I found this book after reading "Dust and Shadow, an Account of the Jack the Ripper Murders by John H. Watson"--which I loved. I've never cared about...moreI found this book after reading "Dust and Shadow, an Account of the Jack the Ripper Murders by John H. Watson"--which I loved. I've never cared about learning about Jack the Ripper, but that book eased my way into the topic. The Name of the Star was a fair continuation with a story of a girl who arrives in London to begin boarding school on the same day a modern-day reenactment of the Ripper murders begins. I read this in audio with narration by Nicola Barber.
Narration first: 5 stars! I loved that she gave all the people appropriate accents and did an excellent job with various British accents. I also loved it that she pronounced the city of New Orleans and my home state of Louisiana the way I do. This wasn't accidental as she pronounced it differently when others said it. She actually stumbled a little over New Orleans, stressing the middle syllable in Orleans a little too much, but I really appreciated it overall.
Second, the story... let me say that I really enjoyed the first four fifths of this book very much. I also really appreciated the very end. What I didn't particularly enjoy was the Bella-esque way the heroine walked into grave peril as a sort of sacrifice. The way the ending was handled made the group supposedly responsible for handling the situation seem like a rank bunch of amateurs--or the very young group of inexperienced neophites they were. Still, the premise has real potential and I will give the next in the series a try.(less)
I listened to the Simon Vance narration of this one. I have been on a Holmes kick and listened to The Complete Stories of Sherlock Holmes, Volumes 2 a...moreI listened to the Simon Vance narration of this one. I have been on a Holmes kick and listened to The Complete Stories of Sherlock Holmes, Volumes 2 and 3 back to back. Then I listened to this one. The writing was pitch perfect with language and phrasing drawn straight from Conan Doyle or approximating it wonderfully. All of the elements were there along with superb narration by Vance.
I have never been even mildly interested in knowing more about Jack the Ripper, but a well-reviewed book about Sherlock Holmes applying himself to the capture of Jack the Ripper made me curious enough to give it a try.
I found the book treated the crimes with sufficient information to convey the horror but not enough to be macabre or too graphic. Since the narrative was from Watson's point of view, it always reflected his Victorian sensibilities, his medical background, and an honest depiction of his revulsion.
The solving of the mystery was typical Sherlock Holmes. Ripperologists might quibble with the ending, but the details were well researched and how Holmes handled it all was vintage Holmes.
Not only do I recommend this book in audio, I recommend how I followed it up. I found a book called "The Name of the Star" by Maureen Johnson which is about a girl from Louisiana--my state--who goes to a London boarding school just in time for a modern-day Jack the Ripper to begin a copycat killing spree. Having been introduced to the ripper info, I was interested to follow this one. It has a paranormal aspect to it and an interesting setting and primary and secondary characters. Do try it as a follow up to "Dust and Shadow."(less)
I read this in audio and found the narrator to have a lovely lyrical accent. The story itself was something like what J. K. Rowling would write if she...moreI read this in audio and found the narrator to have a lovely lyrical accent. The story itself was something like what J. K. Rowling would write if she did something on the Ministry of Magic aimed at adults. The premise is quite interesting, the world-building thorough, and the humor is wonderful. For a first effort this is very good, though not perfect. Still, I'll follow this author in hopes he continues this as a series.(less)