The Name of the Star by Maureen Johnson centers around the Jack the Ripper myth and brings the original serial killer into modern day London. Prior to beginning this book I had little knowledge of Jack the Ripper other then the basics: he killed woman and it was a long time ago. The Name of the Star was littered with both truth and fiction surrounding the legend. I came to learn just how much of Jack’s story was made up by the news agencies of the time and just how little is still know of this serial killer.
The Main character Aurora “Rory” is a New Orleans transplant who comes to an English Boarding School, Wexford, after her parents choose to go on sabbatical. It is here that she meets her new roommate Jazza , her possible love interest Jerome, and of course Jack the Ripper.
I thoroughly enjoyed The Name of the Star the novel was rich with descriptions and prose. I really like Johnson’s style of writing it has the right combination of character interaction and description of the setting and goings on at Wexford Academy. It is quickly apparent that she has written books before and knows how to tell a story.
I had a few qualms with this book and most are spoilery so in vague terms I will say that I did not like the plot twist in the middle of the novel. I felt like there was other more realistic ways to have solved the new Jack the Ripper murders. I also didn’t like that following the plot twist we see very little of Jazza and Jerome who had been Rory’s best friends prior to the event.
I did like all of the characters in The Name of the Star Jazza, Jerome, Boo, and even Charlotte won me over. That is probably why I was sad to see the characters in the first half lose page time. Everyone had very distinct personalities and no one more then Rory! She was a very southern gal trying to get used to living in London and adjusting to life and boarding school she was very realistic and relatable to me and that made her all the more likable.
Overall I definitely enjoyed The Name of the Star it was a fun re-telling of the Jack the Ripper murders that kept me up late at night reading.