Thursday, August 23, 2012

The Name of the Star by Maureen Johnson [Review]

The Name of the Star (Shades of London, #1)4 out of 5 Robots!

The Name of the Star by Maureen Johnson
Series: Shades of London #1
Genre: Young Adult Paranormal
Release: September 29, 2011
Hardcover: 372 Pages
Publisher: Putnam Juvenile
My Copy: Purchased
Reviewer: Shannon
Buy the Book: Amazon

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.

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.
(Courtesy of the Publisher)
Shannon's Quick Thoughts:
There are three separate themes in The Name of the Star: boarding house shenanigans, Jack the Ripper history and the paranormal.  I wasn't extremely interested in the boarding house parts as Rory negotiates mean girls, crushes, and homework.  The author also likes to make tons of remarks about the difference between America and Britain.  Part of me kind of liked it, but I also felt it was fairly unnecessary. The second part about Jack the Ripper was slightly more interesting.  But the part I really enjoyed was once Rory finds out why she can see things others can't.  I can't say too much about it without giving it away, but I definitely liked it - especially the secret ghost police! 

I found Rory to be fairly vanilla, but the supporting characters make up for it.  The story moves along at a quick pace, especially when things are revealed to Rory.  And the action really kicks up a notch at the end.  The writing is fairly average, but I thought it was a fun and easy read. 

The second book, The Madness Underneath, is due out in January 2013.


  1. JACK the RIPPER’s grisly murders of the East End ladies of the night hardly pales even by today’s standards of violence. Since 1892, Scotland Yard had retained a sealed file containing all the information from their “Jack the Ripper” murder investigations. It was to be opened in 1992. However, it is my understanding that much of the file is missing … … or has been destroyed. In my ebook novel, BLOODGUILTY, I wrote a fact and fiction account of the missing files. It reveals the identity of Jack the Ripper and uncovers a crime so vast in its undertaking that generations yet unborn would suffer its consequences. It is available on the KINDLE bookstore by RAYMOND THOR. Click here:

  2. I'm glad to hear that you enjoyed some of the book even if you didn't like all of it. This was my first read by this author and I really liked it. I loved the way the author tied in Jack the Ripper to the book and can't wait to see what she comes up with next in the 2nd book. Thanks for sharing your honest thoughts on it!



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