Author: Maureen Johnson
Series: Yes, #1
UK Publisher: HarperCollins
UK Release date: September 2011
Kindly given by the publisher for an honest review
When Rory moves to London to start her new boarding school, she finds herself in the middle of 'Rippermania'. A copycat serial killer is back, killing on the streets of London, but it seems that he has eyes only for Rory.
Review: Firstly I have to say that Maureen Johnson's description of London and Rory's arrival at her new school is very detailed. So much so you feel very involved in the story. Readers that like to be plunged straight into a whirlwind of action and intrigue might however find the start very slow. Personally I enjoyed reading all the details and seeing London through new eyes, despite being very familiar with all the locations. Maureen Johnson was very good at showing the cultural I live in London and know the places that were being described differences between Rory's American upbringing and her new British home, and I loved Rory's little comments on British life and people (yes, we do get annoyed if people confuse English, British, and Welsh!) I think this was done in a very sensitive but funny way, and brought lots of little smiles to my face.
I instantly liked Rory, mainly because she was down to earth and funny. I also really liked her roommate Jazza, because she had no pretensions or airs and graces. She was a bit geeky and she wasn't miss popularity, but it endeared me to her even more. In fact, when she disappeared from the plot for a few chapters in favour of new friend Boo, I was really disappointed. I think it was because I liked Rory and Jazza so much, that I was so gripped to the plot particularly for the first half of the story. I do hope though that the next book still includes Jazza!
I'm still a little undecided on what I think of the ending....I'm not sure how I expected the story to end, but it wasn't what I thought it would be. Perhaps it was because the second half of the story was very different to the first half and diverged slightly from the main theme of the plot, delving more into the secret group of ghosthunters. Call me odd, but I preferred the first half with it's intrigue, mystery and London decsriptions. I have heard others say they felt the start was a little slow, so I guess this is just personal preference.
Gripping, intriguing and with some great British touches, The Name of the Star takes a century-long murder mystery and entwines it in a modern day paranormal drama.