, Maureen Johnson has never failed me. At this point I would recommend any of her books. This by far is one of my favorites by her—she knows how to tell an interesting story.

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.

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The Name of the Star—Maureen Johnson

Hardcover, 370 pages

Expected publication: September 29th 2011, by Putnam

Series: Shades of London #1

  • ISBN-10: 0399256601
  • ISBN-13: 978-0399256608

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