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Publisher: Balzer + Bray
Source: Publisher provided through Edelweiss
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To defeat the darkness, she must first embrace it.I enjoyed The Madman's Daughter more than I anticipated so I was terribly excited to read Her Dark Curiosity. A lot of the book bothered me, though, The love triangle focus was just too much. At the same time, the ending kind of erased my feelings of misgivings, leaving me thrilled and excited for the third book. That means this is probably going to be a confused review.
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.
The writing in Her Dark Curiosity still shines here, setting the stage and creating an eerie mood for a book full of darkness and brutality. That's one thing that also stands out in the book: the unflinching depiction of violence. It's not gratuitous but it serves its purpose, underlining the darkness present in Juliet's world and thoughts. It all works into a deliciously dark world that only makes the subject more interesting.
Here's the big problem, though. SO MUCH of the book is spent with Juliet's agonizing over the two men in her life. There are periods where she spends absolutely not time working through the HUGE problems she's got. And I can't really see her attraction to Edward, though I can see why she is so bent on helping him. I wished for the entire book that the love triangle would simply vanish. Would that have been so much to ask?
Even so, the ending of this book is crazy fantastic. It's bloody and dark and violent and everything I could hope for it to be. Juliet finally takes the reins of her fate, and it is amazing. If only she'd been such an interesting and proactive character throughout the entire book!
If you read The Madman's Daughter and could stomach the love triangle, there's a good chance you'll enjoy Her Dark Curiosity. Everything I enjoyed about the first book is there, but that darned love triangle and Juliet's unwillingness to take real action until the very end make me less fond of it than the first. Even so, that ending leaves absolutely nothing to be desired and will surely make you scramble for the third book.
About the author:
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.