hey everyone and happy new year! 🎆 I hope you had a good start into 2018 setting your reading resolutions for this year and deciding on what to read. I have already set my own Reading Challenge on GoodReads by reading 33 books which I think is realistic and manageable. If you want to know how My Reading Year of 2017 you can read my reflection here or take a look at all the books I have read on my ‘2017-reads’ shelf.
Today I’ll be reviewing the last book that I read in 2017 and the first one I read in 2018; Stalking Jack the Ripper (#SJTR1) and Hunting Prince Dracula (#SJTR2) by Kerri Maniscalco. (´•.̫ • ⋈) These books have been on my list of the most-anticipated books of 2017 and did not disappoint me: They made into favourite books of all time! Continue reading and find out why…
This series follows the story of Audrey Rose Wadsworth, a young woman who lives in London and is keen to know everything about forensics. Unfortunately, Audrey Rose has to keep her interest in secret. She sneaks out at night to learn something at her Uncle’s laboratory so she can prevent her wealthy father from knowing about it. The story continues with the murders of Jack the Ripper and our protagonist is determined to solve the intriguing but horrible case along with her companian Thomas Cresswell.
Hunting Prince Dracula continues right after the events of the first one. This time we get to travel with Audrey Rose and Thomas to Romania and the killer is none other than Vlad the Impaler whose thirst for blood became legend. Audrey Rose has to pull herself together in order to not get distracted by her terrible memories and experiences of the Ripper murders. Will she be able solve this cunning riddle?
“Roses have both petals and thorns, my dark flower. You needn’t believe something weak because it appears delicate.
Show the world your bravery.”
These books were even better than I expected them to be. I was sure that I am going to adore them but still I didn’t see that coming! I was truly sad when I finished them so quick but luckily, Kerri Maniscalco announced that there are at least going to be 4 books in the series. One of the two upcoming books will be published this year.
Because there is not anything left to say about the plot I am starting right away with other categories:
The settings are perfect in both books. In the first you get to visit London in the 1880s, a time where England developed really fast and effective. Stalking Jack the Ripper gives you an insight into that time and society. Next to that we have the kingdom of Romania as the main setting in book 2. I really like the describtions of the castle and the surrounding area. But maybe that’s because I just love old buildings in general.
You get a really dark and spooky vibe from both of the book so I highly recommend reading them in colder months. These are definitely great for fall!
The characters are exactly those you want to have in the story of such a series. I am going to decribe the two main characters more detailed. Let me introduce them to you: （⌒▽⌒ゞ
Miss Audrey Rose Wadsworth // 17 year old forensic student from London. Dark hair. Emerald-coloured eyes. Often wears gloves. Eloquent, smart, independent and very modern. The perfect exemplar of female ya characters I want to read about. Highborn but NOT vain. #1 Feminist. Can we be best friends please? material. Has a weekness for beautiful dresses (who doesn’t?). Favourite Flower: Orchids. As curious as Alice. Develops feelings for Thomas but doesn’t want to make it THAT clear. The victim of his never-ending teasings. Doesn’t mind. Destroyer of their best moments.
Mister Thomas Cresswell// forensic student and #1 expert of how to tease and flirt with Audrey. Can be vain but you won’t mind. Know-all. Sherlock Holmes version 2.0. Highborn as well. Draws very well. Tall (yes, that’s a relevant point). Handsome (as he says so). Observer. Perfect guy for our female protagonist. Number 1 supporter. Cracks a lot of jokes that aren’t unconditionally funny but you’ll smile anyway.
To keep it short: I love both Audrey and Thomas and I can’t wait to read more about them. They both are very realistic characters, able to be brave and scared. They make such an adorable couple and they surely belong to my favourite characters of all time as well as to my otp’s. I’ll read everything that is about them. And if you’d ask me if I could choose a favourite between them I would say no because they are both unique and wonderful characters. However, I can’t deny that Thomas is already on my book boyfriend list. Shhh. Don’t tell the fangirls anything.
“Diamonds were everything I hoped to be; beautiful, yet containing unimaginable strength.”
The writing style. I am absolutely in love with Kerri Maniscalco’s writing style. It makes you read the book even faster and you can’t stop (but that’s maybe because the ends of the chapters are always very thrilling and you get into that ‘one more chapter’ situation). I enjoyed reading conversations between the characters and I loved the way they spoke as we are talking about an other time era where the language used to be a bit different but totally amusing and entertaining!
“Fear is a hungry beast. The more you feed it, the more it grows.”
This series is what I was looking for all the time but which I could never find. It is interesting, funny, thrilling and fast-paced. It includes exactly the genres I enjoy reading the most which are Ya, Historical Fiction, Mystery and Romance. I want more books like Kerri Maniscalco’s. That being said, I can’t wait to get my shaky hands on the third book of the Series (Escaping from Houdini). How am I supposed to wait until Fall to know how this story is going to continue? I am happy to say that I have finally found a new all time favourite series! 5/5 STARS and a more than satisfied reader. 🤹♀️🔮🖤🎩🛳️