Hunting Prince Dracula Review: Forensic Science in Dracula’s Castle

June 9, 2018 by Jeann @ Happy Indulgence | 4 stars, Books, Reviews

Hunting Prince Dracula Review: Forensic Science in Dracula’s CastleHunting Prince Dracula by Kerri Maniscalco
Series: Stalking Jack the Ripper #2
on September 19, 2017
Source: Purchased
Genres: Young Adult, Historical
Amazon | Book Depository | Publisher | Booktopia | Barnes & Noble
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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.

Check out Aila’s review on Stalking Jack the Ripper, the first book in this series!

You know when you delve into a series and you just know that it’s going to be for you? That was Stalking Jack the Ripper and Hunting Prince Dracula for me.

Hunting Prince Dracula has really advanced when it comes to the writing and the plotting, with Audrey’s headstrong, feminist personality and Thomas and his sharp mind and lack of societal awareness staying strong in this book. While the two form a complementary friendship, it feels like they’ve regressed a little in the romance department as it’s LONG and drawn out and you’re just frustratingly waiting for them to do something about it.

I liked how bold Audrey is in this one, she seems to have gotten over some of her Victorian prudishness now that she’s away from her father (although it’s still at the forefront of her thoughts). This book shows Audrey making more moves and being more confident in herself, rather than the tiresome comparisons to other girls of the Victorian era in the first book. Again, the book pushes the modern feminist agenda hard and I kind of didn’t mind it eg. Audrey telling off Thomas whenever he publically sticks up for her, or whenever other males try to undermine her passion of forensic science. I also appreciated how Audrey is now dealing with PTSD following the events of Stalking Jack the Ripper, which is something that I feel needs to occur more often after traumatic events in series.

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 appeared and thought and loved in the same manner.

Thomas Cresswell is just as insatiable as ever, his intelligence and witty confidence just makes him so appealing. I loved how this installment emphasised his lack of societal awareness a bit more – you could see his actions were well meaning, especially when it came to Audrey but sometimes it was so inappropriate, which made me laugh. It’s as if he doesn’t know what to do with his intense attraction to Audrey, and sometimes it makes you want to slap him one but on the other hand, it’s also incredibly charming. I mean who uses his sister to make his love interest jealous? Hahaha he makes me want to facepalm so much but yet I love it.

As you can see, the character development here is so strong and I just love how both of their quirks and niceties just balance each other out, with both mental and physical attraction. There is just so much chemistry here and I can’t get enough of them. It does grate a little though when their strong sexual tension leaks out into everything they do,including being hunted by huge tarantulas or when they’re running from guards, I mean come on guys we don’t need you to be commenting on each other’s lips during these times. Speaking of inappropriate sexual tension, there are two characters getting it on in a morgue, with corpses abay. YES THAT HAPPENED. DOES NO ONE ELSE THINK THAT IT’S CREEPY?

Speaking of characterisation, can I say I adored the side characters here? We meet Daciana, who is Thomas’s sister and oohh boy is she a strong character. I loved her bold confidence and the same quirks which is reminiscent of Thomas but she was also incredibly lively on her own. The two have a mutually supportive sibling relationship (which I kind of wanted to see more of to be honest). Daciana is also a part of a f/f relationship which was wonderful to see in the Victorian era. While I was delighted by how accepting Thomas and Audrey was, I kind of felt like it was a bit out of place especially with Audrey and all her Victorian era reservations with even holding hands with Thomas.

The setting of Hunting Prince Dracula is haunting and romantic, wintery Romania in Dracula’s castle, where a medical school is set up. I loved how there was something here that just felt so warm and cosy despite it being super cold, with cadavers everywhere and obviously a chilling castle underpinned by the Dracula legend. I was really drawn into the mystery, with corpses appearing everywhere drained of blood and punctured with bite marks and the mass hysteria that it caused. What made it even cooler (no pun intended) is that the students of the medical school get to inspect these corpses for their cause of death. Yes it’s gory, bloody and kind of creepy but that’s what we’ve come to expect from this series.

Science gave me a purpose. It was something to lose myself in other than my own mad thoughts.

I loved the Dracula mystery and how it all played out, the ending was super haunting and I’m going to have trouble sleeping. I did feel like it got really slow and draggy throughout the book though with Audrey and Thomas not making much headway when it comes to their investigation. There’s many, many red herrings but I never really felt like there was a strong suspect so the ending was kind of a surprise. I really enjoyed it though.

It’s safe to say that I absolutely loved Hunting Prince Dracula and the leading couple’s investigation into the Dracula mystery in this installment, even though I had a few niggles with it. I just can’t get enough of Audrey Rose and Thomas Cresswell and I’ve become trash for this series, send help.

Rating: 4.5 out of 5

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Jeann is an Aussie YA blogger and mum who loves to read and recommend books! You can usually find me fangirling about books on my various social media channels including Tiktok@happyindulgence, Instagram and Youtube.

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9 responses to “Hunting Prince Dracula Review: Forensic Science in Dracula’s Castle

  1. I have become obsessed with this author! Her writing is so well done and her characters so relatable. I found them to be similar to Molly Hooper and Sherlock Holmes in the BBC Sherlock, whom I love. “Hunting Prince Dracula” was so wonderful, and I couldn’t put it down!

  2. I was definitely a bigger fan of this book than the first. I felt like SJTR was a bit predictable, and that this one tried to be LESS predictable (though I knew all along who the culprit was, haha). I know a few people felt like this one dragged but I didn’t really feel that way because even if the mystery wasn’t being solved, I really loved the atmosphere of this book, and the fact that there was more character development.

    I really loved the inclusion of Thomas’s sister, and the fact that she has a girlfriend. I found it very refreshing that neither Thomas nor Audrey were gross about it. We don’t need to include queerphobia for historical accuracy, that’s just not on. It’s tiresome and repetitive. We KNOW that it happened in real life. And also… Audrey would never have been able to do the things she does in real life so I think if we’re able to suspend our disbelief for that, I think we can be okay with the lack of queerphobia in the book, too.

    I’m really looking forward to the third book in this series! I’m hoping that they’ll just keep getting better and better,
    Chiara @ Books for a Delicate Eternity recently posted…My Fave (Newer) Non-Disney MoviesMy Profile

  3. So glad you enjoyed this one Jeann! It’s honestly been so long since I read book 1, but I got caught up with this installment quickly. I really enjoyed Cresswell’s character, and Audrey’s development. Like you said, the romance came up at very inopportune times tbh. And it’s soooo slow burn! TOO SLOW FOR ME I SWEAR. The mystery was a bit lackluster, but still an excellent backstory to the mysterious Romania! Can’t wait for her next book!
    Aila J. recently posted…Hunting Prince Dracula Review: Forensic Science in Dracula’s CastleMy Profile

  4. I keep seeing this one everywhere, but have kinda been ignoring it. Victorian era is just not my thing. I might try it if I ever want to break out of my comfort zone.

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