Publisher: Putnam Juvenile
Pages: 372 pages
Genre: Paranormal, Thriller
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.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.
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.
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!