The Name of the Star, by Maureen Johnson

13 Mar

name of the star

Format: Kindle edition, 374 pages

Published: September 29, 2011

Publisher: HarperCollins Children’s Books

Back cover blurb: 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: My first Maureen Johnson book, and it was amazing. The first half was fun, milking the fish-out-of-water American girl at English boarding school angle to amusing effect, and I loved Rory’s relationships with Jazza and Jerome. That all changed in the second half, though, after she encounters the killer and realises she can sees ghosts. The Shades squad reminded me of the police in Ben Aaronovitch’s Peter Grant series, only younger, and when they take over Rory’s life her old school mates are forgotten a bit. That’s not a criticism, because the squad is hilarious and I’m really looking forward to reading more about them in the next books. That ending makes it all very intriguing.

My rating: 5/5

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Jennifer Keishin Armstrong

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