Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Review: Her Dark Curiosity by Megan Shepherd

Her Dark Curiosity (The Madman's Daughter, #2)Title: Her Dark Curiosity
Author: Megan Shepherd
Publisher: Balzer+Bray
Publishing Date: January 28th 2014
Pages: 420
Genre: YA Classic Retelling/Gothic Horror
Series: The Madman's Daughter #2
Source: Audio


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

I loved The Madman's Daughter and couldn't wait to read more. This book did not disappoint. I loved it as much as the first. The things that I loved in the first book were still here, in this book. The great characters, the darkness of the story, the complicated relationships, and the thought provoking questions of what right, wrong, and the line between. 

Juliet has left the island and has been living in London, with a guardian, and secretly working on a cure for herself. She maintains her life with friends and tries to stay out of trouble. That is until the day that murders start to happen all around her, and they all have something in common. When she discovers the truth, it becomes very complicated. She finds herself in the middle of a mans torn world, one where he lives both as a monster and a man. 

First thing, I love that this book is loosely based off of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde and the author fit it right into the world of  Dr. Moreau's daughter. The two stories were seamlessly put together and it just felt that the worlds belonged together from the very beginning. I am very excited, the next book will be about Dr. Frankenstein. Three dark, science fiction, monster mania, put together. Awesome. I am so happy to have discovered this series and I just can't get enough of it. For so long we have had fairy tale retellings and other classic retellings, the romances mainly, but never the dark. Those are my favorite classics. Its just wonderful I tell you. 

So yes, the writing was amazing, amazing in the first book and it continued in the second book and has spectacular story lines. That isn't where the goodness stops. I absolutely adore Juliet. I think she is a very wonderful character. She is quirky, a bit nuts, determined, and she makes quite a large character. I really can't think of anything negative about Juliet. I think she was just the right character for such a strange, dark, crazy scientist story. She has quite a bit of the madness from her father, but with morals to guide her. She knows she is staggering the line of  fascination and obsession, crazy and madness. She is determined not to cross that line but she knows that she must continue her search for a cure. Not only for her but also for the monster she cares for. 

I also really liked Juliet's friend Lucy. She made such a huge impression on me. Most of the time when secrets come out, friends seem to disappear.Not Lucy. She was determined not to be scared away. That wasn't the best thing about her though. I loved that she never doubted Juliet's words, she trusted her and she was very loyal to her. She would do whatever needed to help Juliet and I do believe she would follow Juliet to the ends of the world. She was by far one of my favorite supporting characters. 

These weren't the only characters, there were more, they were all wonderful or evil  to the extremes. There is so much darkness in this book and the dark side of the characters really delivered. I love it when evil is evil. This book had evil characters that were just evil. But there were also characters that toggled between evil and good, and then there were just good characters, like Lucy. It was a very well balanced book. 

The story was well thought out and well planned. Everything seemed to fall into place at the right time and everything just always made sense. I had so many ah-ha moments it was pretty ridiculous. The mystery wasn't really a mystery to me. I mean at first, I was a bit stumped, but it didn't take me long to have that ah-ha moment. The book was also full of many heart tug of wars. I felt for Juliet and the choices she had to make. They were never right or wrong, it was always a bigger picture, and sometimes the choices just sucked. 

The only issue I had, and it wasn't a major issue, was the pacing. The beginning seemed a tad bit slow for me, but once it picked up it stayed at a very steady pace. I think I remember the beginning of The Madman's Daughter being a bit slow at the beginning too. It's not enough to deter from the book, or take away from my love of the book. I think there is so much depth to the story and the characters, it takes a bit to build. It makes the slowness worth it. 

I really can't wait to continue the story. As I mentioned earlier, the next one features Dr. Frankenstein, and I am so totally excited. 

It was so ridiculous. I loved it.. I devoured  it. I am itching for more.  

Megan Shepherd
Megan Shepherd was "born" into the book world, growing up in her parents' independent bookstore in Western North Carolina. She is the author of THE MADMAN'S DAUGHTER trilogy (Balzer+Bray/2013), and THE CAGE trilogy (Balzer+Bray/2015). When Megan is not writing, she can usually be found horseback riding, day dreaming at coffee shops, or hiking in the beautiful Blue Ridge mountains. She is represented by Josh Adams at Adams Literary.

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