Review: “Stalking Jack the Ripper” by Kerri Maniscalco

I listened to this book via audiobook, and it was so pleasant. The narrator was fantastic, and I’m even excited for the sequel, Hunting Prince Dracula (even though I’m not super into the Dracula lore). I seriously can’t wait to see what Audrey Rose and Thomas are up to.

Stalking Jack the RipperTitle: Stalking Jack the Ripper (Stalking Jack the Ripper #1)
Author: Kerri Maniscalco
Publisher: Jimmy Patterson
Release date: September 20, 2016
Genre: Young adult, historical fiction, mystery
Length: 326 pages (U.S. hardcover)
Synopsis: (from Goodreads) “Seventeen-year-old Audrey Rose Wadsworth was born a lord’s daughter, with a life of wealth and privilege stretched out before her. But between the social teas and silk dress fittings, she leads a forbidden secret life.

Against her stern father’s wishes and society’s expectations, Audrey often slips away to her uncle’s laboratory to study the gruesome practice of forensic medicine. When her work on a string of savagely killed corpses drags Audrey into the investigation of a serial murderer, her search for answers brings her close to her own sheltered world.”

three and a half starsMy Thoughts

Okay, so here’s the thing: I’m not absolutely blown away by this book. I enjoyed it, yes, but I really expected to like it on the same level in which I enjoyed The Dark Days Club and The Dark Days Pact. Wrong! However, I don’t normally read mystery/horror novels, even in YA, but this is historical fiction and takes place during one of my favorite time periods in history: Victorian England.

While I enjoyed the main character, Audrey Rose Wadsworth, it took me longer to like Thomas Cresswall. I definitely love how observant he was, and I really saw how he and Audrey made a good pair. Alas, Thomas’s cocky attitude and the author’s lack of backstory for this character really made me take a step back. Audrey Rose might find Thomas constant remarks about her femininity and snarky quips, but I certainly don’t. Hence, that also leads unconvinced at their romantic feelings for one another. (I mean, that’s not a spoiler, is it? We know where YA books mainly go with things like this…) Audrey Rose admitted her feelings to herself for him, but I wasn’t feeling it.

I definitely liked Audrey’s confidence and her remarks about how she can do whatever else a man can even though she’s female. But it was a bit odd how she wanted to quickly put aside that when her father confronted her about a variety of things. Even her uncle made some remarks. Anyway, I suppose that simply adds to the world-building, and reminding readers how much it sucked to be a woman during this time. I didn’t mind the feminine side of Audrey, but I wish she wouldn’t push that part of her aside. I think there can be a decent balance between the facets.

To be honest, I really liked Audrey’s cousin. I want to see more of her, but I’m not sure that’ll happen.

I wanted a bit more of the world, though. I like Victorian England so while I have a good idea of what daily life was like for someone of Audrey’s station, I still wanted more.

While I do look forward to the sequel, which releases on September 19, 2017, it’s not high on my list. I know I’ll get to it eventually. If you’re interested, there’s a pre-order campaign for Hunting Prince Dracula, where you can receive an e-book novella from Thomas Cresswell’s POV. You can check submit your receipt here.

You can also purchase Stalking Jack the Ripper on Amazon, Barnes and Noble, IndieBound, Book Depository, and other major booksellers.

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