I figured that since yesterday for Waiting on Wednesday I featured the sequel to The Name of the Star, I should put up my review for this one!
The Name of the Star by Maureen Johnson
Pub Date: September 29, 2011.
Genre: YA Paranormal fiction.
The day Louisiana teenager Rory Deveaux arrives in London marks a memorable occasion. For Rory, it's the start of a new life at a London boarding school. But for many, this will be remembered as the day a series of brutal murders broke out across the city, gruesome crimes mimicking the horrific Jack the Ripper events 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. Even her roommate, who was walking with her at the time, didn't notice the mysterious man. So why can only Rory see him? And more urgently, why has Rory 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.
Maureen Johnson's Jack the Ripper novel has fear gripping the hearts of not only the characters in the book, but the reader as well. It is a modern imagination of the Ripper legend with an impersonator attacking London whom the police are unable to catch, or even identify, just as it was with the original. Johnson's writing provides the chilling suspense that is required to truly cover such a creepy topic. She also adds a twist that could have been very cheesy and left with plenty of loose ends, but she tied up the ends enough to make it a complete story but still leave room for a sequel, and covered the "otherworldy" aspects very well, fitting with the paranormal genre instead of creating a phoney wanna-be.
There were a few inconsistencies that I noticed, but they were minor and in the end did not really take away from the story. I definitely enjoyed the characters she created, including the strong lead, Rory. Most girls wouldn't have the bravery to face all the unbelievable things that Rory does. I also enjoyed that there was a romantic aspect in the novel but that it was kept quite small and wasn't the main focus: the Ripper plotline and the paranormal twist were always kept in the spotlight, which I appreciated.
Overall, I definitely enjoyed the novel and would recommend it to those who enjoy paranormal fiction, especially those interested in (but not too invested in) the Jack the Ripper story, as this is like a modern re-imagination.