Saturday, September 17, 2011

The Name of the Star-Maureen Johnson

The Name of the Star

Maureen Johnson

Putnam, Sep 29 2011, $16.99

ISBN: 9780399256608

Excited teenager Rory Deveaux leaves Benouville, Louisiana bayou to attend the Wexford boarding school in London for a year while her parents Tulane professors on sabbatical are in Britain. However, she finds much of the city is in fear as Rippermania terrorizes the city with what the cops know is a copy cat serial killer. This psychopath has mutilated and murdered several people, but never appears on the security cameras that are in the city.

As she struggles with the social customs of the school, Rory meets Jerome and her roommate Jazza. Rory and Jazza are walking together when the Louisiana native notices the killer; her new friend fails to see anything. Rory realizes she sees ghosts that other people and the cameras fail to notice. She tells the police who assume she is a typical American teen. However, the killer notices Rory as a threat and plans to bury her.

The key to this young adult paranormal serial killer thriller is the cast, whether they are sightless norms or those who see ghosts, every important player seem genuine. The suspenseful story line is somewhat gory, but jocularity lightens the impact. With satirical asides on the security of the London surveillance network and the new age vamps and weres, readers will enjoy Rory vs. the neo Ripper in the enjoyable opening Shades of London.

Harriet Klausner

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