Another day, another totally addicting book by Maureen Johnson. That beautiful lady really knows how to suck a girl into a story. The Name of the Star took a darker, more fantastical route than the last of Johnson’s that I encountered, and I liked it. Basically this story is everything I dreamed about when I was younger (and, let’s be real, I still dream about it). The main character, Rory, is spending her senior year of high school in London just as someone is terrorizing the city by repeating Jack the Ripper’s murders. Ok, so I didn’t dream about murders when I was younger or now…I promise, but Jack the Ripper is a fascinating story.
Maureen Johnson does an amazing job of mixing in facts about the murders with high school life and drama in a foreign country and by mid book there’s even a supernatural element! (Wait for a moment while high school Emma squeals with excitement.) While reading the description of the book I was a little concerned it would just be too much to cram into one story. Girl abroad, Modern day Jack the Ripper, Mystery Magic Element (seriously, did you think I was going to tell you? You’ll have to wait for the reveal) all seem like they could be good stories individually, but packing them into one book seemed risky. It is, however, pulled off beautifully. In reading we’re given just enough time to settle into a routine in London with Rory before her brand new world is turned upside down and the reader gets pulled along with her.
If you’re into the action packed fantasy book, stick with this one through the beginning, we find out about everything at the same time as Rory and the wait is worth it. We’re given just enough time to become emotionally attached to every single one of the characters we encounter, then everything changes. It’s also worth noting that this is the first of a series of books, the third one just came out. So even if it starts slow on the action in this one, you’ve got two other books that I imagine will confront the more supernatural elements a little more head on.
I, for one, am very much looking forward to getting my hands on the second book, and I shall report back as soon as I do!