The Name of the Star by Maureen Johnson
Posted by Caitie F on November 6, 2011
This is a SPOILER-FREE review
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?
As you know, I LOVE Maureen Johnson. I have adored every book she has written and am always excited when a new one comes out. I was a little nervous when I heard that it was a paranormal mystery. That isn’t exactly what Maureen Johnson is known for. But I know she is a fantastic writer, so I still made sure I got it quickly!
I am a wuss, so this took me longer that usual (since I couldn’t read it at night), but that just let me savor the style, humor, and creepiness of the book which turns out to be one of her best. Know this book is creepy. Very creepy. The original Ripper was brutal and disgusting. Not only do you get to read about those, but you also get to read about the new Ripper’s crimes too! I shuddered. I tend to think that is a good thing though!
Rory was a really awesome character to have at the center of the book. She is from Louisiana and is new to London, which always leads to some entertainment. She is open to new experiences, ready to make friends, and funny as anything. Like all of Johnson’s characters, Rory felt real and believable for a girl of her age. She acted like a senior in high school. She talked like one too (well, like a really smart one).
I went into the book knowing NOTHING about the Ripper going into it. I knew there was a paranormal element, but didn’t know what it was, so I don’t want to ruin it for anyone else who wants to go into the book fresh (I even took out a couple things from the summary). So I won’t spoil it. Just know that it is awesome and is why this will be a series. It was exciting, thrilling, and scary, everything that the paranormal should be.
If you haven’t gotten to this book yet, I highly recommend it. It is a fun and thrilling read with some romance (that, true to Johnson fashion, feels like a real relationship) and a lot of humor (Yay Doctor Who jokes!). Go read it!