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Book Review: Her Dark Curiosity by Megan Shepherd

Her Dark Curiosity delivers surprise after surprise. Very highly recommended.

Book Review: Her Dark Curiosity by Megan Shepherd

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her dark curisoity megan shepherd book review

Title & Author: Her Dark Curiosity (Madman’s Daughter) by Megan Shepherd

Genre: Young Adult Fantasy – Historical Fiction, Retelling

Release Date: January 28, 2014

Series: The Madman’s Daughter #2

Publisher: Balzer + Bray

How I Got the Book: ARC via Publisher

Description:

“To defeat the darkness, she must first embrace it.

Months have passed since Juliet Moreau returned to civilization after escaping her father’s island—and the secrets she left behind. Now, back in London once more, she is rebuilding the life she once knew and trying to forget Dr. Moreau’s horrific legacy—though someone, or something, hasn’t forgotten her.

As people close to Juliet fall victim one by one to a murderer who leaves a macabre calling card of three clawlike slashes, Juliet fears one of her father’s creations may have also escaped the island. She is determined to find the killer before Scotland Yard does, though it means awakening sides of herself she had thought long banished, and facing loves from her past she never expected to see again.

As Juliet strives to stop a killer while searching for a serum to cure her own worsening illness, she finds herself once more in the midst of a world of scandal and danger. Her heart torn in two, past bubbling to the surface, life threatened by an obsessive killer—Juliet will be lucky to escape alive.

With inspiration from Robert Louis Stevenson’s The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, this is a tantalizing mystery about the hidden natures of those we love and how far we’ll go to save them from themselves.”

Better Than Before

The creepiness and retelling-ness of The Madman’s Daughter was fantastic. I loved the new take on The Island of Dr. Moreau and was just dying with the way things ended (not realizing it was a series).

Although I definitely liked the book, it wasn’t out-of-this-world amazing to me. Very good, but not gush-worthy.

Then came Her Dark Curiosity. This is one of the rarest cases EVER, wherein I actually loved the sequel MORE than the first book.

In the continuation of Juliet is back in London and trying to put on a show of being a normal girl with normal prospects. She can’t shake her past, though, because it’s followed her to England…

In the style of The Lunar Chronicles by Marissa Meyer, each book in this series seems to be a different retelling in the same sort of “family.” The Lunar Chronicles are princess/classic fairytale retellings, and The Madman’s Daughter series are dark, brooding tales.

Her Dark Curiosity was a retake on Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, which I had no idea of going into the book. You don’t really need to know it, but I found that it was a little extra surprise to be discovered while reading.

Then there’s the matter of Juliet. Her serum is running low and she’s growing more and more ill. Which is unfortunate as she needs all her strength to figure out who’s behind recent murders that seem to match the killings that happened on the island….

Dark & Delicious

I absolutely could not put down Her Dark Curiosity. Every chapter had some new mystery, some new adventure to be had, and there was never a good place to stop. You KNOW a book is well-paced and thought out when you feel tortured because you feel like your stopping in the middle of something.

In this book, I felt like I got to know Juliet better. She’s a complex character, and it was fascinating to see her struggle of wanting to be a fine lady and fit into society but also knowing her interests (science) and dark past make it almost impossible.

I know this is a big deal for some readers, so I must disclose that there is still some love triangle business going on here. I always try to think – oh, this again? – then I am sucked in and feeling all conflicted.

I didn’t mind this love triangle at all because I think it showed true emotion and inner turmoil. It definitely added to the plot instead of taking it away.

OVERALL:

As a total surprise to myself, I loved Her Dark Curiosity even more than The Madman’s Daughter. It changes up the scene and the pace but not the suspense and dark mood of the first book. I highly, highly recommend this book to lovers of retellings, YA, historical fantasy or all-around great stories. Her Dark Curiosity knows what’s up!!

About Lisa Parkin

I'm a hardcore lover of young adult fiction and have been reviewing books since 2011. Other interests include Downton Abbey, heat lightning storms, Harry Potter land and (begrudingly) one orange tabby.