Reviews

Hunting Prince Dracula – Kerri Maniscalco (ARC Review)

September 20, 2017

Goodreads synopsis:

33784373.jpgIn this hotly anticipated sequel to the haunting #1 bestseller 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.

Spoiler free review!

Are you guys ready for some serious fangirling?! This series has utterly bewitched me.

Perhaps it was time for fathers to teach their sons how to behave around young women. They were not born superior, no matter how society falsely conditioned them. We were all equals here. 

While we got to see Audrey’s feminist snark come into play a little in SJTR, she is loud, proud, and feminist as hell in this sequel. I am so here for this! Despite struggling with PTSD from the ending of the first book (and her PTSD is represented really solidly!), when she arrives at Bran Castle, Audrey refuses to let the headmaster or any of her male colleagues look down upon her. True to her nature, she claws her way to the top despite her trauma and the scorn of the men around her.

“Mr. Thomas Cresswell would descend into each circle of Hell if you needed him to. You are the beating heart inside his ribcage.” 

Really, though, my favorite thing about this book was how much time we get to spend with Thomas and how much his character develops. He is shamelessly head-over-heels for Audrey, and while he occasionally slips up, his intentions are always good. He learns from each mistake along the way and views her as his equal in all ways. In a genre filled with unhealthy and/or unrealistic relationships, Kerri has written a romance that feels authentic, legitimate, exciting, and so sweet.

His eyes were my favorite constellations to gaze at; each fleck of gold surrounding his pupils were new galaxies begging to be discovered. 

Audrey develops tremendously as well, and opens her heart to the possibilities of a life filled with more than just cutting open cadavers and chasing down villains. I found it really delightful to watch her come to terms with the idea that she could be a strong, feminist woman without sacrificing her emotions or blossoming romance.

“Society at large is staggeringly obtuse. If one simply looks to others for their opinions, they lose the ability to think critically for themselves. Progress would never be made if everyone all appeared and thought and loved in the same manner.” 

Did I mention there’s a queer romance in this book? Because there’s totally a super precious and adorable f/f relationship between a couple of side characters. ❤

If you couldn’t tell already, I loved every freakin’ moment of Hunting Prince Dracula. The setting is incredible – a creepy old castle, what more could I ask for? – and the suspense is on point. I know there were some complaints that SJTR threw out too many red herrings, but I don’t feel that was the case at all with this sequel. I found myself legitimately considering every possible avenue for the culprit, and while the ending didn’t shock me, I loved how everything played out. Plus, we learned some delicious secrets about Mr. Cresswell, which I really hope will come into play in the next book!

If you enjoy YA suspense/thrillers, mysteries, gothic horror, and/or an adorable romance in bloom, I highly encourage you to pick this series up ASAP! You won’t regret it.

Thank you to Jimmy Patterson Books/Little, Brown and Company for providing me with an ARC in exchange for an honest review!

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17 Comments

  • Reply confessionsofayareader September 20, 2017 at 11:30 am

    This is one of my most anticipated reads for the year. I want to keep it for October reading, but I’m not sure I can wait that long. I loved Stalking Jack The Ripper so much and I expect this one to be just as good.

    • Reply Destiny @ Howling Libraries September 21, 2017 at 3:05 am

      It’s honestly so amazing and I wouldn’t blame you for a second if you went ahead and read it before October 1st!

  • Reply windowsillbooksblog September 20, 2017 at 2:42 pm

    AH! Fantastic review! We are OBSESSED with this series too! And we have no idea how Kerri did it, but HPD was even better than the first book, which we also immensely adore! The banter and mystery in HPD was just so, so good! Literally, we are dying for book 3! And we are so happy that you enjoyed Hunting Prince Dracula too!! Now, we have some to fangirl over it with!!

    • Reply Destiny @ Howling Libraries September 21, 2017 at 3:06 am

      It’s such an incredible series! I am STUNNED by how much Kerri progressed between books. I mean, SJTR was great, but HPD was just… mindblowing. I swear this series is CONSUMING MY LIFE lol.

      • Reply windowsillbooksblog September 21, 2017 at 2:20 pm

        EXACTLY! We couldn’t have said it any better! And we kind of want to re-read HPD now that it has been officially released because it was just THAT good! And we can’t wait to see how much more incredible Kerri’s writing gets in book 3! We don’t know how she can top herself, but we are sure she will find a way 🙂

  • Reply Andrea September 21, 2017 at 4:50 pm

    Why have I not heard of this series?!? It sounds amazing! Oh, my poor, poor tbr list – the growing pains must be killing it!

    • Reply Destiny @ Howling Libraries September 23, 2017 at 1:17 pm

      I feel you! My TBR is turning into a living entity just so it can glare at me and send me death wishes, I swear.

      • Reply Andrea September 24, 2017 at 4:44 am

        Hahaha, that’s so relatable!
        This would also explain why my tbr pile keeps growing – it’s actually alive! An entity that lives off our despair of never being able to read all the great books we want to read before we die 😂

  • Reply thebookishlibra September 22, 2017 at 11:23 pm

    I’m sitting here practically squealing after reading your review! I’m so glad to hear this is just as good as the first book, if not even better. I can’t wait to get my hands on a copy. Great review!

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