Monday, November 28, 2011

Book Review: The Name of the Star

Release Date: Sept. 29, 2011
Publisher: Putnam Juvenile
Pages: 372 pages
Genre: Paranormal, Thriller
Source: Library
Goodreads 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.
The more paranormal thrillers I read, the more I love them and The Name of the Star is a really good paranormal thriller! Maureen Johnson puts a southern American girl in modern London and successfully manages to invoke all the gothic creepiness you would expect from a story about Jack the Ripper.

Rory is a great character, a girl from Louisiana who is attending an elite London boarding school for her senior year. Rory is quirky and her descriptions of her family and hometown are funny and entertaining. I love the secondary characters, especially Rory’s friends Jazza, Jerome, Boo, Stephen and Callum. I also love Johnson’s descriptions of London and especially Boo’s cockney accent. I wish I were better about audio books, I would have loved to hear this story through a narrator.

The first portion of the book deals with Rory getting settled into her new school and making friends while Ripper terror reigns over London. There is a turning point in the novel where the paranormal elements take over and the book becomes vastly different. The twist in the story works very well.   

While there is romance in the book, it is not the central focus and more of a side story. I love this because when I read this, I was in the mood for a thriller (not a paranormal romance) and thriller is what I got. Thankfully, The Name of the Star also lacks most of the other juvenile high school drama that boarding school books are known for.

The Name of the Star is a really well written story. It is creepy, fast paced and thrilling. When I finished the book, I wanted to spend more time in this world with these characters, so I am happy that this is the first book in a series. The Name of the Star also throws a huge twist at the end that has me anxious to get my hands on the next book! 

Content: Kissing, underage drinking, some gory descriptions and violence.

My Rating: Really Good!


Lindsay Cummings author said...

yay!! i have a signed copy of this, and i need to read it!!

here's my review of the alchemy of forever, releasing in january. stop by?!?!

Christy (Love of Books) said...

I so want to read this one! Haha.. the Content description makes me want to read it even more.

Kat C said...

I want to read this and I'm very interested in any reviews that are out there. I love that you were so taken by the world she created. I love Maureen Johnson

Christy @ TheReaderBee said...

Ah! I have this book on my shelf, just waiting on me to start it! (Which I've been meaning to do for a while now. lol!) It sounds pretty awesome, and I'm glad to hear it has romance, but that it doesn't overpower the story. :) Thanks for sharing!

Bookworm1858 said...

I am dying to read this and your review just adds to my excitement. While I like romance, I can also deal with books where it isn't the focus and I've enjoyed Johnson's books before so I'm just thrilled with the potential!

Rubita said...

This was definitely one of my top reads for 2011. I was already a confirmed Maureen Johnson fan, but The Name of the Star clinched it. I'm looking forward to the next book--though I'm hoping that the "romance" goes off in a different direction *cough*Stephen*cough*.

KM said...

Glad to hear this is a good one. I really want to read it!

Truly Bookish said...

You guys should definately get this book off your TBR shelf and read it! It's good!

Ruby, I thought I was the only one who feels this way about Rory and Stephen! Jerome is sweet and all but I think Stephen is a much more interesting love interest for Rory. Fingers crossed that Ms. Johnson sees it that way for the second book as well!


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