Vampiric Vacation (Sinister Summer Series #2) by Kiersten White
Review,  Middle Grade,  Mystery

Vampiric Vacation by Kiersten White – gothic middle-grade mystery

Vampiric Vacation is fun, unusual, and gothic middle-grade mystery with lovely main characters and interesting mystery. It is an amazing book for middle-grade readers.

gothic middle-grade mystery

Vampiric Vacation (Sinister Summer Series #2) by Kiersten White

Publication Date : September 27, 2022

Publisher : Delacorte Press

Read Date : December 30, 2022

Genre : Middle Grade / Gothic Mystery

Pages : 320

Rating: 4 out of 5.

Tea for this book : : Light book = Indian Masala Chai

Disclaimer – Many thanks to PRH Internations for eARC via NetGalley.
This post contains affiliate link.

Previous book in series –

Wretched Waterpark


The spooky summer adventures of the Sinister-Winterbottom twins continue in another gothic mystery: can Theo and Alexander solve the secret of the Sanguine Spa in the little Transylvania Mountains? The second book in the new Sinister Summer series by bestselling author Kiersten White, called perfect for fans of Lemony Snicket, Edward Gorey, and Roald Dahl, by Shelf Awareness.

After leaving Fathoms of Fun, the kids are on their way to the next odd summer destination their aunt has chosen for them. This time, they find themselves dropped off at the Sanguine Spa in the “little Transylvania Mountains.” There they meet the owners: Mina, her mysterious little sister, Lucy (who is extremely pale, can’t go in the sunlight, and has an affinity for hanging upside down from the ceiling), and their intimidating guardian, the Count.

When the Count sends all the children in the spa on a scavenger hunt, the Sinister-Winterbottoms use the excuse to snoop around and discover that this spa may be more than just eerie–it might also hold clues to what happened to their parents. When Wil starts to show vampiric symptoms, the twins resolve to investigate what’s really going on at the Sanguine Spa.

The second book in the Sinister Summer series continues the adventures of the Sinister-Winterbottoms and their aunt who never saw a discount vacation destination she didn’t love.


gothic middle-grade mystery

Vampiric Vacation is entertaining second book in middle-grade mystery series that now takes the Sinister-Winterbottom kids to Transylvania Mountains where they get tangled in another mystery.

Right after leaving the water park kids are dropped at Sanguine Spa in the little Transylvania Mountains with one task, “look closer”. Sanguine Spa is weirder than water park. The owner of the spa Blood family is gone, their daughter Mia is a receptionist who keep screaming at the ceiling, and the creepy intimidating Count is the guardian of Mia and is left in charge of the spa who separates guest parents and children for spa activities, and at night they are locked in their dorm for safety reasons. Many chance stumbles make twins think they are dealing with vampires and when they find vampire symptoms in Wil they make it their mission to find out what exactly is happening in the spa.

Now that again happened in second half of the book like first book. Writing is fun, and entertaining with same dry humor and rambling style. This can be read as standalone as there is a brief recap of what happened with their parents and how they are on a different tasks and occasional mention of characters they met in first book but I still advise to read first book before starting this sequel as you get to know characters and understand their personality better.

Like the first book, I enjoyed the characters. Sinister-Winterbottoms are same. As I read first book there wasn’t something new for me but again I enjoyed their wit and amusing way to describe other characters they met at spa. Wil was even more interesting in this installment. As usual, she was glued to Rodrigo (her phone) all the time but as she is a teenager she isn’t required to take part in either adult or kids’ activity so she seem to be doing her own research. How exactly she found the same room at the same time as twins did is a mystery that is not revealed here and I think it will be explained in next book of the series. Secondary characters are brilliantly recreated from Dracula.

Setting of the spa is amazing. It’s huge castle-like building in the middle of the forest, near the cliff with a way in through a maze, has many rooms with creepy hallways, high dark ceilings with rafters, changing and moving paintings, missing catacombs, and lots of rules along with suspicious things pointing to vampires… all of it made the book atmospheric and gothic. I also enjoyed little facts on Transylvania in initial chapters.

Mystery is better in this book. There is also many surprises that I couldn’t see coming. The conclusion related to the Count is a little predictable after some point but everything else is very interesting. While the mystery of the Spa is resolved the main mystery, the mystery of what happened to Winter-Bottoms’ parents and why they are on the task or how they are exactly traveling without any knowledge of details still remains the same and now after that surprising twist in the climax raises even more questions that I’m very much curious to find out in next books.

Why 4.5 stars– Again I found the pace same as first book. It’s too slow for middle-grade book.

Overall, Vampiric Vacation is fun, entertaining unusual, and atmospheric gothic middle-grade mystery with lovely main characters and interesting mystery. It is an amazing book for middle-grade readers.

I recommend this if you like,
Middle Grade books
Gothic spa setting
Quirky characters
Dry witty humor
Unusual plot and writing style
Well written mystery
Slow to steady pace

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Hi, I'm Yesha, an Indian book blogger. Avid and eclectic reader who loves to read with a cup of tea. Not born reader but I don't think I’m going to stop reading books in this life. “You can never get a cup of tea large enough or a book long enough to suit me.”


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