February 2, 2012 by Heidi
Author: Maureen Johnson [Website|Twitter|Facebook]
Standing: Book one in the Shades of London series.
Genre: New/Young Adult, Paranormal, Mystery
Published: September 29th, 2011 by Putnam Juvenile
Format: Kindle edition.
Source: Borrowed from my local library.
- Significantly better.
- Shades of London.
I wasn’t sure about Rory at first, she seemed nice enough, but she also talked. A lot. Personally, I’m usually annoyed by those who are overly loquacious, and Rory felt some southern need to entertain with numerous tangential stories of her crazy relatives back home. Luckily, we only hear her voice a story and a bit before she quite literally chokes on her words. Thereafter, her stories are told mostly in text, and I actually quite enjoyed her weird comparisons and connections between her past and the ongoing events.
Rory is strong, smart, and definitely a girl to root for. I loved her relationships with the others in the book, as they reflected a very real teenage personality. In particular, I loved her relationship with Jerome because it’s essentially no big deal. It’s a real teenage relationship. They crush, they flirt, they let their hormones rage, they do not pledge their undying love forever and ever after five minutes because they are seventeen freaking years old. I appreciated this greatly, and it let me really like Jerome while simultaneously thinking Rory will be able to move on to other relationships (YES I have someone particular in mind) in the future without a ton of drama or heartache. I liked the girlfriends, Jazzy and Boo (though those names…really? I mean one sure, but both of them?), I even like the nemesis, Charlotte…though that’s probably largely because she goes to a costume party dressed as Amy Pond.
Maureen Johnson has very cleverly constructed a situation in which it is feasible to have very young characters doing very badass jobs (see above comment about Torchwood/Ghostbusters). The Name of the Star is incredibly fast paced, in a unique way that allows for both the characters and the story to unfold and develop equally. Jack the Ripper provided both a terrifying and gripping plot laid over the invention of a new world with countless opportunities for further development. I personally felt the story unwrapped itself layer by layer to reveal something much more complicated than suggested at first glance. Besides people, it’s Jack the Ripper! Who hasn’t been terrified by this man at some point? The Name of the Star provides an excellent and fresh twist on the Ripper story, while creating its own unique tale.
Likelihood that I’ll be back for more: The Madness Underneath is set to release later this year and I cannot wait!
Recommended for: Fans of Jack the Ripper, those who like paranormal mysteries ala Odd Thomas, people into somewhat ridiculous but awesome off-the-books agencies.
Real life repercussions of reading this book: I was torn between the morbid curiosity of wanting to look up Ripper info (and pics!) and not wanting to have to sleep with a night light on and check behind the shower curtain when I pee. The pics won out.