The Name of the Star
Author: Maureen Johnson
Series: Shades of London #1
Genre: Young Adult, Thriller, Romance, Fantasy
First Sentence: The eyes of London were watching Claire Jenkins.
No no no no. Just no.
The Name of the Star was advertised as a thriller. Did I get a thriller? No.
In fact, I’ve never met any book with Jack the Ripper in it that bored me to death and had me skimming most of the book. Until now.
I’ve always had a love-hate relationship with Maureen Johnson’s books. I loved Girl At Sea, but disliked her Little Blue Envelope series. I was hoping that I’ll enjoy reading The Name of the Star as much as I enjoyed reading Girl At Sea since it was about Jack the Ripper, and hello, what could go wrong with that? Answer: A lot apparently.
Unlike Barry Lyga’s I Hunt Killers and the oh-so-famous television show Criminal Minds, The Name of the Star had no suspense whatsoever. No thrill. No real mind-spattering action. Nothing. It was just pages and pages of useless boarding school info mixed with a bit of romance that was poorly done. Basically, Rory is in the background and always in the background, but the book focuses on her.
And the romance. I don’t get Rory and Jerome’s relationship. If you studied it thoroughly, you’ll see that it’s the love at first sight type of romance, also known as insta-love. Rory likes Jerome because what? He’s the only available guy and cute? Their relationship was awkward and proceeded so slow that I couldn’t help but roll my eyes whenever they two started [finally] making out.
The only thing I liked about The Name of the Star are the victim scenes, where there was only sadly two. It was the only action in the book, but those scenes were about three pages and very short lived. If Maureen Johnson wrote the rest of her book like how she wrote those short scenes, then The Name of the Star would be a lot more interesting and engaging.
If you want to read a real thriller that would leave you gasping and guessing the main character’s every move, then I’ll recommend you to read I Hunt Killers by Barry Lyga. Once you’ve read something as good as that, The Name of the Star would pale greatly in comparison. I think it’s fairly safe for me to say that I would definitely not be reading the next book in Shades of London series. If Jack the Ripper wasn’t mentioned in The Name of the Star, I would definitely not have read the book at all the first place.