Louisiana teenager Rory Deveaux has arrived at Wexford, her new London boarding school just in time for her first semester... and for Rippermania to take over the city. The day she arrives is the same day that a string of brutal murders begins across London, mimicking those attributed to Jack the Ripper a century earlier. The city is in a panic and Rory's new Wexford neighborhood is in the dead center of Ripper-ville. Few clues are provided by London's CCTV network and since Rory the is only person who has seen the man believed to be behind the murders, her boarding school experience isn't starting out quite the way she expected.
Though the premise of The Name of the Star is dark, Maureen Johnson skillfully blends an intriguing murder mystery and paranormal elements with the humor and wit fans of her other work will be familiar with, keeping the book just slightly more on the side of fun than horror. Rory is an independent character with an outsider's perspective whose confusion mirrors that of the reader and allows us to uncover the mystery and explore the city along with her. Clever supporting characters round out the book very well and make it easy to understand the sense of belonging Rory begins to feel in her new surroundings. While the ending isn't a cliffhanger, it will leave readers eager for the release of the second installment of the Shades of London series.
Submitted by Jessie @ Zablocki