Thursday, January 12, 2012

The Name of the Star by Maureen Johnson

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. (from GoodReads)

I've come to love Maureen Johnson and all her books, so my expectations were high when I started The Name of the Star. And luckily for me, they were mostly fulfilled. I thought that this book was a great addition to the fantasy genre.

There were certain elements of the plot that I knew I would love: the boarding school setting in London (double points there) and the Jack the Ripper references. Oddly enough, even though I love both history and horror, I really didn't know much about Jack the Ripper. So I was very happy that the book went into detail about that because I felt like I learned something new. Obvsiously, the Ripper was a serial killer and he murdered his victims in gruesome ways, which made the story a whole lot creepier. I was actually a little freaked out while reading The Name of the Star, so you if you like that kind of thing, I would definitely check this out.

The book also delves into the paranormal because there are ghosts involved and Rory has a special ability when it comes to ghosts. I liked that side of the story, because it actually made the story scarier. What do you do if you can't see something dangerous? That can be quite the problem.

As always, I loved Maureen Johnson's writing style and Rory had a great voice. I really enjoyed The Name of the Star and am curious to read the sequel.

Rating: 8 out of 10.
FTC: borrowed from library.

2011/Putnam Juvenile/372 pages.

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