Updated: Nov 2, 2019
I got my hands on Hunting Prince Dracula at the end of March as soon as I was able to find a hardcover copy at Barnes and Noble. Despite the fact that it took me a while to get through it, I loved this book and it is perhaps my favorite in the series so far.
Publication date: September 19, 2017
Genre: Historical Fiction, Mystery, Thriller, & Young Adult Fiction.
No. of chapters: 46
No. of pages: 430
Setting: Romania, 1889
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.
Audrey Rose: She is the main character of the book. She is smart, deviant, daring and cunning and in this book she's out to prove herself in the Forensic Academy, once again ready to solve a mystery.
Thomas Cresswell: Thomas Cresswell is confident, charming and dreamy. He is Audrey Rose's greatest supporter and complements her in the best way as partner. In this book we learn about his roots.
Daciana Cresswell: Thomas' sister and lover to Ileana. She is as charming as Thomas and has the body language reading skills. Daciana is passionate, independent and liberal in her own way.
Ileana: She is Daciana's lover. In the book, she works at the Bran Castle as a servant but has a secret life.
Anastasia: She is the academy headmaster's niece. Anastasia is independent, curious, and has a dark secret you don't see coming. She quickly becomes friends with Audrey Rose.
Prince Nicolae: Descendant of Vlad Tepes, and student at the Forensics Academy. He is cocky and superstitious.
I need to say that I loved this book even more than the first one. Maniscalgo's use of the Romanian language made it super educating for me because I learned that Romanian is really similar to Spanish and you can tell she did her research. As always, her weaving of historical elements with her fiction made it all more realistic and engaging. She also has a way of keeping you guessing who the murder is and creating tension through detailed murder descriptions. Her female characters are strong and are out there to prove women have always been a force to be reckoned with, even in a world where they are outnumbered by men desperate to prove themselves.
Hunting Prince Dracula is definitely a must read for those who loved Stalking Jack the Ripper and want more of Audrey Rose and Thomas Cresswell. There is a lot of action, moderate romance, and I must mention that I'm proud that Maniscalgo featured an LGBTQ couple to die for.
• Maniscalgo uses the real Dracula castle for this book, bit it has never been an academy, That is something she made up.
• The book starts in the Orient Express. Yes, the one from Murder in the Orient Express, although she made use of a route that wasn't available in the year the book is set in.
What I loved:
• Learning of Thomas' past and his connection to Vlad Tepes aka. THE Dracula, was super interesting.
• Seriously, the underground tunnels were extremely creepy and yet the element of the most tension for me. The story behind them made me imagine so many ways a person could get lost and tortured, and the chambers Maniscalgo described were the tip of the iceberg to the possibilities I imagined.
• Anastasia as the villain was genius, she proved that women outsmart those who underestimate them.
• Daciana and Ileana's relationship made me so proud, I believe that we cannot forget that even in the past there were people who challenged the social norms in their own way and in the name of love. Also, I loved the fact that Thomas was so supportive of his sister's relationship.
• Now, Ileana's membership in the Order of the Dragon was something I didn't see coming but it made me so excited.
• Audrey Rose and Thomas make their relationship official, at least between them. I hear wedding bells!!!
What I didn't like:
• Even though Anastasia's villainy was on point, her motivations didn't make sense to me. Yes, I get it you want power and are a crazy fan of the evil acts of others, but where is your army and how did you plan to obtain it?
• Prince Nicolae had so much potential but he was just a handsome boy who knew how to draw. How was showing Audrey Rose as a vampire even a plan? He could have at least help with the investigations in a logical way in the name of his cousin. In the end, he was also a forensics student, so science could have had a better grip of his reason.
• Audrey Rose is a great scientist, but she still goes around suspecting the wrong people. **face palm**
Thank you for reading this review, I really hope it helps you start reading the Stalking Jack the Ripper series, or continue the series by picking up Hunting Prince Dracula.
You can find the review for Stalking Jack the Ripper here.
I'm hoping to post reviews more often, next Tuesday I'm aiming for a review of Escaping from Houdini.
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Comment any book recommendations or your thoughts on this book/series. Did you enjoy it as much as I did. or is it still in your TBR pile?