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The Name of the Star by Maureen Johnson

The Name of the Star (Shades of London #1)The Name of the Star by Maureen Johnson
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

"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."


I love Jack the Ripper related stories, so when I started reading The Name of the Star, I knew I was in for a treat. I wasn't disappointed! It sets off with Rory moving from her hometown in Louisiana to London to attend school while her parents live in Bristol on some new jobs they got. Arriving right in the beginning of a mysterious murder investigation that seems eerily similar to the Whitechapel murders of Jack the Ripper. Her culture shock contributed towards her awkwardness and made her personality more interesting as she observed her new surroundings.

"Even Jack the Ripper himself had reappeared as part of the greeting committee." (28)

This book was different in the way that Jack the Ripper was portrayed and it created a great paranormal aspect to the mysterious deaths taking place in London. This was definitely an uncomplicated read and it seemed more like a middle-grade book than a young adult one, but I still liked the simplicity of it and how it was hard to put down.

"There was no escaping the Ripper. He was everywhere." (253)

Although there seemed to be a lot of clichés and stereotypical references, there were also a lot of historical references which shows the author did her research on this matter. She uses this research and creates a grand mystery all of her own as she brings us to knowledge of the secret force called the Shades of London.

First Line:"The eyes of London were watching Claire Jenkins." (1)
Last Line:"That was not an a question I was prepared to answer." (372)

"The Autumn of 1888 was known as the Autumn of Terror. Jack the Ripper was out there somewhere, in the fog, waiting with his knife. He could strike anywhere, at any time. The thing about autumn this year was that everyone knew precisely when the Ripper was going to strike, if he kept up with the schedule he'd set so far." (81)

"'Fear can't hurt you,' she said. 'When it washes over you, give it no power. It's a snake with no venom. Remember that. That knowledge can save you.'" (260)

"In the distance, I could hear the neer-ner-neer-nerneerner of sirens, the police cars chasing a man they could never see, never catch." (307)

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Kindle Edition1st Edition372 pages
Published September 29th 2011 by Putnam Juvenile

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