Book Review: Her Dark Curiosity by Megan Shepherd

Posted January 17, 2014 by Stormy in Books / 12 Comments

Her Dark Curiosity

by Megan Shepherd

Her Dark Curiosity

Expected Publishing Date: January 28, 2014
Length: 368 pages
Publisher: Balzar + Bray

Obtained Via: I was given a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review via Edelweiss from the publisher. I was not compensated for this review, and this is no way affects my opinion of the book.
Format Read In: E-ARC
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the story morning glory

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.

 

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Her Dark Curiosity, the sequel to The Madman’s Daughter, was a bit of a mess to put it mildly. I enjoyed The Madman’s Daughter, though it wasn’t my favorite. I thought the romance drowned out some of the plot and action in the first book, but saw the potential and hoped Her Dark Curiosity would improve in that aspect. Unfortunately, what happened was the exact opposite of that as this book regressed to being. . . just sort of all over the place.

The annoying love triangle/romance in this book is back and WORSE, which was sort of the thing that made me rolled my eyes the most. I’m not opposed to love triangles on principle, but this one takes up way too much page-time and make all the characters into blubbering idiots. I am firmly on the side I do not want either boy to “win” at the moment, and they can all three of them live on opposite sides of the world. And my annoyance at the romance was that once again, it’s at the forefront when the action should be. It drowns out all the actual plot once it starts.

Which is not to say Her Dark Curiosity isn’t without it’s good side. Before the love triangle really picks up again, I was enjoying this book. Shepherd’s writing is quite atmospheric and I really FELT most of the settings and some of the horror. I was there with Juliet when the truth dawned on her, and that’s some powerful writing, which is the redeeming quality for this book for sure.

I do like Juliet–in a way that I like to read about her, not that I would actually want to ever meet her–but towards the end of this book she stopped making sense. I suppose you could say her romantic interest was clouding her judgement, which would work for one really strange “twists” that comes up in the last chapter, but towards the end of the book she hatches a plan to expose someone. This plan makes no sense. I mean, it makes sense in the fact that it has the potential to work, but there are much better plans, and Juliet is suppose to be smart. It came out of nowhere and I felt like it was just there too push a moral event horizon, not because it actually made sense in context for the characters.

The ending to The Madman’s Daughter was one of the best things about the book. It wasn’t a cliffhanger, exactly(at least, not in my definition), but it left so much open to possibility and a “WHAT just happen?” expression definitely graced my face after closing that book. The ending to Her Dark Curiosity seems haphazard by contrast. It’s clearly meant to set up some things for the next book, which I suppose it does, but it seriously comes from nowhere and instead of enticing me to read more, made me roll my eyes.

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As far as Her Dark Curiosity is concerned, I suppose we can go ahead and chalk this one up as Second Book Syndrome. There’s still a glimmer of hope for the series in my opinion, but this book was just all over the place. The romance took up too much of the pages and a lot of things just didn’t make sense for these characters.  2/5 cupcakes.

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2 Stars

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12 responses to “Book Review: Her Dark Curiosity by Megan Shepherd

  1. Oh nooooo. I’m so scared for this one. I’ve heard that some people really did not like it and others did but weren’t happy with the love triangle (which haha. I didn’t like that at all!) SIGH. I still want to try it and I have it from EW so I guess we’ll see!

    • stormydawnc

      Yeah, I was so sad I didn’t like this one! I didn’t LOVE the first book or anything, but I really liked it. I was hoping the love triangle thing would improve, but instead it got worse.

  2. Oh goodness, that is a bummer. I enjoyed the first one but like you, it was not my favorite. Now to hear that the love triangle is even worse and the story is all over the place, I will not be picking this one up any time soon. It had so much potential!

    • stormydawnc

      It really is all over the place, and so much missed potential! I just wish there had been more of a focus on the actual *plot* in this book.

  3. I had similar thoughts about The Madman’s Daughter. I enjoyed the writing and thought the premise was crazy, but the romance/love triangle was too intense and overshadowed the rest. Sounds like I can pass on the sequel. I’d check out future series by Megan Shepherd, but this series doesn’t seem to be for me. Thanks for the review!

    • stormydawnc

      Yeah, the love triangle definitely got even MORE intense in this book, so if it was your least favorite part of book one, I’d definitely pass on this one.

  4. Yeah… the romance thing is really the main reason I decided not to prioritize reading this one. -_- So many people say it’s just awful, and now you too, and I’m just like… yeah. I’m glad I’m waiting. I might even wait until the third book is out to see how much things improve, because I did see SO much potential in the first one, which I loved!! I hope it gets better and I have a reason to pick up books 2 and 3. *fingers crossed*

    • stormydawnc

      At this point, I don’t even know if I’ll read the third one, which is sad, because I really liked the first! The love triangle is just SO BAD.

  5. I am sorry this book was so disappointing for you! This is a series that has been on my radar, but the reviews seem to be all over the place for both books.

  6. I definitely agree that the romance was terrible, but I actually didn’t mind too much. I mean, it does seem like it’s just me because I’ve read A LOT of reviews that say the opposite, but I felt like the romance wasn’t really THAT big a focus of the book, and I did enjoy reading the mystery/thriller side of things.

    The ending! Sheperd was such a tease with Montgomery’s “secrets”. It was like, GAH! JUST TELL ME WHAT THE FREAKING SECRET IS AJWELKA:SKD!

    • stormydawnc

      I didn’t feel the romance was a big deal until about 40%, but it took over from there, for me at least anyway. It might have been because I disliked the romance so much!
      That ending was weird! But also suspenseful for sure.

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