The Name of the Star by Maureen Johnson

I went into this book knowing very little about it but I wanted to read it during the Booktubeathon as it had been on my shelf unread since October 2013.

The day that Louisiana teenager Rory Deveaux arrives in London to start a new life at boarding school is also the day a series of brutal murders breaks out over the city, killings mimicking the horrific Jack the Ripper spree 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–the only one who can see him. And now Rory has 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 loved the East End setting and the way that Maureen Johnson gave detailed descriptions of some of the differences between America and Britain. They provided humourous relief from the intensity of the rest of the novel.

The novel and plot itself should remain somewhat of a mystery for anyone that hasn’t read it so I won’t go into that but whilst reading I felt that it was like an intensely creepy version of Harry Potter, with the boarding school and the teenage heroes, mixed with Ghost Busters, but minus the magic, and with a lot more Jack the Ripper.

The fact that this was based on historical events made it all the more scary to read at night on my own and it made the level of threat seem a lot higher. Although this is obviously fictional, there were aspects that seemed almost too realistic, in a good way – it made it so creepy!

There is a romance in this but it did not take over from the main plot in any way and seemed to happen very organically so I actually enjoyed that aspect of it. The literary references and the amazing side-characters just pulled the whole thing together and I couldn’t put it down. This is more of a definite 5 star read for me and I would definitely recommend it, especially if you liked Anna Dressed in Blood.

the name of the star




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