Monday, February 23, 2015

Her Dark Curiosity by Megan Shepherd [Review]

Her Dark Curiosity (The Madman's Daughter, #2)4.5 out of 5 Robots!

A Dark Curiosity by Megan Shepherd

Series: The Madman's Daughter #2
Genre: YA Historical Fiction/Horror
Release: January 28, 2014
Hardcover:  420 Pages
Publisher: Balzer + Bray
My Copy: Publisher
Reviewer: Shannon

Book Summary:
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.
(Courtesy of the Publisher)

Shannon's Thoughts:
Her Dark Curiosity is a strong follow up to the first novel, The Madman's Daughter and doesn't suffer from "Second Book Syndrome", so yay!  This is kind of a sleeper hit series for me.  I love the creepy feeling to them.  

Here is what I liked:
**I love that Shephard is taking on some well known "horror" novels and rewriting them to shape her trilogy.  The first book was based on The Island of Doctor Moreau and this book is based on The Strange Case Doctor Jekyll and Mr. Hyde. Shephard does a very convincing job of weaving the elements of these books into her stories.

**I also really liked Juliet's self reflection.  As the daughter of a "mad doctor", she wonders if she is also prone to darkness and madness.  I appreciated that Shephard lets her protagonist explore this side of herself.  Juliet is certainly flawed, but it makes you appreciate her even more.

**I loved that Lucy, Juliet's best friend, is brought more into fold.  She is more affected by the horrors that surround you than Juliet, but she is a strong and able character in her own right.  I also really liked the introduction of Elizabeth, who provides Juliet some much need maternal guidance.

**I knew right away who the murder was, but I did not guess the ultimate culprit.  Well done, Shephard.  I did not see that one coming.

**Lastly, I liked how the ambiguity of morality.  The world is rarely as black and white as books make them out to be (especially in YA), but this book explores the line at which people drawn the line at their own morals.  And sometimes it is not an easy call. There are some horrifying situations that could be viewed as necessary or over the line.  It is up to the viewer to decide which side they are on.  

**If you remember for my review of the first book, I was disturbed by the animal violence.  I am happy to report there are no animals deaths in this one. (Minor, but happy spoiler: the dog does not die).

Here is what I didn't like:
**There is very little I disliked, but I wasn't sure how I felt about Juliet's decisions regarding the murderer.  I would have a much harder time separating the man from the beast.

**The love interests don't particularly excited me.  One is just a no-go for me.  The other makes sense, but I don't really like the way he tries to dominate Juliet.  Of course, given the time period, this isn't really out of line.  It just offends my modern sensibilities.

**I was very sad about one particular death.  Poor Juliet.

If you are a fan of horror, and especially classical horror, then this series is probably for you!  (If you are sensitive to violence and death, then I would recommend steering away).  I think Shephard does a phenomenal job in retelling and reworking these classic stories.  The last book is a take on Mary Shelley's Frankenstein and I am very excited to see how it all wraps up.

Other Books in the Series:
1. The Madman's Daughter
2. Her Dark Curiosity
3. A Cold Legacy

Disclaimer: I received this book in exchange for an honest review.  All thoughts and opinions are my own.

1 comment :

  1. I think the moral ambiguity is even worse in the third book. Loved this series! Great review.



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