Customer Reviews for

The Name of the Star (Shades of London Series #1)

Average Rating 4.5
( 185 )
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(97)

4 Star

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(16)

2 Star

(6)

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(7)

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Most Helpful Favorable Review

23 out of 24 people found this review helpful.

A witty tale of intrigue and adventure

Take an American girl from Bénouville, Louisiana. Relocate her to a boarding school in London. Throw in a couple of ghosts, a dallop of mystery and a dash of romance and you've got the page-turning, spine-tingling, keeps-you-up-at-night-to-finish-reading-it novel that i...
Take an American girl from Bénouville, Louisiana. Relocate her to a boarding school in London. Throw in a couple of ghosts, a dallop of mystery and a dash of romance and you've got the page-turning, spine-tingling, keeps-you-up-at-night-to-finish-reading-it novel that is The Name of the Star by Maureen Johnson.

Rory, has a witty and spunky voice - which I found to be similar to Maureen's Twitter-chatter style. The story opens up with Rory giving the reader a very brief background of her family and home, the reason she decided to go to Wexford, and her arrival at her new school. We meet Claudia, the house mistress, and Charlotte, the head girl - for some reason I blended the two characters in my head and had a bit of trouble sorting them out in the end, however, this isn't pertinent to the tale. We are introduced to Jazza (Rory's cautious roommate), and Jerome (Rory's Ripper-addicted interest, of sorts); both were such fun characters to read that I found myself looking forward to seeing more of them.

The main plot is the ghost story/mystery that is weaved throughout. There is a killer on the loose, one who is copying the Jack the Ripper slayings. Yet, in a city with CCTVs everywhere, the killer seems to be invisible to the police; that is, until Rory thinks she spotted someone out and about, near the site of one of the killings. Once she tells the police her story, the plot picks up pace and takes you on a whirlwind adventure with eccentric roommates, mysterious strangers, and so much Jack the Ripper information that you come away feeling well versed on the topic - and a somewhat creepier for it.

I love reading Maureen's novels because she is very descriptive about places and situations, so much so that you feel as though you're walking next to the characters - The Name of the Star is written in this fashion. I also enjoyed the bits of family information that Rory litters throughout her narrative; funny little anecdotes to help describe the way she's feeling. One thing that I appreciated about the story is that, compared to other protagonists who have supernatural abilities thrusted upon them, Rory reacts in a very normal and completely expected way. She experiences denial and disbelief in a believable way.

The Name of the Star is the first in a trilogy, and while this story ties up a lot of loose-ends, the ending leaves you with a feeling of satisfaction and curiosity as to what will happen next.

I utterly enjoyed reading it, and highly recommend this to anyone who is a mystery fan.

PS - there are no vampires.

posted by Shanella on November 2, 2011

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Most Helpful Critical Review

7 out of 8 people found this review helpful.

A disappointing read with a promising sequel.

The cover:

I like this one. It does represent Rory and some place of London.

The storyline:

Well, well. This was an interesting read. The story begins when Rory, the main character, goes to a boarding school in London, she settles there and meets new friends. T...
The cover:

I like this one. It does represent Rory and some place of London.

The storyline:

Well, well. This was an interesting read. The story begins when Rory, the main character, goes to a boarding school in London, she settles there and meets new friends. Then, while she’s settling, a murder happens, what’s so special about it is that it has the same characteristics of the victims of the infamous Jack the Ripper. She starts to fall in love with this boy, Jerome, she met while the murders go on.

Then, on the fourth murder, she suddenly becomes the only witness the police has. After interrogating her, she thinks something weird is happening and that’s when she realizes that she’s seeing the ghost of the ripper, because the ripper is a ghost.

That’s when she gets a new roommate whose later found to be a police woman protecting Rory. They become friends along with other two guys who explain things to her and tell her that she has a special gift.

The ripper shows up again and this time he wants Rory. He goes on threating her and the other two guys until she gives up and go with him. Later on, Boo (the new roommate) sends her “ghost” friend to save Rory. She saves Rory but ends up dead too.

At the end, Rory discovers something new and interesting about herself.

What I liked:

The story has some sense in it. I did like how Maureen included Jack the Ripper in this book and how she described every murder very vividly.
The main protagonist, Rory, was brave. And very smart at the beginning.
The writing style was good. Not great but good.
The characters were good.
What I disliked:

The pace in the story was killing me. At the beginning, I got very intrigued by the concept of the book, then the flow of the events was going slowly for me.
I hated how everything seemed easy to happen or to do in this story.
I hated seeing Rory becoming naïve.
The ending wasn’t good at all. I expected more in it and thought maybe what didn’t please me in the beginning and the middle of the book will do at the end, I was disappointed.
I was disappointed not to find the story horrifying. I was expecting it to scare me to death, unfortunately, it didn’t :(.
Why I went for the audiobook eventually:

I started reading the e-book first, but when things started to bore me, I decided to get the audiobook, but guess what? Even the amazing English accents didn’t cheer me up :s. So, thanks to the audiobook, I devoured the story whole even though I was going to stop reading it.

The characters:

Rory is the main protagonist. She’s from the US but goes to a boarding school in England. She’s smart and brave as well as loving and kind.

Jerome is the nice guy. He’s been mostly kept out of story because he had no idea what was going on.

Jazza is Rory’s first roommate and later best friend. She’s kind, nice and smart too. That’s probably why she and Rory became friends in the first place ^_^.

Boo is super cool. She has this funny and cool British accent that I love. She’s been mysterious but later we found out that she’s as nice and cool as Jazza, almost.

The other worth mentioning characters are: Stephen and Callum.

Conclusion:

This could’ve been a great book with the writing style and the characters. Unfortunately, it disappointed me a lot.

Will I be reading the sequel?

Definitely. The sequel has the potential to be way better and I’m having great expectations about it. Let’s hope I won’t be disappointed agai

posted by Ranousha on February 17, 2012

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 3, 2012

    This book was terrible. I kept reading to see if it would get be

    This book was terrible. I kept reading to see if it would get better and it didnt. I got to page 200 and just stopped reading. While there is some mystery it doesn't start until really late in the book, and even then its only a little bit. I had such high hopes for this book and was very disappointed at what I found.

    2 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 24, 2012

    Horrible book

    I didnt like this book bc it was confusing, boring, and weird. I often found myself skimming the pages for dialogue.

    1 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 21, 2013

    Wow to all who know how to spoil a book

    This book sounds amazing but some of you write your reveiw and tell all the suprises !!!! Spoiling it fir others!! Just write if you liked it or not, but please dont tell all and spoil it for ones who want to read it.

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 23, 2014

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    Posted February 18, 2012

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    Posted April 16, 2012

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 4, 2012

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