Meg's Reviews > The Name of the Star

The Name of the Star by Maureen Johnson
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's review
Mar 27, 2011

really liked it
bookshelves: ya
Read from November 07 to 09, 2011

I liked this! Though it took awhile to warm up. The first part of the book is perfectly genial and filled with good pleasant Maureen Johnson times. And then! About halfway through, things really kick in and up and this entire wonderful world is revealed and I liked that very, very much. I don't want to say too much about it, but I was very excited to learn about the Shades of London and all that that entails.

Was particularly pleased with how the book raises and deals with a couple of subjects that are very close to my heart, the first being, the public mania with the real-life macabre and the need to commodify tragedy. Also, and again without spoiling too much, the morality of retaliation. The slippery slope of deciding you are good and another thing is bad. It's all handled very well, no hamfisty lessons here. And certainly lots to explore in future books. Also it was fun to read an outsider's perspective on London, as written by an outsider who clearly loves the city.

I was somewhat unsatisfied with how the book meshed its two halves together, once the Shades were a part of the situation. Sometimes I felt like the latter half would have benefited from more connection with the former half, if some of the first round characters had lasted longer. Surely there are future book payoffs, here, but I missed some of those folks. Also the climax was a little two-headed; I liked how everything landed but it was an unwieldy couple of chapters. Ultimately though it resulted in both a good OH GOD OH NO and a sniffly oh gooddddd ohhh noooooo, so that's good work.

Next book please!

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