Book Rating: ★★★☆☆
Cover Rating: ★★★☆☆
- Reading level: Young Adult
- Hardcover: 384 pages
- Publisher: Putnam Juvenile; First Edition edition (September 29, 2011)
The day Louisiana teenager Rory Deveaux arrives in London marks a memorable occasion. For Rory, it's the start of a new life at a London boarding school. But for many, this will be remembered as the day a series of brutal murders broke out across the city, gruesome crimes mimicking the horrific Jack the Ripper in the autumn of 1888.
Soon "Rippermania" takes hold of modern-day London, and the police are left with few leads and no witnesses. Except one. Rory spotted the man police now believe to be the prime suspect. But she is the only one who saw him. Even her roommate, who was with her at the time, didn't notice the mysterious man. So why can only Rory see him? And more urgently, why has Rory become his next target? In this edge-of-your-seat thriller, full of suspense, humor, and romance, Rory will learn the truth about the secret ghost police of London and discover her own shocking abilities.
My entire life, I've always loved English accents. I also love hot tea but hate sweet tea, which means that I, living in the South, am constantly shunned. And, the cherry on top, is that I've always thought Jack the Ripper was a fascinating subject. Sick and very scary, but interesting. Really just puts Michael Meyers to shame. So when I found out Maureen Johnson was writing a book on Jack the Ripper, I was super, super excited.
The first part of the book was very well written and extremely original. I liked Rory's spunk and voice, and Jazza was a good character, but sort of underdeveloped and too perfect. I liked Jerome, but he seems like crush material, not really serious. He is a well-developed, funny character, though, and he is certainly interesting. My favorite character by far has to be Stephen, though. Charismatic, quiet, brooding, dark.... I just adore him. I also hope that Rory's romance with Jerome goes south for a while, even though I like him. I feel like she and Stephen are a better fit. My second favorite character would be Alistair, who I won't spoil for you, but has a dismissive air about him that I love. The final character who I thought was excellently developed was, of course, The Ripper.
The plot in this book was very good, even if it was a bit predictable. A bit fluffy at times, but you found yourself concerned for the characters and sitting on the edge of your seat often. I wish there had been more meat to the novel, more action and plotting. While the ending is very good, I had guessed how it would end half-way into the book.
The one really major problem I had with this book that took it from being four stars to three was the originality. Or, rather, what took that originality and made it cliche. While I love ghost books, this book had an amazing, original storyline going for it. Really, it wasn't the fact that there were ghosts- it was just the fact that there was an elite, special force that she happened to belong to. I have read that kind of book over and over again, and I was hoping for something new and unexpected that just jumped out at you, which this book very easily could have been.
Overall, a good book, though it could have been better. I recommend reading it on a rainy afternoon or very late at night by candle.