Johnson, M. (2011). The name of the star. New York: G.P. PUtnam’s Sons. ISBN: 9780399256608
Annotation: A Jack the Ripper copycat is loose in London, and Rory, who moved to London from Louisiana for her senior year of high school, gets entangled in the investigation when she sees a man no one else does at the site of the second murder.
Reaction: I’ve read a few of Maureen Johnson’s books before, and I really enjoyed them. She’s got a good sense of humor and writes believable characters with page turning plots. Her other books have been pretty light, realistic fiction, so I wasn’t sure what to expect from a Jack the Ripper paranormal, urban fantasy from her.
Well, I got the great dialogue and wit I’ve come to expect from her, the sense of adventure her other books have and a teenager trying to find where she belongs. I also got Jack the Ripper copycat murders, ghosts and a team of young people who can see ghosts thanks to near death experiences. She made the murder plot line appropriately creepifying; as I told a friend recently, I had a little bit of bedtime anxiety after reading this before lights out. She also made the stakes feel very real. Despite being told from the first person perspective, there were times when I thought that it was curtains for Rory.
As the title page says, this is Book One of the Shades of London series, and I’m looking forward to reading more of them. It was a great, quick read. Fans of paranormal/urban fantasy will not be disappointed and neither will be fans of Maureen Johnson.