Well, I didn’t get nearly as many books read for the Halloween Read-A-Thon as I had hoped! But, I did manage two – and look at me go, getting a review up within a couple of weeks of reading. 😉 Hehe.Hunting Prince Dracula (Stalking Jack the Ripper, #2) by Kerri Maniscalco
on September 19th 2017
Genres: Historical, Thriller, Young Adult
, Buy on Amazon
In this New York Times bestselling sequel to Kerri Maniscalco's haunting #1 debut Stalking Jack the Ripper, bizarre murders are discovered in the castle of Prince Vlad the Impaler, otherwise known as Dracula. Could it be a copycat killer...or has the depraved prince been brought back to life?
Following the grief and horror of her discovery of Jack the Ripper's true identity, Audrey Rose Wadsworth has no choice but to flee London and its memories. Together with the arrogant yet charming Thomas Cresswell, she journeys to the dark heart of Romania, home to one of Europe's best schools of forensic medicine...and to another notorious killer, Vlad the Impaler, whose thirst for blood became legend.
But her life's dream is soon tainted by blood-soaked discoveries in the halls of the school's forbidding castle, and Audrey Rose is compelled to investigate the strangely familiar murders. What she finds brings all her terrifying fears to life once again.
First of all: POSSIBLE SPOILERS FOR BOOK 1 IN THIS SERIES – you can read my review of Stalking Jack the Ripper if you don’t want to be spoiled but are intrigued by this post. If you haven’t read SJTR you are SO missing out, please go read right now. KTHXBAI.
Hunting Prince Dracula was the PERFECT book to start off my HalloweenWR. The atmosphere is thick and foreboding and raise-the-hair-on-the-back-of-your-neck creepy. Not for the faint of heart either, are the detailed descriptions of cadavers and dissection. I found them enormously cool and interesting but they might gross out some people. The Victorian trappings are lovely as well – all the fancy dresses and clothes, and rules (which Audrey and Thomas are only too delighted to break), and THIS CASTLE OMG. I want to live in a castle. Or even just near a castle. And a forensics school, IN Dracula’s castle…where do I sign up?? I would need some heat though. That forest in those mountains and in a stone castle…pretty sure my fingers and toes would drop off. That said, I would totally plan an entire vacation (how about a month, shall we?) around visiting Dracula’s castle and the area surrounding.
Audrey Rose and Thomas are just as adorable in this book as in the last. I didn’t QUITE understand why they danced around their attraction to each other SO MUCH in the first part of the book…it kind of felt like Audrey had regressed in her Victorian prudishness…but maybe I’m remembering things from the first book wrong. I know they had only kissed like…once, I think? Thomas is just as abrasive and unaware of societal rules as ever, only now he is SO concerned about Aubrey that he makes some well-meaning but nearly unforgivable blunders. The tension is veeeeeeery drawn out through the book but I thought it was cute and sweet.
We also get to meet Daciana, Thomas’s sister in this book, and she is a very exciting addition to the cast. She is spunky and hilarious and completely unafraid of all the Victorian rules – she does what she thinks is right and what will make her and those she loves happy. I hope we get to see more of her but from the ending of this book I think she gets left behind for the next. Boo.
Okay, so the plot. Obviously, SOMEONE is leaving bodies around…someone who seems strangely obsessed with the bloodline of Dracula (the real one, not the Bram Stoker one). Naturally, Audrey Rose and Thomas have to investigate. Because the real authorities, also naturally, are bumbling around doing not much of anything. Things escalate, more people go missing, they discover SO MANY SECRETS in the castle (ahem – secret passages and tunnels – WHEN CAN I LIVE IN A PLACE WITH SECRET TUNNELS?), and no one is who they seem to be or who they are supposed to be. It’s deliciously creepy and just when you thought you knew who you could trust…
I will admit, I didn’t see that ending coming. I had a sneaking suspicious that THAT person had something to do with it, but then once a certain OTHER event occured…you know, it’s really hard to review mystery books, because of the risk of giving something away. But the ending was TOTALLY creepy and TOTALLY worth it.
Do I even need to discuss the setting? *points at pictures above * It was beautiful and I am insanely jealous of anyone who gets to so much as VISIT a place like that, let alone live there. Even in a time without heat. 😛
5/5 stars. I am so put out that we have to wait ANOTHER ENTIRE YEAR for Book 3!