Sunday, October 2, 2011

Book Shelf: 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.

Blurb from


The Name Of The Star was a very exciting, mysterious read that twisted together the story of Jack the Ripper with modern London in a enjoyable ghostly tale.

In honesty, I have mixed emotions about this book. There were some aspects I really, really loved and others that just fell flat in my eyes.
The book starts out slow, but then picks up pace as events happen and things fall into place. The entire area of London is in the grip of panic and mayhem as murders mimicking those of the famous Jack the Ripper murders terrorise London. The writing was average, but went well with the story. The author has painted her picture well, and I feel she has captured the feeling of uncertainty and an overall “what-will-happen-next” feeling with the book.

The premise sounded wonderful, but I think I was exciting more from it than what I got. That’s not to say the book wasn’t good, because it was, but I would have liked a little more from it. Emotions ran rampantly though me as I was reading in regards to the crime and mystery surrounding these Jack the Ripper style murders, but I found it hard to connect with the characters at times. With such a strong plotline and idea, there needed to be equally strong characters to support the story and I’m just not quite sure I got that.
Rory was your average teenager and there were times when I really enjoyed her and her bravery in the face of everything, but I was just never caught by her as a main character. There were times when she showed some real promise, especially towards the end and I am hoping she develops more in future books. She had spunk and definitely stood out amongst the proper English, but I never felt she reached her potential as a character.

I never felt the “romance” in the book. Perhaps it’s just me, but the way it was written didn’t appeal to me. I felt no connection between her and Jerome, nor did I love him. Sometimes it seemed like it was there just to be there. I found I loved the other characters with "sight" more. Boo was a quirky one, and I can see potential in Stephen; I’d love to see more of them in the rest of the series.

For all the small issues I had with the book, it generally was an enjoyable read and I do recommend it. I think there’s a lot of potential for future books and the ending left me wanting to know what happens next. I think this book will appeal to lovers of a good crime tale with historical roots and a mystery. A great start to a new series--I can't wait for more!

Source: Sent by Harper Collins Australia (Thanks guys!)
Format: Paperback
AU Release Date: September 1st 2011
Expected AU Price: $19. 99
Recommend: Yes
Recommend borrow or buy: Borrow
Cover: I do love the cover--it's so spooky, although I can't quite figure out who is is that's on the cover.
Read sequel/continue with series: Yes, I want more.


  1. I'm really excited for this book and I'm also afraid that I'm expecting it to be better than it will be. I love serial killer stories though (yes morbid, I know! haha). Great review!

    Xpresso Reads
    P.S. I've also got a new giveaway on my blog for Remembrance if you want to enter.

  2. It is a good book--you should like it. Check it out! I'm looking forward to the next book. The ending is a little bit.
    LOL! Don't think it's morbid--I do too. And this book doesn't disappoint in that aspect. It's just some of the characters and the "romance" that lets it down a bit.

    =D I know...I've already entered!

  3. Hm, I'm curious about this one. Nice review, Rachel!


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