Book Review: Stalking Jack the Ripper by Kerri Maniscalo

So far this year, my reviews have centered around fantasy and Biblical fiction. This week, I am changing things up by sharing a review of the The #1 New York Times Bestseller YA Mystery Stalking Jack the Ripper by Kerri Maniscalo.

I was excited to read this because of all the hype it received, but, to be perfectly honest, I was also hesitant. I’ve never been a huge James Patterson fan – but to be fair, it has been a few years since I read once of his books (Along Came a Spider just wasn’t my cup of tea). However, despite my hesitancies, this book did not disappoint.

Audrey Rose Wadsworth is a respectable lady of polite society – or so her father wishes. In truth, Audrey Rose spends her time with her uncle dissecting cadavers and studying science (how dreadful) in secret – activity not suitable for her delicate feminine disposition. Yet, Audrey Rose becomes more focused than ever on her scientific work when mayhem strikes the streets of London in the form of ghastly murders. Things become more complicated as Audrey Rose develops feelings for her fellow apprentice Thomas Cresswell, and even more complicated still when her uncle is accused of the very murders he is attempting to solve. Will Audrey Rose be able to separate her emotion from fact as her search for Jack the Ripper creeps closer and closer to home?

There was adequate tension and suspense throughout, and I absolutely adored the banter between Audrey Rose and Thomas. I also adored Audrey Rose’s cousin, Liza. Though she only made a brief appearance, she stated one of my favorite quotes in the book: “Let them think they rule the world. It’s a queen who sits on that throne.”

Another quote that has stayed with me since turning the final page is, “Science never abandoned me the way religion had that night.” You see, Audrey Rose has turned away from religion since the death of her mother because her prayers failed to save her mother. But how can one doubt the God they blame for their suffering? Just food for thought here; I digress from the review.

I do feel that there were parts that were grotesque due to the sensitive nature of autopsies and murder scenes, and sometimes forgot I was reading a novel intended for YA readers – I would suggest the book for older YA readers (at least 15, if not 16).

Overall, I enjoyed the book and do plan to read Hunting Prince Dracula – the next book in the series – at some point (my to be read pile is never-ending), and I give the book a 3.5 star rating.

Photo from @theunicornwriter93.

You can read Stalking Jack the Ripper from your local library (as I did), or order your own copy here.

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Published by Kayla E. Green

Kayla E. Green is a school librarian, speculative fiction author, and poet. When she isn’t writing, reading, or going on adventures with her husband, she loves singing loudly and off-key to KLove Radio, snuggling her dogs, and pretending she’s a unicorn. Her award-winning YA fantasy novella, Aivan: The One Truth, and her inspirational poetry collection, Metamorphosis, are now available through book retailers. Kayla also has stories and poems featured in various anthologies. Follow The Unicorn Writer's blog for book reviews, author interviews, writing advice, and more bookish fun!

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