Her Dark Curiosity
by Megan Shepherd
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
View at the Traffic light:
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.
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.
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.