Saturday, January 14, 2012

The Name of the Star by Maureen Johnson

Rory is really looking forward to starting her new life in London. Wexford Academy promises to be an incredible scholastic environment and she's sure to meet lots of new friends. But she didn't count on London being in the grips of terror. A murderer is terrorizing the city by reenacting the Jack the Ripper murders. As the violence gets closer and closer to Wexford, Rory discovers that she might have a deeper connection with these murders - and that no one around her is safe.

It was quite easy to forget about the Jack the Ripper aspect of the book when I started reading. The first third of the book involves a lot of scene building and introductions: Wexford, students and teachers, London details. This makes sense, because this is the first book in the Shades of London series. But Maureen Johnson has a talent for changing the atmosphere at a moment's notice; one minute there's a school dance and everything's fun and light, and the next minute there's a life and death situation. It's not that it's jarring; the lack of a set-up sometimes enhances the drama, like anything can happen at any time. Speaking of jarring, though, I was listening to the audiobook and when the narration (Rory's voice when not in actual dialogue) has no accent, but Rory's voice has a strong Louisiana accent. So every time she actually started speaking, it felt a bit off. But the book itself was a fun adventure and I'm interested in seeing where the series goes from here.

Find it at IndieBound. 

Read it with:
13 Little Blue Envelopes by Maureen Johnson
Hex Hall by Rachel Hawkins
Portrait of a Killer by Patricia Cornwell

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