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The Name of the Star by Maureen Johnson This work is considered exceptional by our editorial staff.

I loved this book. The fact that it started out slow, introducing the reader to London, and Wexford, the school that Rory goes to, was genius. The Ripper murders have already started happening before Rory even gets off her plane, so you are led to believe that it is just a coincidence that she is there while they are going on. It seems like Rory will just be a bystander, nothing to do with the murders.

Then, we find out that ghosts exist. And the Ripper is a ghost. And Rory is the only witness. There are ghost police in London.

This is one of those books that you don’t know is a Sci-Fi book until the middle of it, and it came as a complete surprise, to me at least. I have read some of Maureen Johnson’s books before, and they are all wonderful, and well-written, but she generally writes about romance, with fluffy teenage drama. Her new book is brilliant, and so different from the others. Her witty, clever voice is as hilarious as ever, and the plot of the novel was so expertly crafted, I never knew what was coming next.

The characters in the novel were great, but there are still so many questions about so many of them, I can’t wait for the next Shades of London book. Soon, I hope? Rory, Jazza, Boo, Stephen, Callum, and Jerome were colorful characters, and each brought their own unique view on the Ripper murders, and their backstories and relationships with each other were really believable.

One last thought: If Maureen Johnson can manage to sneak a Doctor Who reference into a thriller novel about a murdering ghost, what can’t she do?





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