This review is going to cover both books as I read them very close together and I found them both to be about the same as far as quality.
When I started reading Stalking Jack the Ripper, I actually had no intention of writing a review for it at all. This was supposed to be kind of a guilty pleasure read as I was in a little bit of a reading slump so I was looking for an easy, somewhat cheesy read to help pull me out.
“But despite all these horrors, in the end, I could not deny it… I was the girl who loved the Ripper.”
This bit of the synopsis on the back cover gave me the impression that I was going into an insta-love, bad boy-but-he’s-just-so-hot kind of thing. Normally so not what I’m into.
This bit of the synopsis is misleading.
Obviously, saying anything more will spoil the heck out of the story but it turned out way different than I thought. The romance is pretty cheesy at times but a/that was kind of what I was looking for going in and b) I actually really liked the two of these characters together.
The romantic interest has a bit of a Sherlock thing going on where he makes giant leaps of logic before other people can even wrap their heads around what they’re seeing and he has some difficulty in social interactions. I do like as the story goes on how supportive he is of Audrey Rose as she struggles with avoiding the “cage” that society wants to put her in. Honestly, although his character wasn’t totally original, I really liked him way more that I expected to.
Audrey Rose I liked but not quite as much.
A big theme in both of these books is, as mentioned, her fighting to forge her own path despite her gender. This is a great theme and a fantastic thing to be explored, especially in a story that has a high likelihood of being read by young (pre-teen) readers.
At the same time though, I found her motivation behind her chosen career path of forensic medicine to be a bit not quite there. She is so adamant that this is what she is meant to do with her life but….what that? What makes her so fascinated by the dead and opening up cadavers? What drivers her beyond the need to not be in a cage to this specific thing? It came across as just a little bit of “Not Like Other Girls” syndrome. Really though, not anywhere near badly enough to stop me from reading.
The mysteries themselves are well done and pulled in a lot of elements from the actual Jack the Ripper case and played off of Dracula mythology very well. I don’t think anything was too obvious about any of the mysteries, although the solution to the mystery in Hunting Prince Dracula was a little bit underwhelming to me.
So although I started the first book thinking I shouldn’t even review it, I actually bought the second book about an h our after finishing it and devoured that as well. And now I am going to pre-order Escaping from Houdini because I need more Audrey Rose and Thomas!!!