Friday, September 15, 2017

Book Review: Hunting Prince Dracula

Title: Hunting Prince Dracula (Stalking Jack the Ripper #2)
Author: Kerri Maniscalco
Genre: Young Adult | Historical Fiction | Mystery
Publisher: Jimmy Patterson
Publication Date: September 19, 2017
Format: ARC
Source: ALA

In this hotly anticipated sequel to the haunting #1 bestseller 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 (goodreads).

Hunting Prince Dracula just brought this series to the next level. 
Plot: I enjoyed Stalking Jack the Ripper, but I was a bit bored with it because I was able to guess the murderer within the first 30 pages. This was not the case with Hunting Prince Dracula. Maniscalco managed to disorient and cleverly convince the reader (and Audrey Rose) that some things do go bump in the night. I stayed up late reading this one because I just had to know who committed these unusual murders and why. Admittedly, I started losing steam toward the end because I just didn't believe the killer's motive. Much like Stalking Jack the Ripper, this sequel was not heavy on the action, but it did flow very well. Regardless, I'm happy to see that this series will be continuing and can't wait to see what trouble Thomas and Audrey Rose get into in the United States!

Characters: Audrey Rose was not the same girl we knew in Stalking Jack the Ripper, the trauma of coming face-to-face with Jack reeled its ugly head and Audrey Rose was vulnerable as a result. I loved how we saw a whole different side to the confident Audrey Rose from Stalking Jack the Ripper. She still had enough gumption to hold her place with the boys, and I enjoyed seeing Audrey Rose through her recovery.

I didn't like Thomas Cresswell in Stalking Jack the Ripper; he was annoying and just a bit too obvious. I appreciated Thomas here more because we were able to learn more about his background and learn more about Thomas processed emotions. The love story that was hinted at in Stalking Jack the Ripper was in full bloom and I liked how their romance unraveled. There was also a background f/f romance, which I respect Maniscalco for directly addressing in a time period that considered it taboo. 

Worldbuilding: The world of Hunting Prince Dracula astounded me; Maniscalco took her research very seriously and it translated well onto paper. The book was steeped heavily in Romanian superstition and I loved learning a bit more about Romanian culture and myths. I can honestly say that the location was why I was entranced with this novel. 

Short N Sweet: Hunting Prince Dracula is a fun ride that will keep you guessing and questioning everything that you know. 


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