“The world is neither kind nor is it cruel. It simply exists. We have the ability to view it however we choose.”
Author: Kerri Maniscalco
Publisher: September 19th 2017 by Little, Brown & Company
HOLY CANNOLI! I think it’s safe to say that I loved the second book even more than the first! It’s honestly something that rarely happens with most series since some of them fall into the “Second Book Syndrome,” but I am so happy that this book did not! As with the previous book, I did not see that ending coming! JUST WOW! 🙂
Please note the summary/review below may have spoilers from the first book, Stalking Jack the Ripper
Summary (From GoodReads):
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 Wadsworth – I definitely liked Audrey a lot more in this book! Although she was a strong character in the first novel, I felt that her character was more relatable in the second. She is going though the aftermaths of her days in London and the Ripper murders and even with this period of grief, she still is a formidable force and has so much strength.
“Please do not make the mistake of telling me what’s best for me, as if you are the sole authority on the subject.”
Thomas Cresswell – Excuse me, but where can I find this man? Like I must know. Right now! I love how the author provided us more depths to his character. His flaws make him seem more human and also gives us more reason to adore him! Besides his charm and kindness, he also has level of maturity which is a quality I greatly admire. There were so many quotes from him in this book where I had to take a moment and be like . . . wow that was deep! But usually he is a devilish flirt LOL
“Try not to miss me too much Wadsworth. Though that might be an impossible task. I, for one, miss myself terribly when asleep.”
While Stalking Jack the Ripper takes place in Victorian Era London, Hunting Prince Dracula is set in Romania. Similar to the first book, the author does a phenomenal job creating the vast and gorgeous scenery of the Romanian landscape and it does feel that you are within the country. She is very skilled in capturing the exquisite details to make the setting very realistic and I loved venturing into these new lands and learning more about the culture.
Audrey’s character development was done quite well in this book. Although it wasn’t anything too dynamic, we do see her struggle with the aftermath of the previous novel and fight to regain her strength to overcome her demons. Although she is filled with such turmoil, what makes her more interesting to read about is her endearing personality and her passion for what she does and wants to achieve. We also given more insight into Thomas’s background and I appreciated that we were able to see the different layers of his character.
The overall pacing of the novel was well done in my opinion. From the very beginning, it was very gripping and as a reader, you knew you were in for a wild ride! The writing was beautiful as well. It captured the Romanian scenery, the ambiance of the horrific murders, the tension between the students at the Academy and terrifying moments of the investigations. In addition, the quotes in this book are worth recognition! Let’s just take a moment to appreciate the artistry in this piece of literature:
“Monsters could wear the smiles of friends while secreting away the rotten soul of the Devil in the darkest crevices of themselves.” (pg. 287)
“Monsters are only real as the stories that grant them life. And they only live for long as we tell those tales.” (pg. 132)
“No matter how much death and horror existed, there were still things of beauty to find.” (pg. 407)
Overall, I LOVED this sequel to Stalking Jack the Ripper and I would definitely recommend this series if you enjoy reading books with sassy characters, hilarious banter, gripping and mysterious plot and beautiful writing!
Have any of you read this series yet? What were your thoughts on it?
Until next time keep reading and I will see you all soon with another bookish post! (Hopefully, that would be soon since I am still recovering from the BTS performance and 2 wins on the Billboard Awards last night. DAYUUMMMM )