I meant to write this book review weeks ago, but with everything going on in life and with the holidays, I just never got around to it. But now, here I am! Taking advantage of a day at home with the flu to write a book review or two. (Sometimes you’ve got to take your down time where it’s given to you, you know?)
If you haven’t read the first review in this book series, Stalking Jack the Ripper, please go ahead and check that out first, so you know my frame of mind and thoughts on the characters before leaping into this one. Obviously, spoilers ahead for SJTR!
In Hunting Prince Dracula, Audrey Rose Wadsworth is still reeling from the events in Stalking Jack the Ripper – the loss and crimes of Audrey Rose’s brother have been difficult for her to come to terms with. So she and Thomas Cresswell get out of England by traveling to Romania to attend a prestigious school of forensic medicine there, which is housed in the castle that is the ancestral home of Vlad the Impaler. Cool cool cool, nothing creepy to see here. Except everything creepy starts happening immediately. People are being murdered and drained of their blood, specifically members of Vlad the Impaler’s line. Of which… [SPOILER] Thomas is a part of?! So Audrey Rose and Thomas – who are now DEFINITELY into each other and all that – have to stop the murders before it all gets even worse. Oh, and also… the headmaster of the school doesn’t think women can be doctors, so Audrey Rose has to deal with that bullshit as well.
That wasn’t a very good summary of the plot, but you’ll see why I’m struggling as I write the rest of the review, I promise.
3 Things I Loved
- Thomas. A L W A Y S. Thomas is the one shining star in this series, in my opinion, although this book gave some more options for lovely characters. He’s devastatingly charming, smart, and funny. Honestly, this only real flaw is that he’s so hopelessly in love with Audrey Rose.
- Daciana. Thomas’s older sister is a wonderful addition to this book series. And even better – she’s gay! She’s also charming and funny and I wanted so much more of her.
- Ileana. Daciana’s girlfriend, and also Audrey Rose’s servant in the castle. She’s sweet and kind and I loved everything about her being with Thomas’s sister. I just loved these details. And seeing how badass she is at the end of the book was a huge bonus!
There was a little more racial diversity in this book, with ONE WHOLE CHARACTER of color! Wow! You get a prize! That, in addition to the fact that a couple side characters are gay?! I’m sure you can read my sarcasm, but this is actually a vast improvement on the first book, sadly.
Now on to the things I just flat out didn’t like.
First things first – Audrey Rose is the worst. I felt like I liked her more in the second book than in the first when I read it the first time, but I think what was actually happening was that I liked her and Thomas together more in the second book. Audrey Rose herself is whiny and still being very heavy-handed with her “not like other girls” vibes. That’s actually a lot worse in this second book because she’s the only female student at the academy! So like, SO not like other girls! Ugh, gag me. Just be a person, Audrey Rose, for crying out loud.
Second, and last, actually, was how slowwwwww this book was. I think the author could have cut out maybe a quarter of the words to make the plot speed up. It wasn’t until the final 20% or so of the book where I was truly interested in what was happening, and I remember feeling the same way the first time I read it. Just… boring. I know a lot of people really love this series, though, so maybe it just didn’t work for me.
A reminder of the rating scale:
- Red = DNF, I hated everything
- Orange = Ugh, no thank you
- Yellow = I mean, I’ve read worse, but there were problems
- Green = This was good!
- Blue = Oh my gosh, I loved this book!
- Purple = This is the unicorn of books and I will be rereading it until the binding falls apart and EVERYONE should be reading it!
Unfortunately, my rating for this one isn’t going to improve from my rating of Stalking Jack the Ripper. I was bored and annoyed and not really enjoying myself. So I’m giving Hunting Prince Dracula a YELLOW rating. And I have no idea if I’m going to get back to the rest of the series, honestly – I started the third one and was so bored I stopped. So. We’ll see!