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 work of 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 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, what is he planning to do about her?
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.
©2011 Maureen Johnson (P)2011 Brilliance Audio, Inc.
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"The Reader is a robot"
The reader sounded like Eliza Dolittle. "The rain in Spain..." I found it hard to get into the story because it was like listening to a voice coach. All the T's and S's are so perfectly pronounced and enunciated, you can't for a second believe that it's a real person talking. Especially not a teenager.
Maybe is this woman narrated textbooks? But it just didn't fit with the story. I tried to get through it 3 different times before giving up.
Maureen Johnson is cool...I'll just have to read this book in paperback...I can't get through the audio.
"Boarding school fiction with a paranormal twist."
Not sure, since I haven't read it.
I really liked the fact that for the first half it read like a realistic fiction book about boarding school life in England.
On the fence. Her accents were good but her actual normal narration was really distracting. She over enunciated which was annoying.
"Jack is back."
Fun, quick YA listen. Nothing overwhelmingly good, but decent writing and performance and intriguing storyline.
"Paranormal Ripper-Related YA"
It's hard to rate this novel, because it does many things.
For one, it's a YA fish-out-of-water tale about a small-town Louisiana girl who suddenly finds herself in a boarding school in London. As a glimpse of London life, popular culture, and history through an American lens, it's a very successful and often laugh-out-loud funny tale.
The novel is also a Jack-the-Ripper thriller about a copycat murderer who uses the original Ripper slayings as inspiration for "tribute" killings, with some clever and chilling contemporary updates to the 1888 story. This aspect of the novel, with its atmospheric descriptions and creepy depiction of the morbidly fascinated public at large does work on its own, although it's somewhat jarring next to the more upbeat schooldays story.
But wait, there's more! This book also serves up a paranormal coming-of-age and coming-into-your-powers narrative about ghosts (or shades), those who see them, and the secret police who are in charge of cases involving them. (Think of the Torchwood group dedicated to ghosts. I couldn't unsee Torchwood throughout this section of the novel.) In some ways the novel hangs together - thank heavens Maureen Johnson confined herself to the copycat killer and didn't go back to the mystery of the original Ripper - but in some ways this combination felt overly ambitious, as if everything but the kitchen sink had been thrown into the mix.
Johnson telegraphed at least three of the intended "big reveals" far in advance, so the mystery angle of the book fell flat. The less said about the teen romantic scenes, the better. In addition, I normally really enjoy Nicola Barber's narrations, but her varied attempts at a Louisiana drawl were so outrageously bad that they kept shocking me out of the story. Just dreadful.
I don't think I'll be following up on more of this series, but I'm not sorry I listened to the novel. Perhaps those who enjoy paranormal YA works will enjoy it more than I did. I listened to it for the Ripper connection primarily, and there were enough innovations there to make this worth my while.
I just the setting of this book. I felt like I was there in London.
I am a huge fan of paranormal books. This one had a new take on it. The paranormal police and the sight.
Any of them with Rory trying to make her way around London.
With out giving the ending away. It is hard but, when Rory is saved towards the end.
"fun book to read."
I really enjoyed listening to it. I had a hard time putting it down. it's fun.
"Good quality, mild book"
This book was entertaining and I enjoyed the characters. The book before this one was so stupid I couldn't listen to the rest of it but this made you want to keep listening.
"Gets better as you go."
It starts off slow, but with the introduction of Boo, Stephen, and Callum the book picks up pace rather quickly.
The conclusion pulled the curtain back and revealed the answers to questions left unanswered.
Nicola Barber is a delight to listen too. Every character has their own unique voice.
It really could stand alone, even though it is the first in a series. The end wrapped up everything nicely.
The plot is a slow moving, as the scenes in the book follow the original Ripper's trail. Not all of Rory's home anecdote's fit with moving the story along. At times they felt a bit too stereotypical of what someone thinks it is like to live in the deep south. What helps keep your attention are Boo, Callum, and Stephen. Their roles are what kept me reading.
Maureen is one of my favorites. Both in books and twitter form. I can't wait for the last book to come out.
"Great teen horror"
variety of accents. Humorous writing that rang true
Rory the narrator and "Call Me" Claudia the "dorm mother" for her building
they are on the boys dorm roof watching London wait for Jack the ripper to appear then sneaking back to girls dorm. The ripper appears to Rory
no, just enteraining
Great story that manages to blend "fish out of water" Louisianian teen narration, British boarding school place setting, Jack the ripper bad guy, and ghosts. Works well. Narrator managed a wide variety of accents with aplomb. Liked really well.
"Not your normal Ripper story."
Overall story was very good, nothing specific stood out.
Rory. Because she is smart, and couragous, and she won't let anyone tell her what to do.
Yes, when the ripper and rory are in the abandoned tude station.
Even though this is a YA book, i found the story entertaining and compelling. This book kept me guessing and the suprise ending was amazing. I look forward to Maureen Johnson's next book involving the Shades.
"Nice idea shame about the accents"
I was really intrigued by the premise of this book and enjoyed many aspects of the story which at times I was genuinely frightened by! As a story however I feel the flow of the book is separated into a before & after where characters who had been the main focus at the begining fade into the background in the second half. Overall it was a good story however my main issue with the audiobook was the British accents performed by the reader, which were inconsistent & very poor a shame for the book as there are readers who are capable of performing a range of British and American accents well and would distract less from the content of the text.
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