Author: Maureen Johnson
Genre: Teen Fiction, Paranormal Fiction
Publication Date: September 29, 2011
Publisher: Putnam Juvenile
ISBN-13 Book: 9780399256608
Source: I won a copy of the ARC for review from The Reading Date. This is my honest review!
The Name of the Star by Maureen Johnson
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
When Rory moves to England to spend a year studying at a boarding school in London, she had no idea how much excitement she was in for. New school, new friends, new sports, and most of all, a serial killer in the neighborhood mimicking the killings of the infamous Jack the Ripper make for an interesting start to the school year. When Rory sees a man the police suspect to be the Ripper on the same night another woman is murdered, Rory’s life is turned upside down. First her roommate didn’t see the man, and second he may have turned his sights on Rory.
I love a good ghost story, and who can honestly say that they aren’t fascinated by the story of Jack the Ripper, the serial killer no one has ever identified. Johnson combines these two elements into a page turning story that won’t let you go until the very end.
The characters are well developed. Rory and her friends are believable and likable. Each character has their own story and motivations, and while all of their motivations aren’t revealed, that made the story that much more real.
The setting is dynamite. Rory’s school, Wexford, is near the haunts of Jack the Ripper. Her school is old as is the area of London in which she lives. London has a long history, and ghosts and history go hand in hand.
The pacing is well done, although there are a couple of spots where the story lagged a bit in the middle. This is more than made up for with the quick pacing of the conclusion.
Johnson is an expert at creating mood in this novel. This book definitely has those spine tingling moments when you don’t know what is going to happen next. I loved how she incorporated history into modern events.
Overall, if you like a good ghost story, this would be the book for you. This novel has twists and turns that will keep you on the edge of your seat. This book is the first in a proposed trilogy, and I will definitely be reading the next one to see where this story goes.
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