The first book in the Shadows of London series, The Name of the Star, is a story featuring Rory (Aurora) Deveaux, who lives in a swamp community in Louisiana and is going to a special school in London, but there's a killer on the loose. And not just any regular killer. Jack the Ripper was a murderer who never got caught, never got identified, committed murders eviscerating women in the late 19th century. Though it was only one person, he's in sprite form every killer that goes bump in the night. And now there's a new killer up who's imitating the Ripper murders in today's security-solidified London, yet he's still somehow untraceable. Will this slithering snake somehow find his way to Rory?
Now, when I finished the book, I walked home from watering my grandparents's plants thinking I would give this thumbs up, but then I thought about the other two and a half rated books I've rated and unfortunately, I had to bump my grade down. Don't get me wrong: I don't think it's a terrible book. I just think it misses the mark on a few points. Will it entertain you? I guess that depends. Here are these points in the meantime:
1) The radio stations announce the murders, as radio stations are supposed to do, and comparing them to Jack the Ripper. The only problem is they never talk about the actual people who were murdered. Just mention their names and pass it on to the JTR fact. I know this is a way to skip over in order to keep the reader interested in what's important to the plot, but I don't think radio stations would do it this way. 2) There is a mystery element to this book and there are some parts that are incredible. When Rory is able to see someone in a glimpse and her friend and roommate doesn't, I felt there was a connection between something that had already happened, but I couldn't put my finger on it until the book put it on for me. However, the bigger mystery isn't given a chance to sink into the story. Not unless you are already a Jack the Ripper expert or something. 3) The main character. Now, Rory is one of the better female protagonists, not all over the place with her emotions, loves sausages, the only girl who doesn't like hockey (am I the only one who felt infuriated when Claudia forcefully signed her up?), she's just likeable. But she doesn't do much to make her stand out or feel strong, something I hoped the book would fix and didn't. Hopefully there will be more in the next two or three books.
Now, the characters aren't too bad. I liked Jaza, Jerome and Alistair quite a bit, and when Boo entered the scene, I found her intriguingly...suspiciously perfect yet not so perfect. And in between sections of the book, it goes to the point of view of someone else, from a woman who owns a bar to a college professor studying the turnabouts of the crisis, and it doesn't actually stall the story like it usually does when it switches points of view from the main character. The book is also set on a cliffhanger, in the middle when it comes to the tension; not as amazing as the one in Golden Son nor as hopelessly dull as the one in Stolen: Heart of Dread. I plan on reading the next book. And this novel also has an intriguing committee, a somehow original set of people.
But in the end, I guess my main cause for disliking this book is it isn't as shady or action packed as the last book series I read situated in London. The Crusher trilogy, with Crusher, Incinerator, and Shredder. Those books were ace. After those three, this one feels a little underwhelming and not really...shady.