Thursday, August 18, 2011


Pages: 370
Date: 17/08/2011
Grade: 5-
Details: no. 1 Shades of London
                     Young Adult
                    Received from and reviewed for Book Geeks

When teenager Aurora (Rory) Deveaux flies from Louisiana to London to start life at a boarding school she’s entering a new, and much cooler world.
All her worries about fitting in and having to play hockey are soon overshadowed by a real threat though. Horrific murders are being committed in London. Murders that copy those committed by Jack the Ripper more than a century ago. Murders that bring panic and excitement, Rippermania, to London and which the police are at a loss to solve since the perpetrator manages to remain invisible from the many security cameras in the city.
After one such murder Rory sees a man who may well be new Ripper, but her friend Jazza, who is with her at the time doesn’t see anybody at all. After taking her statement the police appear to lose interest in Rory and what she saw, but she does find herself with a new and rather strange roommate and before long Rory discovers some disturbing facts about herself, about the world around her and finds herself up to her neck in a potentially very dangerous murder investigation.

This book was a very pleasant surprise. I knew absolutely nothing about Maureen Johnson before reading this book, although my daughter had been telling me she wanted to read books by this author for ages.
It turns out that Johnson is an inspired story-teller. This book is imaginative, original and fascinating. While it deals with a lot of teenage issues you’ll find in most young adult fiction, it seamlessly includes supernatural elements as well as a bone chilling mystery. I found myself compulsively turning the pages, rooting for Rory and her friends while also laughing at loud on several occasions.
I am delighted that this is the first Shades of London book, although it is a bit frustrating that, since I read this book before its publishing date, it looks like I’ll have a long wait before I’ll be able to read the next one. A sequel for which Johnson created the perfect cliff-hanger in the last chapter.
And if you're interested in what my daughter thought about this book, please have a look here at her wonderful review.

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