Wednesday, October 26, 2011

The Name Of The Star by Maureen Johnson

The Name of the Star by Maureen Johnson.
Publisher: Putnam Juvenile.
Pages: 370.
Source: BEA.
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.

Reading this book around Halloween, at two in the morning, was kind of a perfect coincidence. Because The Name of the Star gave me such an extreme case of the heebie jeebies, I actually pretended to fall asleep with my desk lamp on. True story.

I'll admit that I considered putting it down at first. The first hundred pages or so were just about Rory, our main girl, getting a hang of her new life and new school in London. It wasn't boring and I was actually quite enjoying meeting all of the quirky characters and reading about the gorgeous London scenery that Maureen so wonderfully wrote. But I was expecting terror and murder and a lot more Jack The Ripper hysteria. If you're like me and were a bit discouraged at first, do NOT stop reading. I repeat, DO NOT put it down. If anything, you'll appreciate that bit of normalcy and niceness we got at the beginning because once the chaos starts, it doesn't stop. It's brutal and gruesome and terrifying but oh so good.

This is the ultimate whodunit because not only does it feature probably the most famous serial killer of all time to never be caught, but it features one that cannot be seen. There's a particular scene where someone is viewing footage from a security camera of one of the killings and holy crap ... definitely the most horrifying, scariest thing I've ever read in a book before. Ever.

And if you asked me to write an essay on Jack The Ripper right now, I could probably fill about ten pages. The facts and information and spectulations were nestled into the story so nicely that it didn't feel like the author was just whipping knowledge of the serial killer at us. I feel so informed now. (Thanks Maureen!)

Overall, I absolutely loved The Name of the Star. The beginning kind of dragged, sure, but the rest of the book is so astonishingly chilling and full of so much terror, adventure and mystery that it doesn't even matter. Mixing a beautiful London setting with an extreme murder mystery and lots and lots of horror, this book is definitely a win for me. I suggest you all check it out!

Other reviews for The Name of the Star:
The Complusive Reader.
Novel Novice.
storybound girl.


  1. Oh man, this book is next on my list! I can't wait :) Great review! I'll have to push through the first 100 pages to get to the horror and mystery! Thanks for sharing :)

    Crystal @ Elegantly Bound Books

  2. Wow! This book sounds amazing! Your review just moved this up on my TBR pile! The whole Jack the Ripper makes this even more interesting!

  3. Eek! Definitely read it during the day or with all the lights on, huh? I get scared easily, so I'll probably read it during the day AND have all the lights on lol

  4. Oh man I didn't know this book was gonna be so creepy! I'm so excited to read it now! YAY FOR SCARY BOOKS!!!! :D

  5. You know, this wasn't going on my TBR until I started hearing all the fantastic reviews. Thanks for another push to read it! :]

  6. Definitely adding this one to my Halloween TBR list! Thanks for the review!

  7. I'm really looking forward to this book, I've heard so many great things about it - and I love Jack the Ripper stories.