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The Name of the Star (The Shades of London Book 1) by [Johnson, Maureen]
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The Name of the Star (The Shades of London Book 1) Kindle Edition

4.2 out of 5 stars 293 customer reviews
Book 1 of 3 in The Shades of London (3 Book Series)
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Editorial Reviews

Review

"Johnson fearlessly takes readers from . . . a cool innocent-abroad-with-iPod story to supernatural thriller. The tension ramps up exquisitely among cups of tea, library visits and the London Underground. The explosive ending is genuinely terrifying but never loses the wit, verve and humor that Rory carries with her throughout." - Kirkus

"There's a Doctor Who-ish quality to the book - in both its technology and tone - that feels completely intentional and appealingly fresh to the YA genre, but Johnson's biggest achievement is in having written a book that will appeal to fans of her earlier work, but also please SF/F readers." - Locus Magazine


"Johnson uses a deft hand, applying the right amount of romance and teen snarkiness to relieve the story's building tension. Departing from her previous works, she turns paranormal on its head, mocking vampires and werewolves while creating ghosts that are both realistic and creepy. A real page-turner." - School Library Journal


"Readers looking for nonstop fun, action, and a little gore have come to the right place." - Publishers Weekly


"A gorgeously written, chilling, atmospheric thriller. The streets of London have never been so sinister or so romantic."- Cassandra Clare, #1 New York Times bestselling author of The Infernal Devices and The Mortal Instruments series

About the Author

Maureen Johnson (maureenjohnsonbooks.com) is the author of ten young adult novels, including the New York Times bestselling Let It Snow. She lives in New York City.

Product Details

  • File Size: 1274 KB
  • Print Length: 387 pages
  • Publisher: Speak (September 29, 2011)
  • Publication Date: September 29, 2011
  • Sold by: Penguin Group (USA) LLC
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B004XFZ8WI
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Lending: Not Enabled
  • Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #236,456 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
What a fun book to read! The main character, Rory's parents move to England for business and she decides to attend a private boarding school- to get the whole "English" experience. Shortly after moving in, bonding with her roommate, crushing on a guy, and secretly despising the resident "perfect" girl- tragedy hits London. Someone is murdering people in the same fashion and on the same days that Jack the Ripper struck years ago. Unfortunately, Rory is an eye witness to one of the murders and becomes part of the investigation. I can't say anything more about the subject because I don't want to give anything away. I can tell you, however that Rory is a character. She has a crazy family that she talks about unabashedly, sharp wit that made me laugh out loud, and loyalty to her friends. This is a great book for young adults and for the young at heart- just be prepared to read it from cover to cover. I can't wait for the next book in this series.
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Format: Hardcover
When her parents move to England her senior year, Rory Devereaux agrees to go with them, as long as she can attend boarding school in London. The school and the people in it are a far cry from her tiny southern hometown, not far from New Orleans, but Rory likes her new roommate and is enjoying her school (well, except for maybe the field hockey part). Then, a murder is committed near the school, an exact replica of the first of the Jack the Ripper murders. And none of the security cameras in the area ever caught a glimpse of the killer. It doesn't take long for everyone in London to realize that there is a Ripper copycat on the loose, throwing the entire city into mayhem. Rory thinks that she's safe from it all, despite her proximity to the murder scenes, but when she is questioned by a secret branch of the London police, Rory finds that she is a lot closer to the real killer than she thought.

Maureen Johnson's The Name of the Star is a fascinating and unique book! It is a bit different from her earlier, humor-driven work, but the writing is just as good as ever, and while the book isn't necessary serious, the mystery of the brutal deaths and the threat to Rory does have a bit of a sobering effect. That being said, there is still a lot of great humor in The Name of the Star, and some fantastic, quirky characters that entertain to no end. Rory is an excellent narrator--she's hardworking, funny, loyal, and when the going gets tough, she's a pretty noble person, even if the circumstances terrify her. The boarding school setting is a great one, with lots of fun and drama, and it's the perfect location for the Rippermania to take place.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I've had this book on my to read list for quite some time. I'm glad that I got around to reading it. I'm giving it 4.5 stars.

The Name of the Star by Maureen Johnson stars Rory, a teen from Louisiana, who goes to London to attend school. She is quickly met with headlines proclaiming there is a new Jack the Ripper serial killer on the loose. While Rory is trying to maneuver living with a roommate and crushing on a cute guy who also is obsessed with Jack, the killer seems to be aware of her in a scary way. Things get a bit more paranormal, but I'll let the reader discover that for themselves.

I really enjoyed the writing of this book. The setting and mood were very London-ish and the book was well researched. I loved Rory and her crazy family back in Louisiana, and I enjoyed getting to know some of the supporting cast, which I won't go into as to not spoil any readers.

I agree with some of the other reviewers that in the middle it seems to stagnate a bit, and I thought this a solid four star novel for a while. Not to mention, the romance seemed pretty lackluster. But with a paranormal plot twist, and a terrific ending-- the only way it could have ended--I was impressed enough to give it another half star.

I believe Johnson is just getting started and is a promising new writer, and I'll definitely be picking up the next installment.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
After reading and talking up Silk by Chris Karlsen, The Name of the Star by Maureen Johnson came highly recommended to me. It is different spin on the Jack the Ripper murders set in modern day London where someone is replicating the Ripper murders in detail and can't be seen on CCTV. Creepy!

Within 30 pages, I knew that Rory, the story's heroine, was one of my new book BFFs.

"I decided to deflect her attitude by giving a long Southern answer. I come from people who know how to draw things out. Annoy a Southern, and we will drain away the moments of your life with our slow, detailed replies until you are nothing but a husk of your former self and that much closer to death."

Rory doesn't take any guff from her British classmates. While she does stick out like a sore thumb, she doesn't hide. She shares her differences and love of Cheese Whiz with her classmates openly. It was refreshing to have a main female character embrace her differences and flaunt them. I wanted to be more like Rory in almost every way!

The details of the Ripper murders happen quite quickly as the replicated murders happen in the same timeframe as the original murders. Under the scrutiny of the 24-hour news cycle it was not difficult imagine the world waiting for the next murder to happen. It's crazy what constant access to news and security footage does to society. The history of the Ripper murders were shared via news updates which was helpful and made sense given the context of the story. It also allowed the characters to be out in the thick of it rather than stuck in a dank library.

The narration for the audiobook was well done. Nicola Barber slipped between various English accents and an American Southern accent easily.
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