Friday, January 17, 2014

ARC Review: Her Dark Curiosity by Megan Shepherd

Title: Her Dark Curiosity (The Madman's Daughter #2)
Author: Megan Shepherd
Genre: Historical, Thriller
Release Date: 28 January, 2014
Source: Balzer + Bray via Edelweiss

Goodreads rating: 3.93 out of 5.00 (140+ ratings)
Goodreads | The Reading Room

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.
Review by Nara

*MAJOR spoilers for The Madman's Daughter. You have been warned* 
The air in my crumbling attic chamber smelled of roses and formaldehyde.
I really like how the first lines in both The Madman's Daughter and Her Dark Curiosity quite nicely set the mood for the rest of the book: creeeeeeepy. In this sequel, we see the return of one of the island's beasts, one who begins targeting the people of London, leaving the calling card of a flower dipped in blood (contrary to what the blurb says). I think on the whole, people who enjoyed The Madman's Daughter will probably enjoy Her Dark Curiosity.

Let me make this very clear: THE ROMANCE WAS TERRIBLE. The very epitome of terribly done love triangle. (Very minor spoilers for Her Dark Curiosity until end of paragraph; it's kind of obvious from the blurb though. Warning you just in case.) While I don't think I particularly like or dislike Edward (mostly I just feel pity for him, what with the beast trapped inside him and all), what I did really dislike was how Juliet treated him. She was just so moody and she changed her mind as to whether she loved him or not so many freaking times and it was like STOP BEING SO INDECISIVE ALSDJFASDF! I mean, really, let's be honest, we all know she's not going to end up with Edward. The series so far has definitely pushed her with Montgomery, and despite him sending her away on a boat to "save her" or whatever, anyone who knows the genre of YA to a certain degree will just be waiting in this book until Montgomery shows up at some point. And when he does, LET THE BATTLE FOR JULIET'S HEART BEGIN!

So if you want to go into this book expecting a nice romance (although wtf why the heck would you go into this book expecting that? The blurb is clearly really dark) turn away! If you go into this book expecting a (somewhat) creepy mystery/thriller then you'll get what you expect. While not as creepy as the first book, Sheperd does manage to skilfully build the underlying tension needed in a thriller. I still wouldn't necessary call either book a "horror book" though. Despite the threat of a rampaging beast, the book remains decidedly not scary.

And what an ending! Major twist, refusal to reveal one of the characters' supposed secrets, dropping the hint that the next book will be based on another creepy classic (you can find out what it is by reading the book haha). That ending has most definitely confirmed that I will be reading the next book in the series.

Liked it

Overall: 8/10
Plot: 4/5
Writing: 5/5
Characters: 4/5
Cover: 5/5


  1. This is a series that I still need to start. I am glad to hear that the second book is good. I am going to have to check it out. :)

    1. I'm quite enjoying the series so far, but you should definitely be warned that while it's creepy, it's not really "horror" in the sense that the book is scary. Also the romance is terrible. Other than that, it's a good series! haha

  2. I am in complete agreement, that romance was a disaster

    Lovely review, Nara! <33

    1. Oh man, that romance...such a terrible love triangle -_-

  3. I was expecting creepy/thriller, but all I got was a whiner who didn't know what to do (when it has been obvious from the beginning) and one of the worst love-triangles of all time :p ugh.

    1. Yeah Juliet was a bit whiny. And indecisive- I seriously didn't like the way she treated Edward...

    I'll have to repeat that again: YES. EXACTLY.
    Right from the very start, we KNOW that Juliet WILL end up with Montgomery (unless he dies in a "tragic" death or something). SO WHY WILL THE BOOK TORTURE US WITH A LONGER PROLONGED LOVE TRIANGLE?!
    Hmm, you're going back for more Nara? Maybe I will too once I read Her Dark Curiosity, but read the next book will prolong that love triangle. -shudders-

    1. Ugh it's so terribly done. I mean, the way Juliet treats Edward is completely appalling. She basically strings him on and then completely shuts him down. WHY WOULD YOU DO THAT?! Her excuse is "missing Montgomery" or some crap like that...
      I think I'm too invested in the series as a whole to stop reading it now haha

  5. Does the book end on a cliffhanger?