Wednesday, September 28, 2011

The Name of the Star by Maureen Johnson

From Goodreads:
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.
If you know me at all, you know I love serial killers. I don't love them in a way that'd make me want to be one or anything, don't worry, but I think their mentality and motives are absolutely fascinating. And there is no serial killer as famous as Jack the Ripper. People have been fascinated with the Ripper since he first started killing. There were no definitive eyewitnesses, he stopped at five women, and investigators couldn't decide whether he had medical training or not. He's the guy that got away, and always will be, because there's no way for us to solve the mystery today. Anyway, needless to say, I was excited to read The Name of the Star.

Given my excitement, The Name of the Star didn't quite live up to my standards. I don't quite know why, but I think it may have been that I wanted more creepy, serial killer craziness and not so much about supernatural powers. I did love the London setting and reading about places I've only seen in movies... Sigh. I also appreciated all the CORRECT facts. The facts of the Jack the Ripper murders are so well-documented and easy to find I probably would've stopped reading the book had a fact been wrong. Sometime I read books that have their facts completely wrong and I want to throw the across the room.

Anyways, I wanted action, action, action, but the beginning of the book was very much about the characters. I love well-developed characters, and most characters were, but it got to be a bit much. I especially didn't like Rory's love interest. He was kinda bleh for me. The second half of the book picked up, and the twist really made it more interesting, and made me really want a sequel, especially the ending. The end really had all the action that I had been waiting patiently for, and made the book definitely worth my time.

Risk a paper cut? If you're creepy like me and love Jack the Ripper, for sure. Any fans of paranormal novels will get their fill, though I know the synopsis doesn't make it sound like it! All in all, The Name of the Star is a ripping good and creepy time.

To buy: Amazon

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