Let me tell you about my favorite female character this year.
Audrey Rose Wadsworth.
Audrey Rose is the protagonist in the Stalking Jack the Ripper series (made up of Stalking Jack the Ripper and Hunting Prince Dracula) by Kerri Maniscalco. Audrey Rose is a 19th century badass who refuses to listen to what is expected of her and pursues her own passion: forensic science. Audrey Rose spends her time avoiding the responsibilities of being a high-society woman and apprentices under her uncle. It is in her uncle’s lab, whese books begin to follow Audrey Rose’s story of uncovering gruesome murders (of Jack the Ripper and Prince Dracula, respectively) and how she uses forensic science to discover the true identity of the murderers. Unfortunately, because Audrey Rose is a high-society woman, there are people in her life that do not approve of her interests and while she is trying to stop these terrible murders, there are people in her life trying to stop her.
Here’s why I love Audrey Rose so much: She is a headstrong, intelligent woman who is determined to break the mold society has set for her and make a life for herself. I really think that Maniscalco did an amazing job writing such a strong female character with all of the intricacies of humanity woven throughout. Audrey Rose is not just a Mary Jane or a cold-hearted, stereotypical “strong” girl.
While Audrey Rose is my favorite character in this series, I would be remiss if I didn’t mention her infuriating and handsome companion, Thomas Cresswell. Thomas is also an apprentice of her uncle’s who has made it his personal mission to help Audrey Rose solve the murders and to get her to fall in love with him. The really great thing about Thomas, though, is that when Audrey Rose tells him to stop and respect her space… he does! Not only is he intelligent and handsome, but he is respectful and truly seems to believe in Audrey Rose and what she is capable of.
Moving on to the books themselves, Maniscalco is incredible at mystery and horror writing. You would not have guessed this was a YA novel based on her writing and her creation of the plot and characters. I was blown away by her work in both books. She keeps the books light and fun where it needs to be and cranks up the intensity when it’s the right time. She also does a great job of infusing humor and romance in the story as well without taking away from the plot or Audrey Rose’s independence.
I vote that these books are a must read for pretty much everyone. These books have strong characters (male and female), humor, romance, mystery… everything that makes for a really entertaining read. Both of these books I could not put down and had such a strong desire to read one right after the other. I honestly cannot recommend these any more than I am. They are just that good!
Whenever the sequel comes out, you can bet I’ll be grabbing it as soon as possible. Read these books, you won’t regret it!