Author: Maureen Johnson
Series: Shades of London #1
Publisher: Harper Collins
Published: September 29th 2011
Genre: Young Adult, Fantasy, Mystery, Paranormal, Historical Fiction
"New York Times" bestseller Maureen Johnson takes on Jack the Ripper in this captivating paranormal thriller!
The day that Louisiana teenager Rory Deveaux arrives in London to start a new life at boarding school is also the day a series of brutal murders breaks out over the city, killings mimicking the horrific Jack the Ripper spree of more than a century ago. 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 believe to be the prime suspect. But she is the only one who saw him--the only one who can see him. And now Rory has 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.-Goodreads
I have followed Maureen Johnson on twitter for a little while now, without really realising that I owned one of her books and hadn't read it yet. You can follow her here if you want!!
When I found the book on my TBR pile I dived into it excitedly. The fact that the novel is set in London and features Jack the Ripper just further cemented how cool Maureen Johnson is.
The plot for this novel revolves around our main character Rory, who is an American coming to an English boarding school. I really enjoyed the boarding school element, it all seemed very quaint and Mallory Towers-ish to me! I also enjoyed how some of Rory's American-isms were met with confusion from many of her fellow students.
It becomes quickly obvious that this is more than a normal murder mystery novel when Rory discovers she can see people that no one else can. Although the ending was a tad predictable, overall I really enjoyed the plot, it had some nice twists and the Jack the Ripper theme appealed to my macabre interest in all things gruesome!
I felt that I could really hear Rory's voice throughout this novel, and the fact that her American accent stood out so much in England. I also enjoyed some of the things the other students said, although some were a little cliché, it was nice to see some British characters in YA.
There also wasn't too much romance in this novel, instead of the relationships taking centre stage, they were pushed to the back to allow for a better and more developed plot.
Overall I really enjoyed this novel, and I really want to pick up some more of Maureen Johnson's novels if they are anywhere as good as this one was!