Tuesday, August 09, 2011

Review: The Name of the Star

The Name of the Star (Shades of London, Book One)
Maureen Johnson
2011; Putnam (Penguin); ISBN 978-0-399-25660-8 (hardcover)

Summary:  Rory Deveaux arrives in London, immediately feeling shell-shocked by how different England is from Louisiana.  It's cold and rainy, with strange words and celebrities she's never heard of.  But soon, strange murders star occurring, on the anniversaries of murders linked to Jack the Ripper.  Rippermania grips London--but Rory knows there's more going on than meets the eye.  She's the only one to have seen the murderer, and the knowledge changes Rory's life.  Because it's not a copycat killing woman like over a hundred years ago . . . it's a ghost.

The first novel in a new series, The Name of the Star is a dark, atmospheric tale of what lies beyond death.  For such a modern city, blanketed with CCTV and cell phones, London is well aware of its history.  Into this new world is thrust Rory, who slowly comes into her unusual ability to see ghosts.  The details are revealed carefully, leading up to the surprising cliffhanger ending.  Rory meets the challenges thrown at her with realistic reactions of curiosity and fear.  Similar in feel to Beautiful Creatures by Kami Garcia and Margaret Stohl, The Name of the Star is an intriguing departure for Maureen Johnson.  Her talent for characterization shines through in this historical-tinged thriller.

Other Reviews
Dark Readers:  http://www.dark-readers.com/2011/06/book-reviewthe-name-of-star-by-maureen.html
Diary of a Book Addict:  http://bookaddictdiary.blogspot.com/2011/07/book-review-name-of-star-by-maureen.html
I Eat Words:  http://www.ieatwords.net/2011/08/name-of-star-by-maureen-johnson.html

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