Monday, June 04, 2018

Hunting Prince Dracula by Kerri Maniscalco

After the shocking revelation of the identity of Jack the Ripper, Audrey Rose Wadsworth and Thomas Cresswell travel to one of the top forensic schools in Europe which is located in the "dark heart" of Romania.  Rather than focusing on their studies as planned, the duo get sucked in to a gruesome murder mystery unlike anything they have encountered before.  This tantalizing sequel to the intoxicating novel, Stalking Jack the Ripper, left me breathless as I struggled to calm my rapidly beating heart.

The school Audrey Rose and Thomas are attending is the castle of former Romanian prince, Vlad the Impaler.  For those who do not know (like me prior to reading this book), Vlad III Drăculea (1431-1476) was notorious for impaling his enemies on wooden stakes in the ground and leaving them for dead, hence the title "Vlad the Impaler".  He is thought to be the real-life inspiration behind the Gothic-Horror novel, Dracula written by Bram Stoker in which the legend of vampires was born.

Thomas Cresswell and Audrey Rose Wadsworth
Fan art by Lark found on Fandom (Powered by Wikia)
At the start of this novel, readers find that Audrey Rose is struggling with the aftermath of uncovering the identity of the man behind the Jack the Ripper name, but she is trying to put it all behind her so that she can focus on learning all that she can from the top forensic educators in the world.  As the only female in the program, she is faced with snide remarks from chauvinistic men who falsely believe that a woman cannot be their equal.  (Again, this is why Audrey Rose is one of my literary heroes.)  And as if life is not already hard enough for her as it is, Audrey Rose soon finds herself and Thomas in the middle of a series of brutal murders that appear to be staged to look like vampire attacks.

Although I did not enjoy this novel as much as its predecessor, I still cannot take away the fact that this book was phenomenal.  There are few books that I have read in my 23 years that I can truly say that the ending shocked me, and this is one of them.  I was honestly blindsided by the revelations that unfolded in the last few chapters.  I was left appalled, bewildered, and frustrated to no end.  I literally had to close my book for a moment so that I could scream at the sky after the events that had taken place.  Never in my wildest dreams could I have predicted what happened, which makes me respect Kerri Maniscalco so much more.

Maniscalco continues to amaze me as I was held captive by her words until the very last page.  Not only was the story itself absolutely mesmerizing, but she manages to make me fall in love with her characters.  As I have said before, I love Audrey Rose Wadsworth and Thomas Cresswell more than some relatives of mine, and that continues to ring true.  I simply cannot get enough of their flirtatious banter.  I do not know how she does it, but Maniscalco is a masterful author and I cannot wait until she releases the third installment of the Stalking Jack the Ripper saga.

My copy was given in a book trade.  I have provided an honest review based on opinions that are entirely my own.  I am not entitled to any compensation for this review.  If you would like to order a copy of Hunting Prince Dracula, click here.

Genre: Young Adult Historical Fiction - Mystery
Publication Date: September 19, 2017
Publisher: Jimmy Patterson Books
ISBN: 0316551663


Hey! I am Alexandrea. I am originally from North Carolina and I love all things bookish - reading and writing are what I do best so I hope you stick around to see all that my website has to offer!

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