Ghost stories are hard to tell, in my opinion. Mainly because I believe in ghosts and often find the fictional accounts hard to believe. I didn’t have that problem with The Name of the Star.
Synopsis from Goodreads:
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.
Rory’s immersion into London culture was a delight to witness. Maureen Johnson brought the setting to life with skill and presented readers with well-developed characters. The story moved at a calculated pace and the plot held surprises. And most importantly, suspending disbelief came easily. It’s obvious Johnson spent a great deal of time researching Jack the Ripper and she deftly brought Rippermania into modern day London.
Now, I found a great deal of predictability within the pages of this novel. It didn’t detract from the overall story, but dampened the enjoyment by a few degrees (hence the three star rating instead of four). Two surprises in particular almost made up for predictable elements and they certainly made the climax gratifying.
Overall, I found The Name of the Star a good book and easy to read. I recommend it to anyone that likes ghost stories and young adult tales. It appears to be the first in a series and while I’m not chomping at the bit for the next book, I’ll certainly read it once it hits the shelves.