Last week I posted a review for Kerri Maniscalco’s novel Stalking Jack the Ripper (Stalking Jack the Ripper #1).
Since I thoroughly enjoyed both the reading and reviewing experience of the previous novel, I was eager to see what was going to happen to Wadsworth and Cresswell as they traveled from the ‘comforts’ of London to the unfamiliar country of Romania.
Interested to see if Hunting Prince Dracula (Stalking Jack the Ripper #2) was able to build off the success of the previous installment in the ‘Stalking Jack the Ripper’ series? Keep on reading to find out my thoughts and opinions.
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Hunting Prince Dracula (Stalking Jack the Ripper #2) by Kerri Manicalco
Publisher: Little, Brown & Company (September 19, 2017)
Print Length: 434 pages
Audiobook Length: 11 hrs and 58 mins
Narrator: Nicola Barber
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.
While my initial reaction to Hunting Prince Dracula (Stalking Jack the Ripper #2) was one of indifference, given that I find the subject of Jack the Ripper utterly fascinating, Maniscalco was able to leave me utterly fascinated with the characters, world, and of course, the history of Vlad Dracula.
Talking place after the events of Stalking Jack the Ripper, Hunting Prince Dracula finds Audrey Rose Wadsworth and Thomas Cresswell trying to come to grips with the events of the previous installment while trying to gain entry into a prestigious forensic medicine school located in the heart of Romania.
Once again not shying away from the bloody nature of history, Maniscalco mixes the facts of Vlad the Impaler, Romanian folklore, and the Gothic landscape of Romania to brilliantly leave the somewhat familiar setting of Victorian London behind.
It is, however, with the character development, that Hunting Prince Dracula truly shines. Still the strong and independent heroine we’ve grown to love, Audrey Rose Wadsworth struggles with PTSD heavily in the novel, so much so that at one point she considers giving up forensic medicine all together. She is real, raw with her emotions, and I am so ready to see what is in store for her in the next installment. Likewise, Thomas Cresswell goes through equally brilliant character development. Due to his romantic feelings for Audrey Rose, he makes a few mistakes, allowing him to see why Audrey Rose demands freedom and how he can give it to her. Also, there are great side characters sprinkled within this novel, plus if you are looking for a f/f romance, this book is for you.
Finally, the reveal of the killer was EPIC. The scene, complete with a tree made of bones and someone coming out of a blood bath, literally, made my horror loving heart swoon. Maniscalco sure has a way of making sure the murder gets their moment.
With the conclusion to the novel, to say I am not anticipating the publication of Escaping from Houdini (Stalking Jack the Ripper #3) on September 18, 2018, would be a boldface lie.
Overall Rating: 4.5 out of 5 stars.
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And those are my thoughts on Hunting Prince Dracula (Stalking Jack the Ripper #2) by Kerri Maniscalco. Have any Gothic Victorian book recommendation? Leave it as a comment below and help my TBR grow.