It’s another adventure with my favorite duo, and Maniscalo’s sophomore novel bursts all notions of the second book syndrome!
About the Book
Publisher: Jimmy Patterson | Release Date: September 19, 2017 | Pages: 434
Genre: YA, Historical Fiction, Mystery | Format: eBook/Audiobook | Source: Borrowed from Library
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.
This post uses affiliate links and I may receive a small commission for purchases made through my links at no additional cost to you. Click here for more info.
Goodreads Amazon B&N Book Depository
It is rare that I love the second book more than the first, but Hunting Prince Dracula is one of those instances! The writing is beautiful, engaging, and fast-paced… I devoured this book in one sitting on a hot afternoon. I read along with the audiobook, and I have to say that the narrator (Nicola Barber) is incredible – highly recommend the audio for this series!
“Flesh-and-blood men were the real monsters, and they could be cut down easily enough.”
Audrey Rose and Thomas are off to Romania for a prestigious opportunity to study, but some bizarre murders in the region mean that our duo has another case to solve. The superstitious villagers think the Vlad the Impaler, also known as Dracula, has risen from the grave, but surely there is another explanation. Right?
“Time passed in frozen minutes and darkening skies.”
Maniscalo’s writing is beautiful, bewitching, and fast-paced. I found myself drinking up the beautiful sentences that Maniscalo crafted. The plot itself is gripping and it kept me guessing, which was a welcome contrast to the first book’s predictability!
I was equally enthralled by the plot and the characters I fell for in the first book. I appreciated that Audrey Rose grappled with the events of the first book. She went through HELL and it makes sense that she would be haunted by her grief. Thomas’ misguided attempts at helping her confront her fears added another layer of complexity to their relationship, resulting in compelling character growth for both of them.
“Science gave me a purpose. It was something to lose myself in other than my own mad thoughts.”
Our characters are just as vivid, vivacious, and sarcastic as in the first book. The banter between Audrey Rose and Thomas brings me to life. Even though they shared the kiss in the first book, tension and propriety between them carries into this book, and their relationship continues to develop slowly. It feels more realistic to me in that regard, but it also gives me the tension of “OH MY GOD KISS HiM!” There is also a f/f side relationship that is honestly beautiful.
“Monsters were in the eye of the beholder. And no one wanted to discover their hero was the true villain of the story.”
I loved how this book marries urban legend, history, and fiction together to weave a truly creepy mystery. Radu’s myth lessons were among my favorite and I loved wondering if the murders were being conducted by a supernatural being or not.
Overall, I absolutely adored this book and recommend it highly! The book is fast-paced, feminist, and beautifully written, and the whodunit is executed infinitely better than in the first book. I cannot wait to see what is in store for their next adventure in Escaping from Houdini!
REPRESENTATION: biracial rep (Audrey Rose is half Indian/half English), f/f romance, PTSD
CONTENT WARNINGS: death, referenced drug abuse, gore, murder, sexism
Stalking Jack the Ripper (Stalking Jack the Ripper #1) Review
Xandra @ Starry Sky Books says
I just finished reading this as well! 😊 I’m so glad you liked it, Kal! I agree that some elements were better than the first book! And I’m also glad it was (for the most part, with the exception of the last chapters!) not as gory as the first one!
I am so glad you enjoyed it as well, Xandra! I was honestly just so happy I didn’t know the killer from their first appearance this time. That bathtub scene is going to haunt me for awhile, though!
Kerri Maniscalco has such a great writing ! It took me ages to pick up Stalking Jack the Ripper and I can’t believe it. It was so amazing ! I’m excited to read book 2 as you loved it so much 😊
I know what you mean, I didn’t pick up the first book until July because my friend organized a group read! And I am so bummed that I missed out on all the fun hype for the past couple of years! Book 2 was definitely a lot better, I hope you enjoy it as much as I did!
Jenna @ Bookmark Your Thoughts says
I can’t WAIT to read this series!! I’m starting them in September so I can real all four by then (I think the last one is out mid or late September). I’ve heard ALL great things!
Oooh, good plan to read them back-to-back! Honestly I would have plowed through the first three books in one sitting had it not been for the group read, haha. I am looking forward to reading Escaping from Houdini this month, but I am going to try to do it towards the end of the month. Thanks for reading!
Great review! I also think I loved this one better than the first!
Thank you so much, and I can’t wait to read book 3! Have you read it yet?!
Yes I have! It’s also fantastic!
AHHH I am so excited!!!
This series is super high on my tbr! I think I’ve read a sample of the first one and that seemed amazing!
Also, I just now realised that your blog header is an open book that has a super cool sky above it – was it that before?
The first book was a lot of fun, if not predictable mystery-wise. This one was way better in that regard!
Ahh, it’s my new header! When I moved to self-hosted I changed the blog design!
I haven’t read many mystery books so I’ll be picking up the series sometime (soon).
It’s really pretty!
This looks like such a fun series, and I have to admit I’m REALLY interested in this sequel because vampires. 🙂 Great review, Kal!
It was such a neat read, I totally recommend it! I loved the mix of lore and whatnot in this book and the characters in the series are just perfect.
Kelly | Another Book in the Wall says
Wonderful review, Kal! I enjoyed this one more than Stalking Jack the Ripper as well, since I believe the mystery aspect was more thrilling, and the character developments more complex! I love how the urban legend, history, and fiction is weaved together as well, and the blooming relationship had me SCREAMING (but in the best possible way, of course). <3
Thank you so much Kelly, and i am so glad this one improved so much over the first book! I LOVE THOMAS CRESSWELL. Also I need to read EFH but I keep dragging my heels for some reason. Did you finish it?