After the events in Stalking Jack the Ripper, Audrey Rose and her friend Thomas Cresswell are sent on their way to study in Romania’s famous school for forensic work–based in the infamous castle that once belonged to Vlad Dracula. Murders being staged as vampire attacks bring back local fear of the late Prince Dracula while the two are there studying.
Why this book?: I loved the first book, Stalking Jack the Ripper. I got this book nearly immediately after finishing the first, but didn’t get to finish it right away.
After Stalking Jack the Ripper, you have no idea how excited I was for Hunting Prince Dracula. While SJR wasn’t exactly a 5 star read, it was still addicting, and the characters were dynamic and entertaining, and I wanted more of the story Maniscalco has expertly began to craft. I was hoping for not only a better story, but one that would blow me out of the water, and perhaps cause me to shed a few tears.
In the end, I have about the same feelings for HPD that I did for SJR. The story was gripping and heart-stopping, but there was just a little something more missing from it.
I will admit that HPD did introduce more characters and events that upped the intrigue and danger, and that I loved. The mystery portion itself was much more slow-paced then in SJR, but each investigation, as mentioned before, was more intense then SJR’s quick, lower risk mystery. HPD was like riding a rollar coaster, with moments of intense fear for the characters, and short lulls that provided little information (as well as some turns so shocking you got whiplash), while SJR was like a go-cart race, with sharp, shocking turns but less bodily risk overall.
The two books, when compared, kind of balance each other out. SJR set everything up, and HPD used this set to its benefit. HPD also built on everything that SJR set up, adding more about Thomas’s sister and background (he’s part Romani, and his sister is in a sapphic romance!). I love all of the details that Maniscalco added with this sequel, as well as how she told this one. It was similar enough from SJR to be enjoyable, but different enough to still be shocking.
Final Rating: ★★★★☆
This is a very solid sequel. In my experience, when the first book blows me away, the second is always underwhelming. However, with HPD, that wasn’t the case. I found myself enjoying the story just as much as I did with the first. It just didn’t have that extra push that would warrant a “this is amazing, five stars” kind of review.
Would I Recommend?
I would definitely continue this series. I look forward greatly to the release of Escaping from Houdini, especially with the small hints that were throughout HPD. I also can’t stop myself from wondering what the fourth book will be titled. Either way, I’m really enjoying this series much more than I was expecting.
Published: September 19th, 2017
Publisher: Jimmy Patterson
Page Count: 434
Genre: Historical Fiction/Mystery/Horror
Synopsis: via 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.