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The Name of the Star: Shades of London Review

By: Claire Rankin

 

“Keep calm and carry on. 
Also, stay in and hide because the Ripper is coming.”
― Maureen Johnson, The Name of the Star

 

The Name of the Star: Shades of London, written by Maureen Johnson, was published in 2011. Despite, its release date it isn’t fabulously well known book. (Or at least it wasn’t to me since I only found it late last year.) So, like always, we’re a bit late finding good books. But lucky for us good books are always worth waiting for, so let’s dig in!

 

Rory Deveaux is a native of a small town not far from New Orleans whose parents go on sabbatical to England. She is a new student at the prestigious Wexford School in London. She is an impulsive, intelligent girl who becomes interested in Jerome, a cute prefect who likes her own brand of American craziness. She and her roommate Jazza, who doesn’t have a mean bone in her body have an easy friendship. Until Rory reports speaking to a man outside her door building not eh night of a murder. Once again London is held captive by the theatrics of Jack the Ripper. The oddity in all the CCTV no one is wielding the knife of Jack the Ripper. yet the murder is perfectly visible and people are still dying.

 

A cast of characters as rich and perplexing as the story itself brings this novel beautifully to life. Rory and Jazza are two peas in pod. Until Boo, a wild child with a gift for doing no school work shows up. Boo is vivacious and, initially, annoying. Until Rory discovers Boo also speaks to people that others cannot see. Boo’s team members are just as curious. Stephen, the by-the-book team leader, has a darkness that Rory can’t quite understand, while Callum, the passionate ex-soccer player, despises the gifts he has. With a villain as surprising as the rest of the cast, the novel brings the world of ghosts to a realistic and viable place in the reader’s mind.

Maureen Johnson does an excellent job of bringing the surreal to the factual and making the methodology of the ghost hunting team resemble that of actual police work. The characters are vivid and independent from each other each with their own personalities and habits. Let’s get to know them a little.

 

 

But as always don’t just take my word for it. See what others had to say:

 

“A gorgeously written, chilling, atmospheric thriller. The streets of London have never been so sinister or so romantic.”— Cassandra Clare, author of THE MORTAL INSTRUMENTS

 

“An unputdownable thrill ride that will leave you gasping, laughing, and dreaming of London.”— Ally Carter, bestselling author of the GALLAGHER GIRLS series and HEIST SOCIETY

 

“Equal parts poignant, funny and inspiring, with a delicious fairytale ending.”—Publishers Weekly (starred review)

 

The Name of the Star: Shade of London can be purchased at Amazon, Barnes and Noble, and other bookstores. If you are interested please pick up a copy. If you like good mystery, like me, you won’t be disappointed. Hope you enjoy everyone! 🙂