The Name of the Star

New Orleans-born Rory goes to boarding school in London, where a Jack the Ripper copycat killer is terrorizing people on English streets.

I’ll be honest: the only real reason I bought this book was because of the obviously fantastic cover. That, and I wanted the copy signed by Maureen Johnson from Waterstones, where I spent quite a bit of time on my last day in London. To be honest (again) I don’t even like Maureen Johnson in general. I’ve read 13 Little Blue Envelopes and Devilish, but I found both of them to be kind of blah and average. When I realized (SPOILER) that this was a ghost-hunting story, I became even more skeptical, because I haven’t read too many excellent ghost books. However, this book proved me completely wrong. Maureen Johnson has grown so much in this book, and I think she’s really found her niche in paranormal-semi-historical fiction. I could see the whole book in my mind as I read, and was really proud of myself when I recognized some of the places mentioned in London, since I’d been to them. The Name of the Star was truly a gripping story, and I also found Johnson’s depiction of English culture to be quite accurate as well. I loved Rory, the main character, and her Southern-ness and how it contrasted with the English-ness of her boarding school. The only thing I would change would be to take out (SPOILER AGAIN) the romance with Jerome, because it just seemed totally unnecessary. It never became anything more than the occasional makeout session, and, other than his knowledge of Ripper facts, he didn’t really enrich the story. All in all though, I really did love the book and am looking forward to the sequel (which I didn’t know about until I looked at the inside of the back cover. I squeed a little.)

If this book leaves you as interested in Jack the Ripper as it did me, check out Stefan Petrucha’s new book, Ripper, or just hold your horses while you wait for

SO EXCITED!!!!!!!!!

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