Friday, 17 May 2013

The Name of the Star (Shades of London #1) by Maureen Johnson

The Name of the Star (Shades of London, #1)
Blurb (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.

The Name of the Star by Maureen Johnson

My rating: 3.5 of 5 stars

The Name of the Star (Shades of London, #1)(Source: Purchased used from
17-year-old Rory (Aurora), is heading from New Orleans to London for her final year at school, after her parents took teaching placements at Bristol university in the UK.
Starting at her new school ‘Wexford’, Rory encounters the usual problems of fitting in in a new school/new country, but what she doesn’t expect is the sudden appearance of a serial killer in London, whose murders seem to mimic those of Jack the Ripper.
With the murders seemingly unsolvable, and getting closer and closer to Wexford where Rory is studying, she’s caught up in the mess when she becomes a witness, and possibly the only person to have seen the man they think is the copycat.
Why are the police so baffled though? Why is Rory the only one to have seen the killer? And what does the name of the star have to do with it?

This book was a mixture of murder mystery, and paranormal teen fiction, and it was fun trying to guess what would happen next!

Rory was a great main character, and I loved her spunk. I loved how she brought her southern charm to England, and I loved how she wasn’t afraid to have sausages and doughnuts for breakfast!
I loved that the little paranormal quirk that she picked up happened whilst she was in London, and wasn’t something that she had always had, and I loved how strange everything was! I totally got her shock when she discovered what had happened to her and what she could now do!

I liked the other characters in this book, especially the ones who turned out not to be exactly who Rory thought they were! Boo was a bit of a strange character, and she certainly kept me guessing, and Alistair turned out to be quite special too!

I liked the storyline in this book, and I liked how it blended several different genres – contemporary, paranormal, and ghost story. I thought the three were blended together pretty well, and I was certainly kept guessing as to who was who and what the hell was going on! I also liked the little surprise at the end, which I’m guessing will lead into book 2.
I also thought the author did a good job of making the setting feel English, which I gather was in part due to her spending some time over here!

Overall; an interesting mix of paranormal and murder mystery.
7 out of 10.

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  1. I've been unsure about this book, not really knowing whether it would be for me or not. But the mystery behind the murders and never really knowing whose behind them certainly has me intrigued. Great review Sarah, I'm glad this book has you excited about reading the next book too! :)

  2. Like the sound of Rory as a main character with her spunk and the mystery.
    Brandi @ Blkosiner’s Book Blog

  3. I'm now curious about the little paranormal quirk that Rory picked up. Thanks for sharing :)

  4. I've been eyeing this one for a while, not sure if I should pick it up or not. Thanks for the review!

  5. I have this book and I sort of forgot about it. But your review has reminded me why I bought it in the first place! Love mysteries. Great review, Sarah! :)

  6. Ahhh, I love Jack the Ripper books. So happy it was good. I might have to get it.

  7. I remember when this one came out, it certainly looks interesting! (And what's wrong with donuts and sausages for breakfast? It sounds delicious. =)