One of my favorite things to do in October (other than eating apple cider donuts and going pumpkin picking) is reading scary books! I don’t do well with horror movies, so I turn to books to get my scare fill. This month, I read Hunting Prince Dracula by Kerri Maniscalco, and I think it was the PERFECT autumn read!
Hunting Prince Dracula is the second book in the Stalking Jack the Ripper series by Kerri Maniscalco (BTW: I will not be spoiling either book in this review, but you definitely should read the first book before picking up this one). Following the events of the first book, the main characters, Audrey and Thomas are both traveling from London to Romania to attend a forensic academy at Bran Castle for four weeks. There they will undergo an assessment to possibly secure a permanent spot in the academy. In the first book, Audrey and Thomas were both working on the case of Jack the Ripper, and in this book, they are investigating the mysterious appearances of bodies drained of blood and/or staked through the heart.
This book is pretty fast paced. From the first chapter, we jump into the mystery and action, and it doesn’t slow down. As the story progresses, we pick up different clues, so that we can formulate our own opinions on who is responsible for the crimes, and what is going on in the academy. I also appreciate the romance sub-plot, as it adds to the story without taking the focus away from the mystery at hand.
The plot is exciting, but my favorite part of this book has to be the characters. Audrey and Thomas are two of the best YA characters I have ever read about. Audrey is intelligent and curious (sometimes too much for her own good), and she does not let anyone try to take control of her life. She is headstrong and funny, and it’s refreshing to read the book through her keen eyes. Thomas is the other main character, and he also happens to be the love interest in this series. I could talk about his character for hours, but I will try to keep my gushing to a minimum 🙂 Thomas is probably the funniest character I have ever read. He is hilarious and provides a perfect dose of humor into the dark mystery of the rest of the book. Like Audrey, he is also very smart and picks out clues from pretty much anything around him. And like any well-fleshed out character, Thomas has his own set of flaws, which we see him try his best to address.
To me, a book can have the most exciting plot, but if the characters don’t feel realistic, then I just can’t lose myself in it. And I personally think that Hunting Prince Dracula has the perfect blend of plot + characters. So if you are looking for some good books to read this season, I definitely suggest picking up Stalking Jack the Ripper and then Hunting Prince Dracula. The first book in the series is also an immersive, dark mystery, that I think will appeal to a lot of readers no matter what genre you favor!