Book Review: Name of the Star

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Title: The Name of the Star (Shades of London #1)
Author: Maureen Johnson
Origins: My Local Library
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.

My Review: How many ways can you say “awesome”? However many you come up with, it’s still not enough to describe this book!

I, for one, love an unsolved mystery. They leave so much room for speculation! And perhaps the biggest unsolved mystery of them all is The Ripper. Now, I’ll admit I don’t know as much about the Ripper as I should. I prefer to learn about the unsolved mysteries through the lens of speculative fiction (Plain facts get boring) and I had yet to find one that appealed to me. But a ghost imitating the Ripper killings? I’m SO there!

The thing I loved best about this book is despite the fantastical elements, Rory is very normal. As and American girl who has been on exchange to England I really identified with Rory, but it was the little moments that really made it for me – smuggling the American foodstuffs you can’t bear to be without (Cheez Whiz for her, Ranch Dressing for me) and rationing it once you have it to make it last as long as possible, really struck a chord with me.

But the Ripper parts just made it ten times more awesome! I had no idea where this was going or who did it until the very end, and boy what a surprise! Once it was explained it made so much sense but I never saw it coming!

With so much of a bang in the first book, I have no idea how Johnson will continue the series but I cannot wait until she does!

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One Response to “Book Review: Name of the Star”

  1. Julie says:

    I'm looking forward to reading this book. Love anything to do with Victorian England and Jack the Ripper. Great review :)

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