Thursday, 8 September 2011

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

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.

Publisher: Penguin Group USA
Published Date: September 29 2011

What can I say about Maureen Johnson that her twitter feed already hasn’t?

She is totally BONKERS. And in the best possible way ever.
 Her tweets often more entertaining than plenty of novels got her on "140 Best Twitter Feeds" in Time Magazine.

But that is hardly the only reason to read The Name Of The Star.

The plot is flawless. I loved the fresh spin on the Jack The Ripper plotline. The story is full of twists and surprises.

The setting is perfect. The book departs from the usual American High Schools and features a British Boarding School. Rippermania has seized London. There are a series of copycat murders taking place.

The protagonist is delightful and at times eccentric. I loved her southern ways.

Her roommates are SO RAD! They are polar opposites and yet I could identify parts of myself in both of them. Jazza was a sweetheart. She was so nice and helpful and had these insecurities that just made her more believable.
 Boo was HILARIOUS and a complete riot. Kudos to Maureen Johnson for breaking stereotype and giving us an Indian character that wasn’t nerdy but a complete contrast. She was such a fun and quirky character!

All the other secondary characters were well developed and significant in their own places.

I loved that the romance did not overshadow the rest of the plot. I look forward to it being developed in the sequel.

There mystery was light and guessable but the suspense shone through.

The only negative thing in the book was that the writing wasn’t spectacular but nevertheless it was a great book and I can’t wait to read the sequel.

Last words:

An impeccably crafted plot and brilliant characters make this an excellent start to the Shades Of London series.


  1. Wow. Sounds Amazing! I love Jack the Ripper, I've read several books about him or using something regarding him and he's freaking creepy. I loved your review! I will have to follow Maureen Johnson on Twitter immediately!

  2. I can't wait to read this one! I hope I can get a copy for Christmas!

  3. ok your review just made me MORE excited to read this. Ive always been a fan of Maureen Johnson so i saw this book and squeeled. For me second characters are very important since if there's no depth then the story seems a bit too.. shallow i guess? but im glad you thought the story was flawless and her roomates are enjoyable. Will for sure pick this up asap.

  4. This review just made me completely rethink my decision to pass on this novel. I really had no interest in Jack the Ripper, but I am intrigued by the southern bred protagonist and the English Boarding School setting. This might just have to go on my overburdened to-read list!

    Donna @ The Happy Booker

  5. I was a little apprehensive about the Jack the Ripper storyline and copycat killings but you made it sound like so much more than all that with interesting primary and secondary characters and a good plot. I will definitely give it a try! :)

  6. So glad to see you enjoyed this book! I can't wait to get my hands on it!! I mean, Maureen Johnson on Jack the Ripper? Where's bad?

    I'm also from Louisiana, so that little detail adds a bit too :)

  7. Sounds interesting... Jack the Ripper story lines tend to be interesting. Thank you for the great honest review. I will keep this book in mind.

  8. I've heard loads about this books recently and what got me interested was its take on the Jack The Ripper story. I was introduced to Maureen's writing through Thirteen Little Blue Envelopes (I think that was what it was called) and have been wanting to pick up another of her books soon. I'm going to search for her on Twitter now simply because her tweets sound hilarious. Great review:)


  9. Oooh! This one's on my Goodreads to-be-read list!...I think...*Runs over to check out goodreads list*

    Okay, i'm back...I definitely want to read this book! The whole Jack the Ripper case has always interested me, and it would be really interesting to see how it is incorporated into the novel. =)


  10. I've seen this book around and have considered getting it. It looks pretty good, but you say that the writing is so-so, yet everything else about it is good... hmm... I'll have to go skim a few pages next time I'm at BN. Thanks for the review! This helps give me a better take on what this book will be like!


  11. I'm actually reading this right now! I'm not very far yet, but I really like what I've read. The creepiness factor is just starting to set in, and it's great. I also love Rory's voice; it's so fresh and likable.
    Also, I really love that other cover! Is that the UK cover?

  12. I am definitely looking forward to reading this book! The cover is very interesting in a kinda creepy way :P

  13. I'm gonna read this. I've been seeing it for a while now, but I'm just trying to read through reviews to see how good it is. Now I'm convinced! :)

  14. Name the Star sounds amazing, very creepy, you'r review made me want to go out and buy it right away!

  15. I love Maureen Johnson (her twitter feed really IS insane, and she's even MORE insane), but I haven't been a fan of her books. None of them have really grabbed me. But I knew when I heard about this book (and your review only confirms it) that I would LOVE this. I haven't read it yet, but creepy British books automatically have my attention, and I love suspenseful, well written novels. I can't wait to check this one out. Thanks for the review!

  16. Thanks for the review. I loved this book. I agree with you about how well developed all of the secondary characters were and that the romance really did take a backseat to the rest of the story. Finally, I too can't wait to get my hands on the next installment.

  17. I really enjoyed the plot. If anything the plot grabs you and pulls you in. The re-taling of Jack the Ripper gave you goosebumps all over your body! The reason the plot is so amazing is the the flow of it. I like how the reader is slowly introduce to the Jack the Ripper tales and how it weaves itself into Rory's life like a weed. You see it slowly take over her life, and you can't help but hold your breath.



Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...