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Amanda Shofner

Grand Mistress of On a Book Bender. On the path of least revision. Wine supplier for grammar pain sufferers. #BecauseWine. Idea wrangler. Wielder of words. Black coffee drinker.

Currently reading

Jayne Castle
Diana Peterfreund
Bad Behavior
Jennifer Lane
The False Prince
Jennifer A. Nielsen
Light of the Moon (Legend of the Dreamer, Book 1)
David James
Amaryllis (St. Helen's Series #1)

The Name of the Star (Shades of London Series #1)

The Name of the Star - Maureen Johnson

I think I first saw The Name of the Star on Ruby’s Reads. I had no idea who Maureen Johnson was. It sounded like an intriguing premise, so I added it to my TBR list AND started following Maureen Johnson on Twitter. Following her on Twitter only made me more anxious to read The Name of the Star (mostly because Maureen Johnson is hilarious and entertaining). I picked up The Name of the Star for my first Bout of Books 3.0 read, and I was definitely not disappointed.


It took me only a few pages to fall in love with Rory and her dry sarcasm and general quirkiness. Rory’s move and adjustment to living in London was both amusing and believable. I’m always a little concerned about whether culture shock is believable in stories (both because I’ve gone through it myself and because I’ve researched it for my thesis) but it was handled well here. Reading The Name of the Star made me want to go to boarding school in London. And that is something that I didn’t think I would ever say. I did also very much enjoy the side characters. Maureen Johnson has a way of giving the side characters just enough quirks to make them memorable and interesting.


The Name of the Star is both paranormal and a mystery. I didn’t find the story to be particularly scary, though I’m not easily scared with books. I thought the mystery was a slow burner, but one that was eerie and freaky, and addicting, once I really got into the story. I love a good paranormal, but I think what I loved even more about The Name of the Star is that it seemed to straddle the line between paranormal and mystery. I have not read many paranormals where the main (or only) paranormal creature were ghosts, and due to the nature of how the world and the “secret ghost police of London” are set up, Rory’s world is actually quite believable. Though The Name of the Star is the first in a series, there is no cliffhanger (NONE!) and it can easily be read as a stand alone.