The Name of the Star - Maureen Johnson

Saturday, January 28, 2012
Title: The Name of the Star
Author: Maureen Johnson
Pages: 372
Genre: Young Adult|Paranormal
Publication Date: 9/29/2011
Rating: *****
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.

A book about a killer mirroring Jack the Ripper? Heck yeah! Paranormal twist? Even better! I can say that I really enjoyed reading this one - some moments I would be laughing, other times sitting with eyebrows knit together, and of course other times I would be looking around the room in a frenzied paranoia, worried that for some unfathomable reason, a Jack the Ripper knock off was prancing about my house somewhere ready to strike at any moments notice (and of course, I HAVE to wonder, why do I do this? I have this same problem with horror films, which are of course way worse in my opinion. Yet, I still subject myself to their horrendous plots and crazy creatures). Note: I also caused myself to bubble up a little paranoia with The Body Finder by Kimberly Derting. I also tortured myself with Unsolved Mysteries on television as a kid. At night. In the dark. So with my rambling about my weird relationship with things involving mystery/horror/spooks out of the way...

I really liked how Rory was different from most of the heroines we meet. She wasn't anything grand, but I wouldn't say she was boring either, she was just normal. Rory is now at Wexford, a boarding school in London, coming all the way from Louisiana. She is spending her senior year there when soon, someone starts to copy the murders of Jack the Ripper.

This wasn't rushed, yet is wasn't painfully slow either. It was set a pretty decent pace. There wasn't a huge love triangle or conflict with other students, which frankly is a great change. It really focused on what was going on with the murders and finding out who was behind them. Oh, and about that...

Ms. Johnson did an excellent job in writing about the Ripper and his murders. She described enough that it was chilling but not in a blood and guts and wow that's really gross kind of way. I think she did a fantastic job in writing The Name of the Star. This is the first novel I have read by her, and am interested in more. I really can't wait until the next one comes out (I noticed this is a series, which makes me pretty excited, although I am going to have to wait until the end of September for the second book in the series, which is NOT exciting).

So, if you are looking for an awesome, edge-of-your-seat, thriller/mystery with a dash of paranormal, grab this book. ASAP. I don't think you will be disappointed!


Jenny said...

This is the second amazing review I've read for this book today! I really need to get my hands on it.

Samantha said...

Yes you do! I loved it! I was gushing about it while reading it too.

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