Paranormal · SERIES · YA · YA Series

The Name of the Star 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 in the autumn of 1888.

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 now believe to be the prime suspect. But she is the only one who saw him. Even her roommate, who was 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.

Aurora aka “Rory” moves with her parents to England for a year abroad and starts at a boarding school.  On the day she arrives a body of a woman has been discovered.  Murdered in the exact same way as Jack the Ripper’s first victim as well as the same date and in the same exact location this is a huge event.  As the books progresses women are continually killed in the same manner, locations, and dates as the Ripper’s past victims slowly terrifying the locals as we as forcing the school in a semi prison lock down.  After sneaking out with her roommate to meet another student she runs into a man on the way back to their dorm.  The next morning a body of another victim is found on campus so Rory tells the police who she saw.  Not long after this she meets several people called “Shades.”  It seems Rory has seen the killer and they are here to help protect her because the killer just so happens to be a ghost.  Shades are a secret police force that can help “remove” ghosts since the can see and talk to them.  Rory has inherited this ability as well since having a near death choking experience on campus and the killer now knows that she can see and hear him therefore making her a threat to him.

I liked that the book didn’t really focus on any school drama other than Rory’s interactions with her roommates and a certain prefect **cough, cough** but on the murders and what is happening to Rory herself as she learns about her ability.  I also found myself rooting for Stephen (a fellow Shade) even though I can’t remember a single mention to him and Rory having the potential for any possible hook up but I sure imaged it in my head.  They just seem like they will go together better. (There is a sequel so we shall see!)

I really enjoyed this book.  It’s my first by Ms Johnson and I can guarantee it won’t be my last.  I loved the settings, both my home state of Louisiana (WHOOT WHOOT!) and London.  I’ve never been to London, but boy do I want to . . . might have something to do with Harry Potter . . . or with my fantasy of some dashing Englishman sweeping me off my feet and I would move there and live happily ever after.  SIGH.  A girl can dream.


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