Dec 8, 2011

Review: Maureen Johnson - The Name of the Star

Maureen Johnson - The Name of the Star

• Pub Date: September 29, 2011
• Publisher: Brilliance Audio
• Series: Shades of London #1
• Format: Audio book
• Age Range: Young Adult
• Source: Library

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 work of 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 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, what is he planning to do about her?

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.

This just wasn't everything I wanted it to be. Don't get me wrong, I enjoyed the story. Maybe the narrator irritated me more than anything. But I guess I expected more after hearing so many good things about this book. And after reading her lighter, less traumatic Blue Envelope novels, I wasn't anticipating something quite this serious. I should have, since I knew this was about Jack the Ripper, but I wasn't expecting the ghost-police business. Note: this is because I do not read descriptions of most books before I read them. I was just not prepared.

Either way, like I said, I enjoyed this book. Rory was an alright MC, and maybe I wanted more from the little side love story, but that's okay. Her friends were fun and interesting, and Johnson always as a way of adding the hilarity to her novels (see Claudia, Charlotte, and Boo). Plus, Johnson's ability to describe places always make me want to go there. I feel like the Blue Envelope novels are better examples, but this made me want to go to London a whole lot more than I did before. And I certainly wanted to go before!

The creep factor in this novel is definitely there. This novel is a paranormal one, as it includes ghosts and the ability to see them. It's interesting how she makes this work. And I really was guessing all the time since this book isn't very predictable. And the ending. Oh the ending! It's a huge cliffhanger just begging for a sequel! I think I understand what's going on with Rory at the end, and I oh-so-hope it's true!

As for the narrator, she uses a lot of different accents, which is great. It was fun listening to all the different English accents and voices. However, Rory is from Louisiana, and she has a southern accent when she's actually speaking, but when she's just narrating, there was no southern accent. It was strange. Otherwise I really liked her, minus her over pronunciation.

  • Now that I understand the name of this novel, I think it's kind of silly.. haha.
  • I wish my name was Jazza.
  • I also wish that I was a "Ripperologist" because it sounds smart and creepy.

Bottom Line: I would surely recommend this novel but not as a Maureen Johnson novel if you've read the Blue Envelope books. Read it if you enjoy YA paranormal.


3.5 / 5 book sharks!


  1. I had mixed feelings about this one too, though I did enjoy it overall. I'm hoping that maybe it is a lot of set up and back story and the next book will be awesome.

    I do love how Maureen voice comes through in her writing. She seems like such a fun person and I can always hear that in her books :)

  2. Great review! I'm reading good reviews on this one as well. I have it on my bday/xmas list, so I'll get in the weeks to come sometime! But it does sound pretty interesting and intense!


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