Friday, December 6, 2013

Her Dark Curiosity by Megan Shepherd

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.

Publisher: Balzer + Bray
Number of Pages: 432

Type: Hardcover

Reviewed by Rachel, age 18

Her Dark Curiosity opened with an eerie beginning and ended with one badass last chapter. Megan Shepherd has used the tales of The Island of Dr. Moreau, Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde and lastly, Frankenstein, to inspire her novels, making them without a doubt "gothic thrillers". 

The book is set in winter in London, approaching Christmas time, which is perfect for me as I read this entering December in the midst of snowy Minnesota. As always, Shepherd does a great job with her setting, which always matches the mood of the book.

I enjoyed the layered plot of unraveling the conspiracy of the Wolf of Whitechapel and also attempting to cure Juliet of her disease. Adding the science elements definitely added to the creepy vibe and also gave the book a magical undertone. And Juliet is of a different breed, fighting with her sinister inside, which made the book that much more unique and intriguing. 

I did enjoy reading this book, but not as much as The Madman's Daughter. The reason being comes from three complaints: 

1) A messy love triangle. I didn't feel deeply for any of the boys, and I didn't feel Juliet did either. Plus, I hate love triangles. I also didn't feel that she was fair to either of the boys and it made me not like her as much.

2) Juliet got off "scott-free" in a lot of situations where something happened to work, or she happened to turn to the right page or had a key in her pocket that wasn't spoken of before...There were just a lot of coincidences, you could say, that gave the book a less intense feel. 

3) Lastly, I struggle with Juliet's predicament. I think it's incredibly clever and original to have a main character struggling with being a madwoman, but at the same time she needs to be at least somewhat likable for me to continue rooting her on. It's an interesting concept, because I believe everyone has the capacity for good and for evil, but she was really selfish at times and it continued to bother me throughout the entire book.

Having said that, her sinisterness is also one of the better aspects of the book. Shepherd did a fantastic job with creepy and did not spare you any details. This book is gory! But I personally didn't mind that and instead found that it made the book more powerful.

Lucy, Juliet's best friend, plays more of a roll in this book. I liked her character and she reminded me of Lucy from Dracula, which is another gothic tale Shepherd possibly played off of? I'm not sure. Also, Elizabeth and Professor von Stein enter the picture. I adored their characters and how clever Elizabeth was, outwitting Juliet most of the time. 

Overall, this book ended with a slap in the face and I'm anxious to read the third and last in The Madman's Daughter trilogy. Parts of this book definitely disappointed me, which was frustrating, but I enjoy the story line enough to continue to read it to find out how everything ends up! There's a lot yet to happen and secrets galore! Recommended ages: 13 & up.

This book releases February 2013! 
Buy Hardcover | $17.99

Check out my interview with Megan Shepherd to learn more behind the making of Her Dark Curiosity and glimpses into the third and final book inspired by Frankenstein! 

Happy reading!
Rachel, age 18


  1. Hmm, interesting. I haven't read The Madman's Daughter yet - I have a copy, but it's been sitting right over... there somewhere. Now that I have book two, I feel the need to read both. But I might hold off until closer to the release of the third book. I abhor love triangles, so I already know I won't like that aspect of the book - especially if it is messy. There is nothing worse than a messy love triangle (as if a love triangle itself wasn't bad enough). I'm glad that you are still looking forward to reading book three, even if book two wasn't absolutely fantastically amazing. Hopefully, the conclusion will be spectacular!

    Fabulous review, Rachel! :)

    Alyssa @ The Eater of Books!

  2. Definitely happy to see that you enjoyed parts of the book and that you're still anticipating the third! I've heard so many awful things about this book and am pretty nervous about it.
    Personally in the first book I wasn't a big fan of the whole love triangle. I think I liked Montgomery a lot better....but even then....
    It's definitely a very inyeresting concept, with Juliet's whole grasp of good and evil. It will be interesting to see what happens with that!
    Great review! I think that I'll still have to make sure to pick up this book!


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