Hunting Prince Dracula
Genres: YA Historical Fiction / Mystery
Hardcover, 434 pages
Published September 19th 2017 by Little, Brown & Comp
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.
A YA book to love ♡
♦ Mysteriously beautiful and enchanting ♦
This book is the sequel to ‘Stalking Jack the Ripper’ by Kerri Maniscalico but I feel it can absolutely be read as a standalone. It follows the same main protagonists from the previous novel into the depths of the Romanian forests to the prestigious school for forensic medicine.
Audrey Rose Woodsworth and Thomas Cresswell are train bound through the European mountains and forests to leave behind the grim happenings on London streets by the Jack the Ripper case. They have high hopes to do well in their new surroundings after settling in from their long journey. The plot during the train ride seems reminiscent of The Orient Express to me, as there is someone found, possibly murdered, on the train. The whole setting becomes a bit eerie around all of it, as there are more passengers that end up dead before they even make it to the school.
When they reach the school Audrey is mistaken to not be a student. Female scientist are rare and the studies are way too rigorous. Basically all applicants have just a few weeks to prove themselves in classes to be even accepted into the program. After that bummer, Audrey begins to follow some clues she came across by happenstance that may explain the mysterious deaths that have occurred on their journey. All the bodies that have been found are devoid of blood!
Since the school in actually in the castle of the former Vlad the Impaler, there are many rumors surrounding Dracula or the impostors thereof. And before she knows it, she is involved way too deep into another murder case!
I found this novel purely fun and clean…is what I want to say, compared to other YA novels. BUT, there is a scene in it that clearly hints at a love scene of two females in the book. Subtle…but I thought I just put that out there. You can imagine that was very taboo at its time.
All aspects of this novel feel historical. The language is polite and proper in most cases, and the school has that stone cold and fire illuminated feel to it. I really enjoyed the setting. As a big fan of Dracul, I wondered how this would turn out. It did not disappoint. Dark hallways, strict teachers, old fashioned sleuth and medicine practices were performed, and superstitions examined. There was a touch of romance, some twists in the plot and some near fright experiences. This is in line with what I would like to see teens reading (but I am also old fashioned). I imagine older teens have read more explicit or harsher materials then this book from what I can tell what’s on the market. For a teen/YA book or series I think it is perfectly darling.