Initially, I wanted to listen to this via audiobook since I did that with the first one, but it was taking forever to borrow from the library since they didn’t have many copies. So I borrowed the physical book instead. I’m so glad I continued this series. I had my doubts since I didn’t absolutely love Stalking Jack the Ripper but I’m sold on this series thanks to book 2!
Title: Hunting Prince Dracula (Stalking Jack the Ripper #2)
Author: Kerri Maniscalco
Publisher: Little, Brown & Company
Release date: September 19, 2017
Genre: Young adult, historical fiction, mystery
Length: 434 pages (hardcover)
Synopsis: (via Goodreads) “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.”
I loved how Maniscalco drops her characters in the middle of vague historical mayhem. Following Audrey Rose and Thomas through the perils of the Jack the Ripper case and now through Romania into Vlad the Impaler territory was such a fun treat. I wasn’t really convinced of Audrey and Thomas’s feelings for one another, as I was rather uncomfortable with many of the latter’s snarky remarks. But here, I found them quite endearing and, like Audrey, see how this sarcastic Thomas hides a great deal of personal feelings and is a mere facade.
I’m horrible at guessing the “whodunit” part of mysteries and thrillers, so each part of this book was a pleasant, though often gruesome, surprise. I often wish I thought in such a logical, critical way as these two main characters. But watching and following them through their own trial and errors was a delight. Seeing their feelings for one another blossom in such a strong way created such joy in me, as Audrey was very aware of how at a disadvantage she was simply for being a female. She would not be pushed aside but only be seen as an equal. She was even willing to put aside her strong feelings for Thomas if he did not see her as such. Well, that part was also torturous but lovely, too. Thomas’s snark and…sexiness was not at lost–that’s for sure!
As for the mystery and the murders themselves, what a complete surprise! (But it’s always a surprise to me!) I loved all the new characters here, especially being introduced to a small part of Thomas’s own family and learning more about him and his past. (Which no one should have guessed really, but I wonder if there’s more to including that part of Thomas’s ancestry than for a plot device for this book!)
Overall, I enjoyed this far more than the first book. This one makes me excited for the third book, Escaping from Houdini.
You can purchase this book and the previous one from Amazon, Barnes and Noble, Book Depository, IndieBound, and other major booksellers. It’s possible to still find sighed copies of this book at Barnes and Noble! I remember seeing some a few months back.
Also, if you’re so inclined, I’m giving away a copy of the amazing The Astonishing Color of After over on my Twitter. It’s really easy to enter and it’s international (with some conditions).