Thursday, September 29, 2011

Review: The Name of the Star

Synopsis: The day Louisiana teenager Rory Deveaux arrives in London marks a memorable occasion. For Rory, it's the start of a new life at a London boarding school. But for many, this will be remembered as the day a series of brutal murders broke out across the city, gruesome crimes mimicking the horrific Jack the Ripper events of more than a century ago.

Soon “Rippermania” takes hold of modern-day London, and the police are left with few leads and no witnesses. Except one. Rory spotted the man police believe to be the prime suspect. But she is the only one who saw him. Even her roommate, who was walking with her at the time, didn't notice the mysterious man. So why can only Rory see him? And more urgently, why has Rory become his next target? In this edge-of-your-seat thriller, full of suspense, humor, and romance, Rory will learn the truth about the secret ghost police of London and discover her own shocking abilities.

My Review: What first drew me to this story was Jack the Ripper.  I have to admit, I'm a bit of a Ripper freak.  Well, not really, but I think the whole legendary quality of Jack and the murders is really cool.  Partially because a character in another book totally had a Jack the Ripper aurora about him and I kind of fell in love with the whole thing. 

What really made this story so cool for me was the fact that it took place in London.  Just having been to London this past summer it was really kinda neat going "I've been there!" and being able to actually visualize where all these places were.  You really just can't imagine London without having been on its streets.  This being said, I still think Maureen did an excellent job of creating an atmosphere for the story.  That rainy/drizzle without it actually being raining? Ya, dead on.  Tripping on the cobble stones? Check.  How British people just seem so much more mature? Check again.  It was just really cool being able to actually know what the author was talking about. 

I really loved Rory as well.  Also having been to New Orleans, plus my obsession with True Blood, she was high on my cool-o-meter.  She had a great sense of witty humor that just cracked me up throughout the entire novel.  Just the way the story was written really had it's laugh out loud moments.  She was quirky and down to earth and was extremely loyal to her friends.  Her stories about her weird ass family and town were so entertaining.  She's like one of those people that always has a funnier story than you, and the kicker is they're always true. 

I loved the whole atmosphere of the story as well.  The Ripper is truly one of the most feared figures in history.  His name alone makes you start looking over your shoulder or flinching at innocent noises.  When women are once again being butchered on the streets on the exact same day and in the exact same manner as in 1888, London gets crazy.  The whole world is making it a free for all carnival occasion, complete with t-shirts.  It's really sickening how the news loves to put horrible things into the media and make it all one big party.  As the final days approach for Jack's killing spree, Rory grows more and more on edge.  When she actually see's whom she believes is the killer, she herself becomes a target. 

During the course of the Ripper mania, Rory keeps seeing people that no one else can see.  What she eventually discovers is that she can see ghosts, and that there is a whole team of people in London with the same ability, and their watching her.  The Shades of London, as they're called, were super cool in my opinion.  I really loved every single one of them.  Boo was just plain hysterical.  I have a feeling we'd get along well.  She is beyond quirky.  I loved how she said "yeah" almost every sentence.  You don't really get to meet Callum all that much.  He's really barely there, but he seemed like a nice guy.  I really loved Stephen though.  He's quiet and serious, and barely older than Rory.  He has a tremendous responsibility on his shoulders, and he handles it all calmly.  I can't really explain why I liked him so much. He was just kind of that nice guy that everyone likes.  Plus apparently he can drive like a bad ass.  That gained him definite points.  I really quite loved one of the ghosts too.  Alistair (MAD EYE!) was super cool.  The first time you meet him in the story, he's sitting on the floor in the library singing Panic by the Smiths.  I might have fallen in love.  I have a strange passion for 80's music.  Lol.  He was moody, but he also knew every single book in the library.  Yep, definitely in love.  Haha. 

The ending was such a shock for me.  It was a definite cliff hanger, yet somehow it worked well.  My eyes were just kind of wide and like "Daaaamn!" I absolutely cannot wait for the next one! It'll be interesting to see if Maureen intends on keeping that really creepy, dark element to the story.  I really wonder how it'll go without the whole Jack the Ripper thing. I'm definitely intrigued. Loved the characters, the story, everything.  The only thing I am going to bitch about is the cover.  Uhm, excuse me? Rory has almost black hair...why is there a red head on the cover? Bothersome? I think so.  It really kind of bugged the crap out of me. Besides that, fantastic.  Really loved it. 


LoriStrongin said...

DEFINITELY looking forward to reading this one. And YAY for another Ripper fan! So, kinda blushing as I admit this, but the Jack the Ripper walking tour of Whitechapel was one of my favorite things we did when last in London. I really shouldn't find a serial murderer so fascinating, but nice to know I'm not alone!