Title: Hunting Prince Dracula
Author: Kerri Maniscalco
Genre: YA, Historical, Mystery, Horror
Imprint: Jimmy Patterson
Publisher: Hachette Book Group
Date published: September 19, 2017
Page Count: 326
A physical copy of this book was kindly provided by the publisher, in exchange for an honest review.
Synopsis: 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.
– MY REVIEW –
I’m so happy that I was able to binge read Stalking Jack the Ripper and Hunting Prince Dracula one after the other (Thank you Hachette Books Canada!), because I’m not sure if I could have survived the wait between the first book and the second! I’m not sure how so many of you survived that…
As some of you may have read in my review for Stalking Jack the Ripper, I had some difficulty getting into the writing for the first book (and I think that this was a mix of my having jumped into another book so soon after finishing another book ((especially one that has a very distinct writing style)), and also just me adjusting to Maniscalco’s writing style). Well whatever it was that went on with Stalking Jack, I certainly didn’t face the same problems with Hunting Prince Dracula, and I think that part of it (aside from my having adjusted to the author’s writing style, and having read Stalking Jack right before starting the second book) was that Maniscalco’s writing also improved! This is not to say that her writing was bad, or at all unsatisfactory in the first book, but I mean, authors improve and develop with every new book that they put out.
I also really enjoyed the setting of this book, as well! Don’t get me wrong, I looooove reading about London in the Victorian Era. It’s honestly one of my favourite things to read about, or watch on TV (whether it be documentaries, TV shows, or movies). But in the second book, Maniscalco takes us to my motherland Romania. And more specifically, she takes us to Transylvania, the province in which I was born! I am obviously biased about this setting choice, but hear me out!
After reading about so much historical and contemporary YA taking place in North America, I was extremely happy to read Stalking Jack because England is used a bit more rarely (from my experience). But Romania…other than The Conqueror Saga by Kiersten White, I had never read a YA book set in Romania. And even then, the Romania in Kiersten White’s series isn’t too too close to the Romania that I know (culturally, since landscape-wise, White’s series definitely made me feel homesick). That series is set much further back in history, to a time when Romania wasn’t even called Romania, but Wallachia. The Romania in Hunting Prince Dracula comes a lot closer to the Romania that I know personally, and it just made me very very happy to read about!
At times, Audrey Rose spoke of certain Romanian ideas and superstitions as if they were very backwards, and I mean, if you live in the first world, certain ideas and superstitions still existent in Romania today would feel kind of outdated (if that’s the right word). I almost allowed those sections to upset me, but then reminded me that this just goes to prove how much research the author has put into her books, because the British of the Victorian Era definitely saw themselves to be the most civilized and knowledgeable in the world! As kind and brave and good Audrey Rose is as a character, she can’t possibly have ignored all of the stereotypes and preconceptions passed on to her by her country and culture.
And speaking of Audrey Rose, I really like the character development that took place during Hunting Prince Dracula! You could really see Audrey Rose and the others grow and change, which made the story feel that much more believable, and real. Maniscalco also captured the feeling of Romania, especially when one is in the forests, or visiting older parts of Brașov and Bran’s Castle…because whether you’re a foreigner, or a Romanian returning home to visit, there is an atmosphere in these areas of that country that can make you believe all of the folklore that has been passed on from generation to generation. That vampires, werewolves, and zombies really could be real…
This was definitely one of my favourite reads of 2017, and I highly recommend it to those who enjoy historical YA, mild to medium horror, young adult fiction set in more unique locations, and a good dose of folklore and mystery!
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THANK YOU FOR READING MY REVIEW! HAVE YOU READ THIS BOOK? WHAT DID YOU THINK? AND IF YOU HAVEN’T READ IT YET, DO YOU WANT TO, OR NOT? HOW COME? LET ME KNOW YOUR THOUGHTS IN THE COMMENTS BELOW!