I snatched this one up so fast, I enjoyed the first one and the cover was gorgeous. Perfect for this time of year.
Audrey Rose Wadsworth and Thomas Cresswell are back together again, this time heading to an elite boarding school in Romania to study forensics. Which just happens to be in the castle that Vlad the Impaler took up residence, who was the inspiration for Dracula.
I was super stoked for this one. I love anything with vampires, or the promise of vampires. I was also in the mood for a spooky read.
It starts off with a bang, someone is staked on the train.
Once again beautiful visuals and settings. I loved that it was cold and desolate. I think I may have liked this one more then 'Stalking Jack the Ripper'. The suspense level was high and characters started dropping like flies pretty early on.
The one big complaint I had about the first one was fixed. The pool of suspects was huge this go aroundm as we had a school to contend with. Everything was new, settings and characters alike. I loved the school setting, the creepy castle, the otherness feeling of the it.
Audrey and Thomas were their usual witty selves. Their conversations, or rather flirtations were some of my favorite parts. Some of it could be a bit much, I thought they would be a bit more comfortable around each other this go around. Almost every conversation they had with each other was turned into an innuendo, which I usually don't mind. It started getting old. I swear, the number of times someone's breath hitched, or eyes fell on lips. I wanted to stab someone.
The nightly escapades, the family histories, and the long list of suspects kept the tension going. I went back and forth on the murderer, and was caught by a red herring.
I also loved how the author dealt with Audrey's emotional fallout from the first one. She had a bit of PTSD and I thought it was dealt with flawlessly. Also nice to see it acknowledged, as a lot of books tend to gloss over that kind of thing.
Instead of this sequel feeling like it didn't live up to the first one. I would say it exceed expectations and surpassed the first in both intrigue and story.
It was appropriately creepy and bloody. In fact I think the amount of blood and macabre detail was doubled. We are talking 'Carrie' levels of blood here.
So for those of you who are queasy of that sort of thing. Probably not for you.
There is this part involving a bathtub of blood and a straw, I told my friend about it. She was like "Have you ever tried to breath through a straw" we had a good laugh. So maybe that part was a little unrealistic.
*end of spoiler*
All in all I would give it four and half stars. This author is genius in her mix of fables, history, and gothic storytelling. Can't wait for her next book!