Then something inexplicable happens: Rory spots someone who might be the suspect. But nobody else saw him. Why is that? And is she in danger? I don't want to give away too many spoilers, so I'll just say that this is a spooky, suspenseful mystery with plenty of atmospheric London locales, a hint of romance, and a whole lot of freaky happenings. And it's only Book One…
Concerning Character: Rory is a likeable combination of grounded in herself yet also looking to find out more about who she is—she's practical and smart, but not so smart that she doesn't get into trouble from time to time, and of course, it's trouble that makes for a good story, isn't it? She's from Louisiana originally, but the author does a good job of not making Rory a stereotypical Southerner, just reminding us from time to time with gentle hints or memories from Rory's life before. Mostly, in contrast with her new London classmates, she's just terribly AMERICAN, and plenty of things get lost in translation. It doesn't mean she's friendless, however, or boyfriendless, and her allies (some of them in VERY unexpected places) end up being vital to saving her life.
Recommended for Fans Of...: Suspenseful thrillers with a supernatural element, like Scott Westerfeld's Midnighters books, Lisa McMann's Wake etc., or anything by Lois Duncan. Also, fans of stories set in London, like Neil Gaiman's Neverwhere.
Cover Chatter: The hardback cover is just SO far superior to the paperback. That ghostly, Victorian daguerreotype-ish Jack the Ripper in the background is fantastically creepy, as is the "is she sleeping or dead?" girl in the foreground. The paperback cover is a bit more generic—I probably wouldn't pick it up on its own.
Review Copy Source: Library.
You can find The Name of the Star by Maureen Johnson online, or at an independent bookstore near you!