Friday, February 8, 2013

Book review: The Name of the Star by Maureen Johnson

So mass murderers are obviously a fad in YA these days(or at least it was back in good ol' 2012). There is something so gruesomely fascinating about Jack the Ripper(who whas he and why was he never caught?) and he plays a big role in author Maureen Johnson's novel The Name of the Star.

Putnam Juvenile's book cover for  The Name of the Star.

Southern girl Rory moves away to England with her family. Here Rory attends a school that is located almost smack dab in the middle of the area where Jack the Ripper operated some 100 years ago. Soon after Rory is settled in at school a body is found close by and it soon becomes apparent that there is a Jack the Ripper copycat out and about in London.

A little something for everyone
Maureen Johnson has managed to write at story that will have an appeal to a wide specter of readers. Here we have supernatural elements and history in a perfect blend all set nicely together in a contemporary setting. The Name of the Star was a fun and thrilling read, at times so much so that the creaking in my house was disturbing to listen to ;) Still The Name of the Star didn't quite make it on my list of top reads; it was a nice read but nothing more. What I enjoyed most of all with the story was the times when Rory thought about her own quite eccentric family living back home in the South.

It was evident that Johnsen had done a lot of research on the Ripper, that was good because I like the history to be correct when I read a novel that contains a historical character.

I do believe that this is the first novel in a trilogy and I might just read the second book some day. In the end this book kind of reminded me of The Gallows Curse by Andrew Hammond.

The other Ripper novel I've read?
Ripper by Amy Carol Reeves - so far this is my favorite Ripper novel. It is set in London in 1888 and the city is painted in such a vivid way that you can just imagine walking the streets right along with the main character.


  1. Great review, even if the book won't be on your favorite shelf :) I agree, when using historical characters, facts need to be accurate, if not, I just get upset that the author is playing with 'real' people.

    God helg!

    1. Thank you, Lexxie. It was a very good read, it just lacked something to be a great one, but it was a nice introduction to Maureen Johnson's writing.

      Riktig god helg :)

  2. This didn't make it to my favorite list either. I found the character's to be a bit vague though I also enjoyed the stories about her family in America. The sequel is released next month but I think my tbr-pile is too big to prioritize this one.

    1. Same here, Silje(unless it all of a sudden pops up a whole mountain of six star reviews then I have to reconsider).

  3. I haven't read this one yet, it's on my wishlist but I'm in no rush to get it :)
    Thank you for stopping by my blog! I'm following back :)

    1. I hope it will provide a better reading experience for you than it was for me, Ivana :)

  4. Replies
    1. Yay for a good selection at your library, B :) Our library haven't got a single one of Maureen Johnson's books. Perhaps not that weird, since none of the books have been translated into Norwegian and our local library doesn't exactly have the largest selection of novels in English.


Thank you for sharing your thoughts =)